For the Sake of His Name: Part 3
In part one, we determined that rather than develop a biblical theology of missions, our best approach is to develop a missional theology of the Bible. In order to do that, we’re unpacking Crossover Global’s “DNA Statement,” which reads:
"Crossover Global Passionately Seeks to Glorify God by Planting Multiplying Churches Among Unreached Peoples."
In part two, we examined the first component of Crossover Global’s DNA, which is the “doxological” motivation for missions: “Crossover Global passionately seeks to glorify God…” This is what drives us to plant multiplying churches, which is the second component of our DNA.
A key passage to understand the importance of planting multiplying churches is Acts 19:9-10, where we discover the apostle Paul having “discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus,” which “went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.” Sounds a bit preposterous, doesn’t it? A guy sits around lecturing everyday and that somehow leads to the evangelization of all the people groups in the huge territory that we now call Turkey… in less than two years?! How??
The answer is that Paul and his disciples were not merely discussing the latest philosophies of the day. Rather, they were evangelizing the unbelievers who came to the lecture hall, and some of them became believers in Jesus. And they were establishing those new believers in the faith, so they became disciples. And they were equipping those disciples to be effective workers in the harvest. And, finally, they were extending those workers out into all of Asia Minor as “world Christians,” that is to say, Christians who were so passionate about God and His global glory that they reproduced everything they learned in Tyrannus. In other words, they went out and planted churches! When you evangelize, establish, equip and extend one person, you’ve got a world Christian. When you do that with multiple people who then begin to meet together regularly and do the same thing, you’ve got a church!
In case you’re wondering, those four emphases - evangelize, establish, equip and extend - have a name. We call them the “ministry multiplication cycle” (MMC). And we didn’t make them up. Neither did Paul. It was Jesus Himself who taught and modeled the MMC. Early in His ministry, we find Jesus focused on evangelism: “come and see” (Jn. 1:35-51). As His earthly ministry progressed, we find Him establishing new believers in the faith: “Follow me.” (Mk. 1:16-20) Later on we find Jesus equipping the twelve, whom He identified as being “with me” (Mk. 3:14-19). And finally, Jesus extended eleven of them to change the world when He said “I send you” (Jn. 20:21).
Jesus knew that church multiplication was the key to making disciples of “all nations” (Mt. 18:19-20). In part four we’ll take a look at what “all nations” means and why it is a strategic priority for our missions efforts.