On March 1, 2018, in Manila, Philippines. I stood before 229 church planting movement leaders gathered from 89 countries at the Bold Moves GCM conference. These leaders are the result of the humble beginnings of a new division of Cru, called Global Church Movements. On 30 September 2010, in a guest house in Pretoria, South Africa – 7 Cru staff met to start a church planting division within Cru. Steve Douglass, President and CEO of Campus Crusade for Christ, has asked Bekele Shanko to transition from leading our ministry in Southern and Eastern Africa launch GCM.
In that small boardroom, something big was about to happen. Bekele was facilitating a planning meeting and reminded the group about John 3:16, that God loves the whole world, meaning, every person, tongue, tribe, people and nation. And the “world” meant, at that time, nearly seven billion people, of which about two billion claimed to be Christians and five billion did not.
But how would we know if we have taken the Good News to the five billion people? The answer: if we could see a biblical, multiplying and locally sustainable church or missional community planted for every 1,000 people, in every village, neighborhood, high-rise and digital community. So in that guesthouse, a vision of planting an additional five million churches was born. Then exactly a year later, on September 30, 2011, the vision for GACX (Global Alliance for Church Multiplication) was born in Orlando, FL.
Eight Years Later
At the Bold Moves GCM conference in the Philippines earlier this month, about eight years after receiving the vision for five million churches, we reflected on what the Lord has done. We have seen a total of 1,305,268 churches and missional communities planted through our Global Alliance, of which 101,312 were planted through GCM. In GCM, we have over 26,000 workers who are involved in church planting movements around the world.
The focus of our global conference in Manila was to instill faith in our leaders to take bold actions to intentionally multiply leaders and churches, develop strategic partnerships, and expand the work to new areas. God used the conference to inspire and energize us.
As we take steps of faith to boldly lead, multiply, partner and expand, I believe God is taking GCM and the whole organization to a higher level of fruitfulness. I also believe God will show us an explosion of evangelism, discipleship and church multiplication in 2018.