Isn’t it interesting how God has wired change into the very fabric of creation?
Certainly, 2022 has been a season of change within the Church Multiplication and Discipleship (CMAD) movement. Some CMAD personnel have shifted roles — including me — and some of the structure has changed, but the focus on Unleashing the Kingdom Force and responding to the Holy Spirit’s promptings hasn’t changed. We exist to provide The Wesleyan Church (TWC) with relevant resources and networks of relationships to cultivate an ecosystem where revival and movement is God-led.
The CMAD team continues to pray fervently, care deeply and lean into an Acts 1:8 disciple-making and multiplication movement within TWC. As we look back on 2022, here are a few celebrations and highlights from what God did in each of our CMAD movements:
Within our Next Gen movement, hundreds of children and youth leaders were resourced and encouraged by our Fuel Conference and the free online resource kit. Leaning into the Spirit’s empowerment was a clear theme throughout Fuel. We really believe that the linchpin of revival will be the fire in our young people!
Beyond Fuel, the Next Gen team launched multiple cohorts throughout the year, provided helpful resources on significant cultural issues impacting our children and teens and coordinated a district youth leaders retreat. Rev. Heath Mullikin participated and testified,
This retreat was a welcome opportunity to connect with other youth ministers. This gathering was a great refreshment and encouragement to my spirit. There was no sense of competition but rather of camaraderie in the mission of sharing Jesus to this generation. Through our preparation conversations for Follow 2023, conversations of district-level events for youth ministry and conversations regarding LGBTQ+ situations, I left with a sense of support and practical ideas on how to increase engagement within my ministry.
In a unique way, Next Gen and our Hephzibah62:4 movement teamed up to equip over 200 Next Gen leaders in trauma-informed care. In 2022, Hephzibah62:4 celebrated 100 years of Wesleyan leadership. Hephzibah62:4 provides coaching, resources and financial support to Wesleyan churches and families throughout the U.S. and Canada, so all can engage in transforming the lives of vulnerable children in their communities. Since the relaunch in March 2019, Hephzibah62:4 has:
- Awarded adoption grants to 16 families, helping 19 children join their forever homes.
- Grown a network of 46 partnering churches, with over 30 additional churches investing financial resources.
- Equipped 16 churches and 70 individuals with grants to help their ministries to vulnerable children become more effective.
Pastor Emma Adams at Hope Church, a church plant in Seaford, Delaware, has been partnering with Hephzibah62:4 since 2020. Through the partnership they have received grants and training opportunities. Pastor Emma testified, “At our first baptism, we baptized 16 people. The first, Avery, was an 11-year-old girl with Down syndrome. Last week after church she told me, ‘I got baptized! I’m filled with the Spirit!’ We baptized six other children (three were fostered/adopted), one teen, nine adults of every tribe and tongue!”
Stories like Emma’s, where people far from God enter his kingdom, is the primary reason why the Church Multiplication movement exists.
In 2022, over 500 Wesleyan church planters and multipliers gathered at Exponential Conference in Orlando for inspiration and training. The number of churches living with an Acts 1:8 vision of multiplication is increasing dramatically. Over 225 leaders have gone through the Multipliers Learning Community, and the goal of seeing TWC reach a 16% tipping point of sending churches is not far off. In addition to reaching that goal, we are also praying for a 6% reproduction rate, which would be equivalent to 100-plus new churches a year, reaching new communities with the good news of Jesus.
One Church, which was sent out by Trinity Church, Indianapolis, Indiana, launched on January 23, 2022, in Westfield, Indiana. Since the launch, 20 people have accepted Christ as their Savior and 10 people have been baptized! Here is one of the stories:
Renee had never been a part of a church before. After she saw One Church’s community partnership in Grand Park, it struck a chord in her, since her son Jalen plays basketball for Westfield High School. Renee brought her family in hopes her son would connect, but along the way she felt called to get baptized, explaining, “If Jesus was killed publicly, I don’t want to live for him privately!”
Investing in and sending out church planters to start new faith communities with the purpose of reaching people far from God can only happen because of the foundation laid within our Discipleship movement. Our Discipleship team provides TWC with a steady stream of insightful webinars, discipleship and evangelism resources, and helpful tools to refocus churches on the mission of Jesus.
One of the big initiatives of 2022 was equipping leaders with the Emotionally Healthy Churches (EHC) resource kit. Hundreds of churches walked through this content and experienced powerful breakthrough in their churches. During the pandemic, Rev. Andrew Fetter of Fusion Community Church, Cobleskill, New York, walked his leaders and church through EHC and noted, “The content exposed blind spots and moved people into a more authentic relationship with God, which in turn has increased the faith in our church!”
Without a doubt, from the CMAD movement perspective, TWC is moving in the right direction — transforming lives, churches and communities with the hope and holiness of Jesus Christ. We are confident God will continue to do great things through our diverse Kingdom Force as we follow the lead of the Holy Spirit!
Rev. Dr. Ed Love is the executive director of the Church Multiplication and Discipleship Division of The Wesleyan Church.