Skip to main content

“The Magic of Multiplication: How my church can make it happen,” was on April 27. It featured Dr. George Patterson and Doug Lucas, discussing…

  • the possibilities of growing your church, both internally and externally, through the magic of multiplication

Click here for printable pdf of the webinar notes


Dr. George Patterson – “Insightful, pastoral and lively”, 83 years old, Sebring, FL

  • Today’s Webinar
    • We will explore the possibilities of growing your church, both internally and externally, through the magic of multiplication
    • Since 1970’s, Dr. Patterson trained pastors and planted churches in Central America, then continued training church planters at Western Seminary (1989-2007)
  • Why obedience? Booklet written in 70’s “Obedience-Oriented Education and Evangelism by Extension” (Later changed to “Theological Education and Evangelism by Extension”)
    • I went to teach in traditional Bible institute with classroom training with theory that would multiply churches but it didn’t work. Had hundreds of villages to reach.
    • Shifted to extension in villages to teach elder types, win them to Christ, train them in homes.
    • God blessed & church started to multiply
    • Snag
      • Older pastors/students opposed it because they weren’t ordained by their standards
      • Baptisms & Lords supper “not valid”
    • Obedience to Jesus comes before man-made rules
    • Curtis Sergeant – orthodoxy vs orthopraxy = knowledge vs obedience
    • How did it play out?
      • Went to one village and his disciple went to others
      • 15 yrs almost 100 churches started. Nothing compared to today but great for “the day”
      • Home churches unheard of
      • Did everything “wrong” but basic principles from New Testament (NT)
    • Same or Different from DMM?
      • Similar, attuned to NT, power of Holy Spirit, glorify Christ above all and keep things simple to multiply rapidly
      • Curtis has clarified NT principles and easy to follow
      • George uses NT as filter. If church policy/practice not required in NT…it’s out. Keep to what Christ and apostles have commanded. All healthy movements use this filter.
      • Audience Question: Patterson’s book “Come Quickly Dawn” – written in Spanish to train pastors in Honduras, novel story, traditional church works their way through problems and hundreds of home churches. Based on true events. People learn better from illustration instead of abstract lecture.
    • Movements Surprising?
      • The most productive decade in history. Surprise or expectation? Not surprise because NT teaches multiplication & reproduction. Christ’s parables show this and multiplication is God’s norm but vastly neglected. But surprised by extent that multiplication carried. What they saw in Central America doesn’t compare. Thrilled me to see Holy Spirit work.
    • Recommendations for DMMs?
      • Movements started by missionaries with traditional background. Have principles but not experience. I beg you not to try to work the principles mechanically. Doesn’t work. Have a passionate love for Christ that motivates them. If you love Me obey my commands…this produces the movement.
      • Biggest errors – come from Western background with separate programs. Need to integrate, combine spiritual gifts, blend pastoral training with church planting, 1 Cor 12, Eph 4, Rom 12, Do all to the glory of Christ. Less book reading/ abstraction and jump in and obey Jesus out of passionate love.
      • Tough to teach passion – more caught than taught. Can’t teach. Take an apprentice on a trip to see the churches multiply. A day or two observing will do far more than months of lecture/books. Model as Jesus and Paul. Let them make mistakes. Learn much faster and accurately.
      • Model in Honduras – take a principle, teach it, hold them accountable to 65 topics to emphasize.
        • Kept track to what his disciple would agree to do. Next time, had him report for accountability in presence of other trainees, peer pressure
        • I must share fully responsibility for them doing it effectively in Holy Spirit as they are.
        • Bible college about regurgitation of words, phrases & beliefs but you held them accountable to commands of Christ and other NT commands. God holding them accountable and holding themselves accountable.
        • Taught academic, accountable to obedience & then multiply 2 Tim 2:2
      • Married to Booklets? – some being trained were poor readers, and they couldn’t afford books. So made tiny booklets that got right to the point. Made it easy to read and do.
        • – Galen Currah’s site – George Patterson’s legacy 117 free study booklets – walk person through practice and then obedience in a simplified way. 60 languages around the world. Needed them for home churches in India.
