The Lord gives us a pattern of how he wants us to transform the world. He laid this wisdom down in the Book of Acts, as well as, modeling it to his Apostles throughout his three year journey to the Cross. By understanding this way of impact, or this pattern, we can understand how Jesus’ leadership led to movements that never stopped impacting the world, even until now.
Once we understand how these movements operated, we can then look at what we are doing and see if there are any values we are missing, or principles we are contradicting. Notice that all the movements of God began with impacting the lost. His movements began by reaching out to those who did not know him, then building them up as leaders that would change the world. The real movements start with new converts being discipled as world changers.
WHAT’S THE PATTERN?
There is a pattern for everything and everyone who intends to undertake an endeavor should sit and ask himself or herself how it is being done and why it is being done that way, only then can one think of improving on the status quo.
Where do all of these come in from the Bible? We see that in the book of Acts. First, in Acts Chapter 2, we see mass evangelism where they proclaimed the gospel and got about 3,000 people saved at once. Then in Acts chapter 6, they raised leaders from the individuals who had given their lives to Christ. The fruit from such movement or discipleship could then be multiplied into various parts of the world. This is essentially what we see the apostles do in the Book of Acts throughout Judea and Samaria as they were already instructed by Jesus Christ in Acts 1:8.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (KJV)
Evangelism is impossible without the help of the Holy Spirit. If there is any success we think we do have now, it can only be traced to the help of the Holy Spirit.
Principles of Successful Movements
The Bible is our primary point of reference and inspiration in carrying out our assignment and we were always looking into it to get guidelines. In it, we saw that Evangelism could take different forms viz one to one, via the media, or the crusading type and the crusading type of evangelism is common in the Bible. In the crusading type, we noted the following:
Phase 1 – Proclamation, mass evangelism
“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.” (Act 2:14, NKJV).
In the above text, the day of Pentecost was the first point of the public proclamation; the offer was salvation was made.
Phase 2 – Mass transformation from new converts
“Then those who gladly received his word were baptized, and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.” (Act 2:41, NKJV).
The second point is that the truth is given to man and man has the choice to receive or not to receive. In our case study, however, there was mass acceptance.
Apostles stayed there and led the new converts – “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Act 2:42, NKJV)The third point is that back then, the disciples would preach and stay there unlike what we have nowadays where most men would preach and then leave the place. We believe that the disciple’s example should be followed and that is one thing that we kept doing in the Philippines with our movements.
Phase 3 – Mass sending of new disciples
First there is a result or fruit and then multiplication. Once there is a result, you can multiply that result.
And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
Praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. Acts 2: 46-47 (KJV)
The result of the Apostles’ stay was fruitfulness and multiplication. The new disciples did what they learned and had been taught. They learnt to love people. They learnt to work out the fruits of the Holy Spirit. In the scripture quoted above, we see that when they had fruits, they multiplied.
How to Start Where We Are
In our society, business, homes, work, during lunch, and everywhere we find ourselves, we can evangelize and start discipleship movements. I believe that was how the mass evangelism and transformation movement continued in the book of Acts.
You can only multiply what you personally live as. You can’t multiply something you don’t have.
If you want to see fruitful movements, if you’re going to see multiplication and successes globally, you should start small. In that area or location where you are, where God has placed you, you have to know what type of fruit first before you can multiply it globally.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How was my life transformed? When you determine what changed your life, you have fruit, or experience, in that category. You can use that personal experience as a foundation of authority for helping others encounter their transformation with Jesus as well.
- Am I doing anything I haven’t lived out? We normally only have authority in things we personally done with God. Otherwise, it is just theory. Theory doesn’t work unless it actually has evidence or results backing it up. Theory also doesn’t transfer well especially if the teacher doesn’t have any results or fruit. When we identify these non-experiential “methods” we are doing, it’s important to prune anything from our life that is not bearing fruit, as well as, to stop trying to make it bear fruit in other endeavors.
- Where else can I multiply the good fruit I already have? All of us, to some extent, probably have fruit that is already successful. Once we identify that, discover where the Lord is guiding you – through prayer – to reach out and make a greater impact to those around you. Loren Cunningham, co-founder of Youth With A Mission, once told me to, “Once you bear the fruit the Holy Spirit gives witness to, multiply it to all continents of the world.
“Once you bear the fruit the Holy Spirit give witness too, multiply it to all continents of the world.” – Loren Cunningham, co-founder of Youth With A Mission
To learn more about making an impact in your sphere of influence listen to our Impact Workshop Series. In this series, we include all the main workshops we teach all of our missionaries before they go on outreach. We go over the three main pillars of practical outreach: Gospel proclamation, testimony sharing, and how to give a life-changing discipleship teaching.