The world seems chaotic and anxious these days, so it’s good for me to remind myself that God is always up to something good. God’s kingdom has not fallen apart, and God’s people have not lost hope. It’s interesting to note that every great spiritual awakening came out of a time of cultural confusion. When the world felt like it was on the edge of collapsing, God was catalyzing a new generation of audacious leaders focused on pointing people back to Jesus and life in his kingdom. The Church Multiplication and Discipleship (CMAD) team is watching God orchestrate something good!

Amid several CMAD personnel transitions, we have witnessed God’s faithfulness in bringing together a new team fully unified on Unleashing a Kingdom Force and responding to the Holy Spirit’s promptings. Our team continues to pray fervently, care deeply and lean into an Acts 1:8 disciple-making and multiplication movement within The Wesleyan Church (TWC). As we look back on 2023, here are a few celebrations and highlights from what God did in each of our CMAD movements.

Within our Next Gen movement, Reverend Santes Beatty, Next Gen director, noted a uniquely unifying presence of God across all our Wesleyan summer youth camps. Camps were filled to capacity, students responded to live boldly for the Lord and hundreds acknowledged a call to ministry.

The Next Gen team has expanded to include a stronger focus on kid’s ministry (led by Reverend Stephanie Rhyne) and young adult ministry (led by Reverend Ian Nacy). In addition to our core student ministry leadership, we are excited about these new areas of focus and alignment with the Wesleyan vision.

The Next Gen team is also preparing for an incredible Follow 2023 (December 28-30) where 5,000-plus students and leaders will convene for encouragement, equipping and spiritual empowerment. We are praying for God’s move in this next generation and that they will respond to God’s call on their life. Post-Follow, a new initiative will be launched called “Follow the Call” — a networking platform for young people to connect, find mentors and grow in their ministry calling. We really believe the linchpin of revival will be the fire in our young people and they are rising up to God’s call on their lives!

Within our Hephzibah62:4 movement, Director Jodi Lewis reported partnering churches doubling in size and demonstrating deeper engagement. 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. Several families were awarded adoption grants and multiple church plants received startup grants to help with their outreach to these children in the communities they serve. The Hephzibah 62:4 team gathered at the annual Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) conference in September and held an inspiring shoulder event for Wesleyan leaders. We are seeing more and more churches engaged in compassionate care and pure religion (James 1:27) which is an important component of any movement of God.

Within our Church Multiplication movement, we saw 500 Wesleyan church planters and multipliers gathered at the Exponential conference in Orlando for inspiration and training. The number of churches living with an Acts 1:8 multiplication vision is increasing dramatically. Reverend Jesse Pratt, director of Multiplication, also initiated a new Acts 1:8 podcast where fresh stories are shared of Acts 1:8 multiplication occurring within TWC.

Over 250 leaders have gone through the Multipliers Learning Community and the goal of seeing TWC reach a 16% tipping point of Acts 1:8 sending churches is not far off. In addition to reaching that goal, we are 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.

In 2023, the Acts 1:8 website resource was designed to help equip church leaders in developing and implementing an Acts 1:8 vision in their church. One of the tools Wesleyan leaders have found incredibly helpful in discerning their Acts 1:8 multiplication strategy is a demographic research tool called MissionInsite. Director of New Church Development Aimee Pratt was instrumental in creating the MissionInsite partnership and making it available to every Wesleyan church for free. Over 350 Wesleyan churches have already begun to utilize the data to better reach their Jerusalem and discern where to plant new churches in their Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).

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 movement is being led by Reverend Katie Lance. She has developed a powerful catalyst team focused on evangelism, disciple-making, church revitalization and multi-ethnic ministry resourcing. The team consists of Mark Wilson (evangelism), Ryan Sims (multi-ethnic), Corey Seales (digital discipleship), Megan Harris (revitalization) and Johel Rodriguez (Hispanic discipleship). This team will continue providing TWC with a steady stream of insightful webinars, discipleship and evangelism resources, and helpful tools to refocus churches on the mission of Jesus.

In 2024, Rev. Lance will be launching a training called “Mobilizing Disciple Makers,” where Wesleyan leaders can connect in a cohort and develop their church’s disciple-making strategy. It’s exciting to see so many churches desiring to fulfill the Great Commission and make disciple makers!

Without a doubt, from the CMAD movement perspective, TWC is headed 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 Holy Spirit’s lead! 

Rev. Dr. Ed Love is the executive director of the Church Multiplication and Discipleship Division of The Wesleyan Church.