Zane Pratt: Are Explosive Disciple-Making Movements Really Healthy?

You’ve probably heard that Muslims are coming to Christ throughout the Islamic world in record numbers, many of them prompted by dreams and visions. Perhaps you’ve also heard of related disciple-making movements and church-planting movements that report exponential multiplication of converts and fledgling churches. But what’s the real story behind these stats, and are these explosive growth movements really healthy and biblical? Zane Pratt joins us today to answer.

Zane Pratt was elected as the IMB’s vice president for global training in November 2014. For 20 years, he served as an IMB church planter and regional leader in Central Asia. From 2011-13, Pratt was dean of the Billy Graham School at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he serves as associate professor of Christian missions. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University; a master’s degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; and is a Ph.D. candidate at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is co-author of Introduction to Global Missions and a contributor to Theology and Practice of Mission. You can follow him on Twitter at @ZanePratt.

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3 thoughts on “Zane Pratt: Are Explosive Disciple-Making Movements Really Healthy?

  1. I enjoyed the interview very much. The question on church planting movements and discipleship movements are very relevant to our past and present ministries. Thanks for making it available.

  2. While I can appreciate the concerns Zane Pratt expresses concerning syncretism and discipleship depth, his analysis is quite narrow. It doesn’t take into account the many genuine movements that are happening around the world that are made up of sincere, obedient disciples of Christ. These disciples are growing in their faith and depth AS they share with many others. Not all movements and not everyone who trains people to start movements are reductionist or shallow. I’d be curious what his answer is to seeing oral culture people become reproducing disciples of Jesus (rapidly or not). Adding extra-biblical requirements for leadership (like you have to be a believer for a long time first, and you need in depth theological training) goes further than Paul or Jesus went. Do we know more than they did about how to make genuine disciples who grow in both depth and breadth?

  3. Thanks, this is a good summation of several key areas. Wondering if I bumped into one of you guys in Central Asia back in the 90s!

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