      • This idea of accountability & obedience built into DBS (Discovery Bible Studies), 3/3rds. How could you imagine these practices integrated with local church in USA today. Preachers speaks, people return every week but how do we know they are leaving and applying. How can we integrate these NT principles?
        • It is happening now – traditional churches starting to send workers from their church to start home churches for people that will not attend traditional church
        • Key – don’t ever require whole congregation to change. Every church has a few members that are eager to do more for Christ and serve. Ministry positions filled so sit frustrated. Free them and turn them loose to start home churches. Require what Christ and apostles required and nothing else. Can retain mother church doctrine and denomination but not held to man-made rules but amazing to what can happen through the Holy Spirit.
        • Church needs to simplify programming so people can focus on multiplication? Overly busy and lose sight of the core things?
          • Jesus was the great simplifier. Took Torah and reduced them to one sentence. To simplify you must know core issues of Christ’s/apostles commands and apostolic practices
          • For Westerners, greatest difficulty in simplifying, way too slow in obeying Jesus
            • Ethiopian asked to be baptized immediately
            • Don’t delay in obeying Jesus, delay is decay
            • Rapid obedience
          • What if not pastor yet…attending meetings…how do we hold them accountable? May not even be believer. Word “pastor” was used once in NT for humans besides Jesus (Eph 4). Concept of Sr Pastor I respect but not in NT. Shepherding always done by elders. Not hung up on it. Don’t hold to manmade rules to who can baptize. Phillip did and was not an ordained pastor.
            • We have formalized roles more than what was done in NT and placed unrealistic conditions that slow movement down.
            • Person not believer but interested – prepare them for next meeting for them to tell a story about Jesus and will convert themselves.
            • One of greatest enemies of free flow of God’s grace in America is we are all striving for excellence, let’s lower the bar/standards until they are just Biblical.
            • – 30 multiplication principles, bite sized, emailed daily
          • What will it take to change course here in U.S.? (lack of growth)
            • God already bringing change about and letting older denominations decline
              • House churches growing without high-tech and high academic programs with no place in scripture. Impossible model to imitate. Must be able to imitate for multiplication.
              • Americans are “satisfied” “wealthy”. Multiplication will happen among younger, post moderns, poorer. Not in older denominations that traditions are so heavy that they are impossible to reproduce rapidly.
              • Rabbit vs Elephant – Elephant = longer gestation and one baby.
              • Stop making idol of “bigness”- easier to win people to Christ in their own home or friend’s, own people, clothes
            • Mentor and Multiply Website – passion to see 1,000 come to Christ and must be done through thinking small and house churches. Larger congregation, the less members are involved in evangelism per member. Christian Schwartz proved this through research, greatest hindrance is size.
            • Any changes you would make?
              • More skill modeling – less lecture/books/classroom. Train like Christ and Paul.
              • More careful about holiness in my own life. I would get careless. Lost temper on field, not very loving. Be more gentle & patient except about obeying Jesus and expecting people to grow.
            • Advice you would give to a beginner to maximize impact?
              • Obey Jesus above all – 7 basic commands and base ministry on general commands
              • Go with someone who is actually planting, go to learn, keep mouth shut, observe, learn, take notes, ask questions…not to bless the poor. Short time doing that is worth more than studying about it.
              • One thing taught with most feedback — out of love for Jesus, obey Him above and before all else. Memorize His basic commands: repent, believe, be baptized, Lords supper, love, pray, make disciples Lord blesses that if done in love & obedience
            • Resources
            • What’s next for you?
              • Beginning to write curriculum, Bible school in Cincinnati to reignite John Wesley’s home church movement of “class meetings”. Writing on all levels.
              • Curriculum geared to rapid multiplication for Christ and break loose from heavy that holds back
Linda Epeards

Author Linda Epeards

More posts by Linda Epeards

Leave a Reply