The Power of Multiplication: How Church Planting Movements Accomplish the Great Commission

The Great Commission given by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20 is a call for all Christians to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded. 

Church planting movements are one of the most effective ways to accomplish the Great Commission, as they are focused on reaching people who are far from God and multiplying disciples and churches rapidly.

What are Church Planting Movements?

Church planting movements can be defined as a rapid and exponential increase in the number of churches in a particular region or among a specific people group. These movements are characterized by a focus on evangelism, discipleship, and church planting, with the goal of establishing healthy, reproducing churches.

So how do church planting movements accomplish the Great Commission? 

Here are a few key factors:

Evangelism and Outreach

Church planting movements prioritize evangelism and outreach as the first step in making disciples. 

They use a variety of methods, including personal evangelism, mass media, and evangelistic events to reach people with the Gospel. They also focus on reaching those who are far from God, including those in unreached people groups, and those in difficult-to-reach areas.

One key factor in the success of church planting movements is their ability to contextualize the Gospel message for the specific culture and language of the people they are trying to reach. This often involves learning the local language, understanding the cultural context, and using relevant illustrations and stories to communicate the Gospel message.


Discipleship is a key component of church planting movements. 

The goal is not just to make converts, but to make disciples who will in turn make more disciples. This involves teaching new believers the basics of the Christian faith, helping them to grow in their understanding of Scripture, and equipping them to share their faith with others.

See also  Radical Discipleship: Understanding What It Means and How to Live It

One effective model of discipleship used in church planting movements is called T4T (Training for Trainers). This model focuses on teaching new believers to share the Gospel with others, and then to disciple those they lead to Christ. 

The process is repeated, with each new disciple becoming a trainer themselves.

Church Planting

Church planting is at the heart of church planting movements. 

The goal is to establish healthy, reproducing churches that can continue to multiply and reach others with the Gospel. Churches are often started in homes or other small gatherings, and are led by lay leaders who have been trained in discipleship and leadership.

One key to the success of church planting movements is the use of rapid reproduction. This means that new churches are started quickly and often, with the goal of each church planting more churches in turn. 

This exponential growth model allows for rapid multiplication and expansion of the movement.

Empowering Local Leaders

Church planting movements are often led by local leaders who are familiar with the culture and language of the people they are trying to reach. The goal is to empower these leaders to take ownership of the movement and to continue to expand it within their own communities.

Empowering local leaders involves providing them with training and resources, but also giving them the freedom to make decisions and take risks. 

It also involves trusting them to lead the movement in a way that is culturally relevant and effective.

Trusting in the Power of the Holy Spirit

Importantly, church planting movements rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the work of the Great Commission. 

This means praying for guidance and wisdom, and trusting that God will provide the resources and opportunities needed for the movement to grow and flourish.

Ultimately, church planting movements accomplish the Great Commission by focusing on evangelism, discipleship, and church planting, and by empowering local leaders to continue the work within their own communities. They rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct their efforts.

See also  7 Surprising Disciple-Making Movement Examples

Cell or House Churches

Another characteristic of Church Planting Movements is that they often rely on small, reproducible cell or house churches. 

These churches typically consist of 10-30 members and meet in homes, storefronts, or other small, informal locations. This model allows for greater flexibility and adaptability, as well as more intimate and personal relationships among members.

Cell or house churches also lend themselves well to rapid reproduction, as they can be easily replicated in new locations without the need for a physical church building. This allows for more rapid growth and multiplication, as new churches can be started quickly and easily.

Churches Planting Churches

In Church Planting Movements, it is common for churches to plant other churches. 

This is a natural result of the emphasis on rapid reproduction and multiplication. As new churches are started and grow, they in turn become sources for new church plants.

This multiplication is often facilitated by lay leadership, as lay leaders are typically more mobile and can move more easily to new areas to start new churches. It also allows for greater ownership and investment by local believers, as they are actively involved in starting and growing new churches.

Rapid Reproduction

One of the most striking characteristics of Church Planting Movements is the speed at which they grow and multiply. This is due in part to the focus on rapid reproduction, but also to the fact that these movements often occur in areas with high population density and a high degree of social connectivity.

Rapid reproduction is facilitated by the use of simple, reproducible models of church planting and disciple making, as well as a reliance on lay leadership and small, informal gatherings of believers. 

This allows for new churches to be started quickly and easily, without the need for extensive resources or external support.

See also  Unleashing the Power of Paul's Methods: How to Multiply Apostolic Leaders in the Modern Church

Healthy Churches

Finally, Church Planting Movements place a strong emphasis on the health and vitality of the churches that are started. This is reflected in the five health indicators mentioned earlier: worship, evangelism, service, education, and fellowship.

Healthy churches are characterized by a vibrant worship life, a commitment to sharing the Gospel with others, a willingness to serve their communities, a focus on discipleship and education, and a deep sense of community and fellowship among members.


In conclusion, Church Planting Movements represent a powerful and effective way of fulfilling the Great Commission. 

By focusing on rapid reproduction and multiplication, simple and reproducible models of church planting and disciple making, and a reliance on lay leadership and small, informal gatherings of believers, these movements have been able to achieve remarkable results in some of the most challenging and difficult areas of the world.

At the heart of these movements is a commitment to the Gospel and a deep reliance on prayer and the leading of the Holy Spirit. While there is no single formula or recipe for starting a Church Planting Movement, the characteristics outlined above provide a helpful framework for understanding how these movements have been successful in accomplishing the Great Commission in diverse cultural contexts around the world.

As believers, we have been called to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth, and Church Planting Movements represent a powerful and effective way of fulfilling that call. 

Whether we are called to be missionaries overseas or to start new churches in our own communities, we can learn from the lessons and examples of Church Planting Movements and apply them to our own context as we seek to make disciples of all nations.

Next Steps

Want to learn more? Get started with these simple starter tools.

Are you in? Ready to implement a strategy to multiply disciples, leaders, and churches in your City?

Start Here.

Ready to learn how to “do the stuff” of multiplying disciples, leaders, and churches?

Learn some starter tools and get coaching:

Post a comment:


Type at least 1 character to search
Let's lock in your spot.You're almost there.

Check your inbox for event details after completion.