“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” – 2 Timothy 2:2
We teach church planters to not only envision to plant one church but to plant movements. Our training in church planting is all about planting multigenerational churches: churches getting grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. We don’t only want to see the apple but the apple trees that come forth from that one apple!
Our God is a God of multiplication. We see this concept in nature, we see it in families, and we see it in the way the first apostles planted churches. We call a Church Planting Movement a network of at least 100 house churches with a minimum of 4 generations.
Church Planting and Business Planting
Since 2020 our teams in South India planted around 67 house churches to 3 generations. Below illustrates how God changes lives and transforms communities by combining church planting and business planting. We are seeing a Church Planting Movement emerging together with a Business Planting Movement.
1. This is Mira. Mira lives in Southern India. She was trained late 2019 and early 2020 on how to plant both churches and businesses. In 2020, Mira started a 1st generation house church. Together with someone else she started a print shop. Everything she learned she passed on to Neena based on 2 Timothy 2:2.
2. This is Neena. Neena is illiterate. The training she received from Mira was not from a textbook, but from a picture book. From Mira, she learned how to hold a simple house meeting, how to prepare a Bible Study with an audio Bible, how to draw a Bible story, and to ask the right questions. Neena planted a 2nd generation house church and started a business. She started selling clothes.
3. Here, we see Neena at work. She organizes sales parties in the villages where there are no clothing stores and asks her hostesses to invite their neighbors as well. When she gets the opportunity, she shares the gospel or prays for the things the women share with her. Through special answers to prayer, people come to faith.
4. Through Neena’s testimony, her husband (on the left in the picture) and her 3 sons (on the right in the picture) come to faith in the same year. All of them were baptized.
5. After helping his mother with her mobile textile shop for a while and learning from her, Rashit, one of Neena’s sons, started a business in office supplies.
6. Rashit also starts a house church in a neighboring village whereby he planted a 3rd generation church.
Three generations of house churches were planted in South India in 2 years. It takes a few people to put into practice what they learn to multiply churches and businesses. Multiplication is so much faster than addition. How else could the first church have had such a far-reaching influence on our world’s history?
Paul’s network and how the first church expanded rapidly as those instructed by Paul passed on what they had learned (see 2 Timothy 2:2).
In this great story we see God working by planting churches and planting businesses at the same time. Our church planters become self-sustainable and reach the unreached at the same time.