Ingredients of a Grassroots Movement


Our purpose is “to train indigenous leaders both near and far to multiply missional church planting movements.” That’s a mouthful but it fits what we see in the New Testament and the book of Acts. It also fits the missional activities of the Apostle Paul.

In the eight to ten years of Paul’s three missionary journeys, it appears from Acts and the Pauline epistles that between six and eight church planting movements were launched in the Eastern half of the Roman Empire through the power of the Holy Spirit. These were:

  • Cyprus
  • Phrygia
  • Galatia
  • Macedonia
  • Achaia
  • Asia
  • Illyricum (Romans 15:19)
  • Rome
  • …and possibly Spain
Church Planting Movements

Some time ago I did research on Christian Grassroots movement to try to glean the underlying dynamics of some of the great Christian Movements in history. I looked at the early Christian movement (Acts), the Celtic Christian movement under Patrick of Ireland, the Methodist movement under John Wesley, and the Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union (became Intervarsity Christian Fellowship).
In addition, I was a part of Campus Crusade for Christ (another student movement), the Jesus Movement, and Christian Associates (a church planting movement). With all this as a backdrop, I detect the following five ingredients of a grassroots Christian movement:

  1. A Powerful Message (Conviction…the Gospel)
  2. A Powerful Experience (Encounter…with Christ)
  3. Powerful Multipliers (Connection…synergistic community with other Christ-followers)
  4. A Powerful Effect (Transformation…of individuals and society)
  5. A Powerful Trajectory (Direction, movement and structure)

We believe that the book of Romans was Paul’s manifesto that led to the church planting movements in the cities he visited. This is why we use Romans as the foundation of our training. We believe that when this message is grasped and implemented, that it will lead to people coming to Christ, disciples being established, and leaders and churches being multiplied.

Next month I will elaborate about the three-year, six-phase training that we believe will result in leadership and church multiplication in cities such as Kampala, Juba and Kisumu, the cities we launched our training in this past April. We also have inquiries to start this training in Ghana, Nigeria and Brazil.


As a result of Paul’s two-year ministry in Ephesus, “all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord” (Acts 19:10). This is the outcome we are aiming for. Please pray for those we are training and for us as we seek to see the Kingdom of God spread virally through our training to see disciples made of all people both near and far.

To Rome and Beyond!

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