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Youth for Christ as a Multiplication Movement

Conrad Parsons

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Abstract

When people in Western societies imagine Christian ministry, they more often think in terms of addition, such as adding members to a church. With some reflection and re-examination of God’s mission in the world, Christians can envisage multiplication of disciples. The Pacific Islands offer lessons in this shift of expectation.

The purpose of this study was to assess the recent success of Youth for Christ’s (YFC) expansion in the Pacific Region. This assessment used four prominent contemporary theories about evangelistic multiplication movements, where disciples are making disciples who make disciples. It discusses the identity of “church,” methods of evangelization and disciple-making, and the place of multiplication movements in achieving the Great Commission. The goal was to imagine reproducible, transferable principles that can advance YFC’s global vision that every young person be given an opportunity to become a follower of Jesus Christ.

YFC is committed to indigenous evangelism among teenagers. It has established new outreach ministries in more than thirty countries since 2008. During the same period YFC Australia has undergone radical transformation by implementing key components of multiplication movements. This has cemented recognition that to achieve such a grand vision YFC needs reproducible systems that equip new disciples to evangelize and disciple others.

The core components of an effective multiplication strategy founded on the Gospel can become the basis for reproducible and transferable systems relevant across the diverse nations of the Pacific. Pilot training seminars in several Pacific island nations taught disciple-making principles, shared learning from various national ministries and explored effective approaches to changing culture. These seminars were valuable in helping national ministries multiply disciples, navigate change and plan for the future.