Ralph Moore and Myron Pierce are catalytic leaders who are motivated by their love for Jesus and the desire to see disciples and churches multiplied. Both have incredible stories that highlight God’s grace and power in their lives.
“When I found out what I was doing was called making and multiplying disciples, I thought, well, shouldn’t everyone be doing this?” -Myron Pierce
In Episode 2 of Practical Multiplication, Moore and Pierce pull apart three crucial dimensions of multiplication: disciple making, capacity building, and mobilization.
After spending 8 years in prison, God miraculously lead Pierce from a life-sentence to a life of church planting. Since then, he has been a pioneer in the world of “side hustle pastors,” as he affectionally calls it. He admits that making disciples has always come naturally, which is evidenced by the numerous movements, businesses, and churches he has played key roles in starting.
Pastors like Moore and Pierce are shifting away from capital intensive church planting models towards more creative, strategic and intentional methods. Pierce asserts that without clear definitions of what a disciple truly is, new churches will have a difficult time pinning down lasting disciple making visions and strategies.
At Mission Church, where Pierce is Founder and Lead Pastor, they define disciple making as “leading people into a hope-filled life in Christ” and do this through intentional relationships, invitational experiences, and being a major influence where God has placed them.
In regard to his first planting experience, Moore recalls, “I was ready to give up after we went through our life savings in the first two months of planting a church.”
Thankfully, God sustained Moore and now he is a major reason over two thousand churches have been planted. However, he has lately become an advocate for simpler, more meaningful methods of church planting.
According to the recent Exponential and Barna poll numbers, only 6-7 percent of the churches in America are making new disciples. We are in need of a new paradigm to measure church success and increase capacity in our disciple-making movements.
The traditional measures of church success, large crowds and big budgets, don’t actually reveal whether or not we are making new disciples. Furthermore, if we are focused on adding, not multiplying, we will always be hindered by how much physical space we have.
Moore laments the fact that many church planters think they have to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to essentially become a Christian event planner. When Sunday service is the main goal, we are no longer in the disciple-making business. Many churches are realizing they can add capacity online rather than with buildings.
In this new COVID-19 era where churches are forced to rethink methods and measurements for success, there is a major opportunity to rethink how church planting can and ought to be done.
Pierce is currently developing leaders that are planting fully digital churches in new cities, giving them the ability to reach more people than ever before.
“The advent of COVID-19 has helped us innovate and we are seeing the acceleration of Gospel saturation in our area,” Pierce explains when asked about how this current pandemic has impacted church planting. “I’m not hanging my hat on digi-church, I’m hanging my hat on disciple making.”
Disruption always leads to innovation.
The mission stays the same, it is just our methods that might need to adapt in order to mobilize more leaders.
Mobilizing leaders is more than giving them a role passing out bulletins or directing traffic in the parking lot. The level to which we call people in our own churches will determine if/how they make disciples on their own.
Pierce notes that many churches function like museums, simply showing people what has always been done. At Mission Church, he wants his organization to function like a dream-factory. He wants his people to realize their potential, dream about ways to make disciples, and flooded the “market” by living out their call to multiply disciples.
“Jesus built a dream factory for his disciples and that’s why we are here today.”