What is a church multiplication movement? Ed Stetzer and Warren Bird say this in Viral Church:We define a Church Multiplication Movement is as follows: a rapid multiplication of churches where a movement grows through multiplication by 50 percent in the number of churches in a given year to the third generation. For example, if they are 100 one year, they are at least 150 the next, and that growth is accounted for mostly by new converts, not transfers. Finally, this kind of growth continues to the third generation.
Here are some intriguing numbers from www.scatterus.wordpress.com
In the past 24 hours:
In Communist China, 37,500 people became followers of Jesus.
In Hindu India, 27,200 people became followers of Jesus.
In sub-Saharan Africa 17,000 people became followers of Jesus
While Christianity is bursting at the seams in Asia and Africa that is not the case in North America, or for that matter in much of the “developed” western world. In Latin America, one new church is planted every eight minutes. We must learn how to co-operate, collaborate and contextualize the strategies used in the “missions field” to re-reach the West. The strategies being used in the two-thirds world focus on rapid church multiplication movements. We need to start thinking not just in terms of planting individual churches, but rather what can be done to start a multiplying movement.
The principle of encouraging multiplication movements is a core value that drives the mission of the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada – Church Planting Resource Team we are committed to prayer, planning, partnering, promoting, planting and celebrating together with our church plants and existing churches as they multiply new congregations across the West.
Ed Stetzer has researched and written a valuable series on the subject of what church multiplication looks like (Viral Churches: Thinking about Church Multiplication Movements in the West) www.edstetzer.com/2012/02/viral-churches-thinking-about.html and his book “Viral Churches” is a strong voice in the ongoing conversation.
Tom Lavigne, @tomlavigne1 (Twitter) CBWC Director of Church Planting