Catalytic Inputs that Contribute to Movement Development
Many pastors and missionaries are crossing the globe, teaching, encouraging, and resourcing with good intentions, but questionable effectiveness. Other church-planting catalysts, especially those who work within a denominational framework, manage systems like assessment, church-planter boot camp, financial support, coaching, and others. They try to maintain some church-planting momentum, but rarely achieve movement.
Dr. Paul Gupta from the Hindustan Bible Institute calls for another type of church-planting catalyst, one that contributes to the apostolic advance of gospel movements (1):
Expatriates have an even greater role to play: equipping and mobilizing thousands in these newly planted churches to be on mission for God. As a trainer, consultant, and facilitator, expatriates may serve the national church to develop a church-planting movement, or to equip that movement with the essential leadership skills and resources to grow mature, dynamic Christians and churches. (Gupta 2000, 98)
This article is my attempt to contribute some best practices of church-planting catalysts that contribute to gospel movements, based on fifteen years of experience, reading, and reflection. I served first as a church-planting catalyst for Latin America, then was asked to develop others globally. These are some practical outworkings of the apostolic model of church multiplication that my co-author Craig Ott and I have laid out in the book Global Church Planting: Biblical Principles and Best Practices for Multiplication (2011).
In 2001, I received a call to teach a church-planting course in southern Brazil. We wrestled with new paradigms of a lay movement during five packed, taxing, and unforgettable ten-hour days under a canopy in the sweltering …