It is possible that you have never heard of wikiChurch, Steve Murrell, Every Nation, or Victory Metro Fellowship. We hadn’t either until today, but we are excited about what God is doing through the rapidly growing kingdom advancement of globally missional networks like Steve’s cell church.
Steve Murrell is the senior pastor of Victory Metro Fellowship in Manila, Philippines. He is co-founder and president of Every Nation Network and director of the Real Life Foundation.
Follow Pastor Steve on Twitter: Go to Twitter
Check out the Victory Metro Fellowship website: Go to website
Check out VMF’s Facebook page: Go to Facebook
Follow VMF on Twitter. Go to Twitter
Visit VMF’s YouTube Channel: Go to YouTube
Check out VMF’s Flickr photo blog: Go to Flickr
Check out Every Nation’s website: Go to website
Check out Real Life Foundation’s website: Go to website
What is wikiChurch?
To accurately understand the concept of wikiChurch, you have to understand the story of Nupedia and Wikipedia.
In 2000, Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger started an online encyclopedia called “Nupedia.” Before contributed articles were accepted in Nupedia, they had to go through an extensive scholarly review process. Therefore, this online encyclopedia only included entries from experts.
In 2001, Wales and Sanger launched another online encyclopedia called “Wikipedia.” Thewikipart of Wikipedia comes from the Hawaiian word meaningquick. On this website, non-professionals, non-scholars, and non-experts can write articles that Nupedia scholars would review.
Take the opportunity to be completely blown away by the comparative results of the two online encyclopedia concepts:
After three years, Nupedia had only published 24 articles with 74 more in the review process by 2003.
After only one year, Wikipedia had published 20,000 articles by non-experts; yet, they were recognized as reliable published information by reviews of Nupedia professionals by 2002.
NuChurch vs. wikiChurch
Unfortunately, most churches function more like Nupedia than Wikipedia. Churches function like the development of traditional encyclopedias. The process requires experts and takes a long time to develop. Only qualified experts are allowed to lead evangelism outreach.
Today’s church needs to be a wikiChurch. We need to learn from Wikipedia’s successful concept that people of all ages, backgrounds, expertise, and culture (especially the unpaid) have something to contribute to everyone else. The core value of wikiChurch is that every believer, not just paid and seminary-trained clergy, are involved in ministry leadership. The wikiChurch models the church growth process in the Book of Acts. The mission of wikiChurch is to involve everyone in discipleship that spawns disciplemaking multiplication.
The Accidental Missionary
Here is how wikiChurch was birthed:
Steve and Deborah went on a mission trip to Manila, Philippines during the summer of 1984.
They had no idea what God wanted to do through them.
A one-month mission trip turned into 28 years of church multiplication ministry in Manila.
They founded Victory Metro Fellowship (VMF).
VMF began with 65 American university students working with Filipino university students.
The original 165 founding members of VCF has grown into a movement of over 52,000 students, professionals, and families who worship in multiple venues around Metro Manila.
VCF has equipped and empowered over 3,500 small group discipleship leaders who meet weekly in coffee shops, homes, offices, and shopping malls all over the city of Manila for Bible study, prayer, and fellowship.
VCF has trained and sent Filipino college campus ministers and church planters to serve as cross-cultural missionaries to Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Guam, India, Latvia, Malaysia, Russia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.
VCF has sent numerous short term evangelism and medical teams to over a dozen nations.
When the Murrells began VCF, they had very little experience in ministry and no missions training. Steve and Deborah’s only background was discipling people in small groups. For this reason, Steve refers to himself as “The Accidental Missionary” because he never set out to build a globally catalytic church planting ministry. All they set out to do was honor God and make disciples. Their roots were a campus ministry with students at Mississippi State University.
This “Accidental Missionary” used an “Accidental Strategy” called the “leading/leaving” model of organic leadership development. Steve and Deborah trained people with what they knew, and as a result, their disciples were trained and empowered to multipy from the beginning.
Go And Make Disciples
Everyone is called to be a disciple and make disciples. Christians inherently know that they are supposed to be a disciple and to make disciples, but most of them do not know where to start. Discipleship is not supposed to be complicated. It can be difficult, but it should not be complicated.
Jesus is our model for disciplemaking. True discipleship is not helping church people become better church people. True discipleship means finding people who do not know Jesus, introducing them to him, and helping them faithfully follow him.
In Matthew 4:19, Jesus calls his disciples. They were fishermen. Jesus’ disciples were not the most educated people during that time.
Jesus’ message and method were simple:
- Follow Jesus
- Fish for people who do not know him
- Fellowship with others.
One of the most common reasons people do not make disciples is because they do not feel ready for God to use them.
Plenty of excuses will always be used for not making disciples, but the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 does not say anything about being ready. In the Gospel of John, Jesus instructs Peter to feed his sheep even though Peter deserted and denied knowing him. This empowerment model clearly demonstrates an essential multiplication truth that Jesus is much more willing to use us than we feel ready to be used.
An important key to discipleship is not to stray from the basics of grace, faith and repentance. We must focus on the foundations of the gospel. The repetition, consistency, and focus on the gospel are more important than finding “new” ways to make disciples.
- Be a disciple
- Make disciples
- Train leaders
- Empower them to make disciples
Read the original article: Go to CBN’s website