“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt 28:19–20 NIV)

Before watching the SATS symposium on Multiplication Network, I had no idea who they were. But now that I know a little more about the organization, I can say: What important work!

Multiplication Network’s vision is “to see a healthy church representing the Kingdom of God in every community,” and its mission is “to equip leaders with the tools to strengthen and multiply healthy churches.” Their core values are Christian integrity, servant leadership and teamwork, excellence in training and material, high reproducibility and easy access, and stewardship and accountability.

The ministry was founded in 2000 in Latin America by Dr. John Wagenveld after he and his wife planted a new church in Puerto Rico. Since 2010, Multiplication Network (MN) has experienced rapid growth through expanding its training material and its strategic partnerships with a number of global organizations. It now comprises five “hubs” around the world, including those in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. In 2022, MN helped to plant over 7000 new churches.

So, what is their modus operandi and how could you work with them?

The ministry partners with various denominations and organizations in order to train church planters and to train mentors to those planters. All the material on offer is downloadable via the MN website for free, and one can access an online tool titled “Take Your Church’s Pulse,” which helps those already in leadership positions to use certain characteristics to assess the health of their church(es).

When it comes to MN training, you could follow the “More Churches” path where the goal is to see a fledgling church established. The process, in simple terms, is as follows:

  1. Attend a vision workshop (one day)
  2. Attend a church planter retreat (three days)
  3. Train mentors of the church planter (one month)
  4. Work through the training modules (12)
  5. Plant a church, develop the congregation.

The other path, called “Stronger Churches,” is intended for those already working in their local church and the goal is to see churches strengthened, but also to encourage the planting of daughter churches where appropriate. This path unfolds as follows:

  1. Attend a vision workshop (one day)
  2. Take Your Church’s Pulse (diagnostic tool)
  3. Work through the training modules (12) and implement strategies for improvement
  4. Take Your Church’s Pulse (an opportunity for reassessment).

Multiplication Network is also working on a project with Coalition of the Willing (COTW) where the goal is to map the locations of churches globally to identify areas where there is little or no church activity, areas where there is some activity, and areas that are saturated. They aim to have established a global directory of church planters by their 2024 gathering with the Lausanne Movement. I’m not sure what form this will take, but since I’m visually inclined, I hope there will be an interactive map of sorts—imagine that.

What stood out to me during this SATS symposium was that MN and its partner organizations come alongside the “average Joes.” In some areas—probably more so in rural settings and harder-to-reach communities—churches start out as pockets of believers meeting in the backyards of those who are excited about what God has done in their lives, who are keen to share their testimonies, and who want to provide a safe space for new believers to meet.

Many of these informal church planters are unlikely to have any form of seminary training. And aren’t these contexts exactly where networking and multiplication of the kingdom are needed? “Go and make disciples of all nations.” (Matt 28:19 NIV) In the global garden, planting seeds (churches) in newly tilled ground is probably the best way to expand the harvest.

I also love how MN and its partners bridge the gap between God-glorifying desires and the training and equipment of Christian leaders. It reminds me of how, when a crowd of >5000 needed to be fed and all that the disciples were able to round up were five loaves and two fish, Jesus’s response was, “Bring them here to me.” (Matt 14:18 NIV) … Bring me what you have and I will use it.

I’m certain God will continue watering the seeds planted by ministries like these. May the harvest require ever more workers.

  • To watch the full presentation on Multiplication Network by Krishna Ramsundar and Gary Teja, follow this link.
  • Contact SATS to find out more about both formal study and short courses.
  • If you’d like to read more about Multiplication Network, visit their website.
  • You’ll find the Take Your Church’s Pulse book and tool here.

Short Bio: Carrie Milton is a veterinarian and language practitioner. After completing her Bachelor of Veterinary Science and working with a variety of animals for a number of years, she reawakened her love for the written word. Accredited by the Professional Editors’ Guild, she has tried her hand at everything from theses to fiction.