The gospel of Jesus Christ is changing the world – it always has and always will. This weekend we gathered 140 disciples who are serious about making disciples. We’re taking Jesus’ Acts 1:8 commission to go to the ends of the earth to the end of the United States – South Florida.
Our mission is to see every resident of South Florida have repeated opportunities to hear and respond to the gospel.
We met with gospel trainers, pastors, lay leaders and other ordinary, everyday believers to talk strategy and method. What will it take to reach the diverse population of over 5 million people in the Miami-metro area? Our strategy is this: abandon the regional megachurch model and create a network of neighborhood churches. Our method is to mobilize disciples to make disciples who make disciples.
In the book of Acts, we see that the movement of the Holy Spirit spread like wildfire in the ancient world. Within a couple weeks of Jesus commissioning the Apostles, there are already over 8,000 new believers! Everybody was telling everybody, and churches were being planted left and right.
The Apostles didn’t have years of seminary or formal training under their belts, but what they did have was the power of the Holy Spirit within them and the things they had seen and heard. Our challenge is to take what we have seen and heard about Jesus and tell everybody – to multiply disciples by the thousands and millions.
It’s not something we can do if we just leave it up to the “professionals.” We have about 15 pastors on staff at Family Church – but over five million people to reach. Even if we gathered people into groups of three, this is an impossible task. That’s why we don’t need 15 pastors to disciple five million people; we need more like one million people to reach and disciple five people!
We’re going to have to engage hundreds of thousands of people and that means church will have to look different. It may not be church in a building with a full-time Pastor and staff. It might be church in a store or a park or a home. If we do this, we can plant thousands of churches and reach millions of people.
Was Jesus serious or joking when He told His followers to go and make disciples? As Jesus was getting nailed to the cross, buried in the tomb and being raised to life, He wasn’t joking – He was serious. Personally, I think we need to get real serious about reaching millions of people and planting thousands of churches. We’re committed to reaching the end of the United States; will you commit to reaching your Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria?