Developing for Multiplication
In church-planting circles, the success of any movement depends on whether it will last beyond two generations. If church plants don't multiply themselves, the lifespan of the movement will be brief. This is why we tend to hear the phrase "multiplying church" in favor of "church plant." Multiplication promises longevity. Multiplying churches will not happen unless there is a plan to multiply leaders. An intentional approach to equipping future leaders is a must for any church planting network or movement. It is just as necessary for the future success of any local church.
One of the verses the drives the mission of my church and the NACPF to develop young leaders is 2 Timothy 2:2, "The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also." There are two components to this verse that I find encouraging.
First is the model that Paul provides. There is an intentional, multi-generational equipping plan found in this verse. Paul describes three layers of disciple-making: Himself (Paul) to Timothy, Timothy to faithful men, faithful men who will teach others. Following this model would produce a constant flow of leadership into any local church and provide equipped men who can be sent to plant new churches.
Second is the mentoring aspect that is implied. Paul chose men like Timothy and Titus to pour his life, wisdom and understanding of the gospel into. He exhorted them to do the same to others whom they found faithful. As the leader of the first "church-planting movement," Paul could have spent more of his time preaching and "visioneering." Instead he invested in a few men who would then model their mentor's method. Paul always had a "follow me as I follow Christ" ministry plan for making disciples and developing future leaders.This type of relational mentoring cannot be accomplished in a classroom. It takes years to develop sound leaders--and it has proven to be time well spent.
If anyone is interested in learning more about establishing an effective equipping ministry through your local church, please contact the NACPF and we will be glad to assist you.Dr. Dwayne Milioni is the Lead Pastor of Open Door Church where he has served since 1999. He is blessed with Kay, his wife of 23 years and four children. Dr. Milioni has an M.A and an M.Div from Liberty University and a PhD in Applied Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where he teaches as Adjunctive Professor of Preaching and Pastoral Ministries. He also serves as the Board Chairman of the North American Church Planting Foundation. Serving the church and promoting the gospel are his passion. Knowing Christ is his treasure and joy.