June 20, 2024
This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Church planting

Building your multiplication process starts with understanding what it takes. It was my personal goal that everyone in our church could help plant a new church in the future. For that to happen, we needed to discover or develop methods that would be transferable. We needed a process that would enable all the members to join the work of making disciples.

As we try to build a growth track for making, growing, and equipping disciples, it is helpful to clarify the stages it normally takes for a person to go from being “lost and unconnected” to becoming the mature and fruitful disciple God wants. Of course, each person grows in a unique way. But there normally is a sequence of stages of spiritual growth as a person moves from “lost and unconnected” to becoming a 3M disciple (maturing, ministering, and multiplying).

Since we desire to multiply disciple-makers, it is important to help them grow themselves as disciples in these phases. But it is equally important to enable them to lead another person through these phases. That’s why I chose simple, reproducible tools and methods for our disciple-making multiplication process. I wanted everyone in the church to be able to help another person through the same journey.

As I thought of the process of growth, I worked through the following four questions:

  1. What are the stages of growth?
  2. What has to happen for a person to move from one stage to another?
  3. What will it take to help that person move to the next stage?
  4. What tools and methods that we could use to help people move forward at each stage?

As a team, we discussed each of these questions. Here are the results of our work.

The stages of growth

  1. Lost
  2. Contact
  3. New Believer
  4. Maturing disciple
  5. Disciple-Maker

What has to happen at each stage

What steps does the disciple-maker need to take in order to bring their lost friends through the process of becoming disciples who make disciples?  (See following Chart)

  1. Connect with the lost
  2. Win the contacts
  3. Grow the new believers
  4. Gather the maturing disciples
  5. Equip the maturing disciples
  6. Multiply the new disciple-makers (enable them to pass it on)

What it takes at each stage

Practically, what will it take see them grow to the next level? What sort of activities can we do to connect, win, grow, gather, and multiply? The following chart was our attempt to discover and create a flow toward seeing a disciple-making movement start through our church.

Who are the target at each stage, what do you want them to become, and what is the main thing needed to move them? 

For example, for the lost to become contacts, we have to connect with them.  What will that take? Well, it will take going to their spaces, building relationships with them, serving them, and connecting with their interests and their needs in their spaces.

The methods and materials at each stage

Finally, we brainstormed and chose simple, reproducible methods and materials that would enable all our people to lead others through this growth process. Some of the methods and materials would be led and taught by the church leaders. But we also wanted to have one basic tool for each stage with which our believers themselves are equipped to move a person through the whole process.

We developed the church below along the way, listing the tools that we felt would be simple, effective and reproducible for all members in the church.  Every disciple would learn to do the tools in blue. The others are methods and tools that the church leadership would ensure were happening.

Take the time to develop the multiplication process

Each church planting team leader should work through this process carefully and then work through it with their team.  You may come up with something better than we did. No church’s process is perfect yet. There will always be factors that we didn’t plan for or expect. We will always want to improve the plan to see it better reach our audience. 

To begin with, you will want to find one effective method and multiplication process to equip our people for each stage. They may learn other methods along the way, but we want to get everyone started with a simple, commonly-used method for each stage that they can then teach to others.  This simple method helps people start ministering. It then becomes a tool they can pass on to their new disciples.

Imagine your youth, your moms, your working people, the singles using each method at each stage. Make it simple enough for everyone to start using it. Begin working on a plan that would enable them in their everyday world to make disciples who also will pass it on to others.

Be sure to start with reaching the lost.

This blog post was originally posted to the TEAM church planting blog at Building A Multiplication Process of Disciple Making – What Will It Take? (goandplant.com). It is republished with permission of the author.

Series Navigation<< Adopting a Multiplication MindsetMultiplication Process Development in Ministry: Strategies and Tools >>

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