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Redefining Strategy: Embracing God's Blueprint for Church Multiplication

by Dave Miller

When we say "strategy," it’s not what you might think. This term often brings to mind rigid plans, detailed timelines, and strict metrics, but most often elicits a stressful thought of mandated outcome.  However, our understanding of strategy, shaped by our faith and experiences, is fundamentally different.

The Conventional Understanding of Strategy

In many contexts, especially in Western cultures, strategy implies a meticulously crafted plan—a one-inch binder full of analysis, research, and step-by-step instructions to achieve specific goals. This approach involves setting timelines, executing tasks, and adjusting to meet predefined metrics, particularly in terms of time and efficiency. While this methodical approach can be effective in various fields, it falls short when applied to the dynamic and spiritually guided work of church multiplication and leadership.

We are pushing back against the traditional concept of strategy. Many people express frustration or skepticism when they hear the word "strategy." This reaction stems from the perception that strategy is about human effort and control—pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps and making things happen through sheer willpower and intentionality.

A Different Kind of Strategy

Mark and I propose a different kind of strategy—one that is rooted in intentional preparation suited for reaction and response rather than proactive creation based on future timelines. This approach is about staying connected to God, recognizing His ongoing work, and adapting in real-time based on the guidance we receive. Instead of getting marching orders from God to execute independently, we believe in continually collaborating with Him, adjusting our actions based on the evolving circumstances and divine insights we gather.

The Trinitarian Blueprint

To truly understand this concept, we need to look back to the Trinitarian nature of God. Before creation, there was God—the Father who wills, the Son who accomplishes, and the Spirit who empowers. This dynamic relationship is evident from the very beginning of Genesis. The Father wills creation, the Son speaks it into existence, and the Spirit brings it to life. This pattern underscores that our role is not to create but to respond to God’s creation and ongoing work.

Partnering with God

When we enter the harvest field, it's crucial to recognize that the chief strategist and worker is the Son of God and the Spirit of God. The will of the Father is for all to come to repentance. Christ has accomplished everything necessary for the salvation of the nations, and the Spirit is empowering the new creation through the spoken Word of the Gospel. Our task is to partner in what Jesus has already accomplished and what the Spirit is currently empowering.

Recognizing and Responding to Patterns

Our job is not to come up with new patterns but to recognize the existing patterns of Scripture. Throughout the Bible, we see a clear pattern of how God works. As we engage in the harvest, our focus should be on listening to the Spirit and identifying these patterns. Abiding, entry, gospeling, discipleship, church formation, and leadership development are the path. By understanding and aligning with these divine patterns, we can respond appropriately and partner effectively with God’s ongoing work.

Practical Phases of Strategy

In practical terms, our work involves several phases: adoption, gospeling, believers, local church, churches reproducing, churches multiplying, and sustained gospel presence. These phases are not tasks to be completed in isolation but interconnected responsibilities requiring continuous adjustment based on God’s guidance. 

For example, when it comes to gospeling, our primary goal is to proclaim the Gospel from mouth to ear, just as Jesus and the apostles did. This method, though seemingly simple, aligns with the scriptural pattern and is proven effective through generations. By equipping existing believers to share the Gospel within their communities, we can accelerate the spread of the Kingdom more effectively than through complex, human-devised strategies.

Overcoming Barriers

When we encounter barriers, it’s crucial to delve deeper into Scripture and prayer, seeking to understand what God is teaching us through these challenges. Rather than resorting to human ingenuity and creating new methods, we should reaffirm our commitment to divine patterns and trust in God’s plan. This approach ensures that our innovations serve to facilitate God’s work rather than becoming ends in themselves.

The Role of Innovation

Innovation has its place in mission work, but it must always aim to support and facilitate God’s established patterns. For instance, if we use media or technology to share the Gospel, the ultimate goal should still be to create opportunities for personal, mouth-to-ear presentations of the Gospel. When innovation becomes an end in itself, it can distract us from the core apostolic task and impede the effectiveness of our efforts.

Responsibilities and Opportunities

Understanding the distinction between responsibilities and opportunities is essential. Responsibilities are the actions we must take based on the patterns we see in Scripture, such as proclaiming the Gospel and engaging in prayer. Opportunities are the divine moments we recognize and respond to, facilitated by our preparedness and sensitivity to the Spirit’s leading.


In redefining strategy, we emphasize a partnership with God that is responsive and aligned with biblical patterns. Our role is to recognize and join in God’s ongoing work, using tools developed to engage the biblical pattern + guidance He provides through Scripture and the Holy Spirit. By staying connected to God and adapting in real-time, we can effectively participate in the multiplication of the church and the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

Until there’s #NoPlaceLeft


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