Resources that edify, equip, and empower disciples of Jesus to make disciples of Jesus.


Show Table of ContentsHide Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Foreword Preface

Chapter 1: Introducing Ephesiology

Chapter 2: church planting movements in the Book of Acts

Chapter 3: Launching a Movement I: Missiological Exegesis

Chapter 4: Launching a Movement II: Missiological Reflection

Chapter 5: Launching a Movement III: Missiological Theology

Chapter 6: Grounding a Movement: Missiological Theology II

Chapter 7: Leading a Movement

Chapter 8: Multiplying a Movement

Chapter 9: Sustaining a Movement

Chapter 10: The Anatomy of a Movement


Appendix A: Movement Action Plan

Appendix B: Movement Maturity Matrix


Ancient Sources

About the Author

Scripture Index

Topical Index

A Study of the Ephesian Movement
Michael T. Cooper
The city of Ephesus was the site of the most significant church-planting movement in the early church, with 40 percent of the New Testament texts relating to it. What made that city the epicenter of the movement? And how can we replicate sustained movements in a world that feels so different? This is not another methodology or attempt to re-contextualize evangelicalism. Rather, it is a journey from the launch of the church in Ephesus as it became a movement grounded in God’s mission and led by those who multiplied generations of disciples.

Michael T. Cooper focuses on Paul and John as missiological theologians who successfully connected Jesus’s teaching with the cultural context and narrative of the people in Ephesus. Their ability to relate the God of all creation to a people who sought him in vain resulted in “the Way” transforming the religious, intellectual, economic, and social fabrics of the Ephesian society. Ephesiology offers a comprehensive view of the redemptive movement of the Holy Spirit in this city and compels us to ask the question: how can we effectively connect Christ to our culture?

Through this study of a movement, discover how the Holy Spirit still changes lives, cities, and the world. 


  • I am convinced that Jesus has designed his church for world transformation—that world impact is baked into the very nature and design of the church. Michael Cooper knows this and has focused his scholarship on trying to figure out the inherently movemental nature of the church. Ephesiology is precisely the kind of reflection on the missional potential of the New Testament church that is needed in our time. It deserves to be widely read.

    Alan Hirsch award winning writer on movemental theology, spirituality, and leadershipincluding books like The Forgotten Ways and The Permanent Revolution. Founder of Forge Missional Training Network, 100 Movements, and The 5Q Collective

  • Having worked as a missionary, an outreach pastor in the United States, and now heading an initiative for the Evangelical Free Church of America for the unreached people groups, UPGs, I feel that the topic of this book is very timely. I am presently working alongside several CP movements in Africa and the leaders of these movements are beginning to struggle with the tension between movement and institution. The American church watches and marvels at these movements but remains asleep as to their own condition. This book has the potential to challenge and clarify the changes needed in America and offer warning and help to the global movements!
    Rev. Rick Burkeassociate director of Global Equipping, Unreached People Initiative, Reach Global, EFCA
  • Who better to dig into the model of Ephesus than a missionary church-planter, turned missiologist, turned mission leader? Michael Cooper brings helpful breadth and depth to this work. His extensive experience and ongoing exposure to the church and the need around the world give him a unique platform. After decades of pragmatic, programmatic models, the church needs an exegetically-driven path forward.
    Dr. Gary Fujinoprofessor of Diaspora Studies, Missional University, Global Diaspora Network
  • I have personally been enlightened by Michael’s insights in regards to what it takes to start a movement like the early church that spanned much of the known world with the Gospel. Though I have earned multiple theological degrees, this is the first time I have heard the insights Michael has given in this book. It has motivated me to the point that I am having him train my staff and board of elders and deacons—hoping to light the fire for evangelism in their hearts as well.
    Rev. Steve Gibsonlead pastor, Wellspring Church, Hudsonville, Michigan
  • I love the concept of a book that examines the multiplication and growth of the early church in Ephesus while also integrating that study with an examination of relevant passages in the Epistles, Acts, and Revelation. Michael intertwines illustrations of contemporary church planting movements with the study of the biblical theology of the church and early church multiplication movements. The Book of Ephesians’ clear focus on the believer’s intimacy with God, the centrality of the gospel of grace, the Holy Spirit empowerment for service and requisite holistic integrity of the life and family of a follower of Jesus make it the perfect New Testament book—and early church movement—to study in order to understand the explosion of the gospel that began in Ephesus almost 2,000 years ago! I recommend this strategic book to others in order to motivate the global church to sprint towards the finish line of the Great Commission!
    Kurt Nelsonpresident and CEO, East West Ministries International, author of Finishing Well: Encouraging Pastors to Persevere under Persecution
  • Dr. Cooper’s proposal is creative, and the book will make a good contribution to existing literature on the theology of church planting movements. Among its merits is the fact that the book combines research in New Testament with current issues and realities in church planting movements worldwide, drawing upon Dr. Cooper’s extensive experience in this area. I think the book will be welcomed by missiologists and church planters and it should find its place as a text in Bible colleges and seminaries.
    Dr. Harold A. Netlandprofessor of Philosophy of Religion and Intercultural Studies, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, author of Christianity and Religious Diversity
  • A century ago, Roland Allen demonstrated how far nineteenth century missionary practice had departed from the example of the Apostle Paul. His work is still in print, used by many and needed to be used by more. Michael Cooper is accomplishing the same task of calling the church back to the Biblical foundation of missions and church planting. In Allen’s day, missions was married to the spirit of progress and colonialism. In our day, it is married to the vagaries of contemporary culture and the gimmicks of modernity. What is needed is exactly what Dr. Cooper is proposing, namely a reexamination of the Biblical methodology of Paul. It is applicable to the church planting around the world just as Allen’s work, written for the mission field, has been used by churches and para-church ministries in North America.
    Dr. James Stamoolismissiologist and educational consultant, author of Eastern Orthodox Mission Theology Today
  • “What will it take?” This is one of the questions that keep me awake at night, and I believe Michael too. He and I share an irresistible curiosity and zeal for a gospel-movement in our communities, country, continent, and world. With stories of such movements exploding in the hardest to reach places around the globe, the church in North America (along with other places where the church has plateaued or is in decline) would do well to learn from what has now become known as church planting movements (CPMs). I have benefited greatly from Michael’s experience and insights detailed in this book, both theologically and practically. I highly recommend this book to every pastor, church planter, Christian leader, and academic who needs permission to embrace a radical paradigm that originated in first-century Ephesus and answers the question, “What will it take?”
    Matthew TillProfessor of Biblical Studies, Trinity International University
  • I am really excited about Michael’s new book, Ephesiology. Using the Ephesian church as a model for understanding church planting movements better is brilliant. I have generally separated out the various passages and books that relate to the Ephesians and, at times, may have missed some important emphases and principles that all of us who are engaged in church planting need to consider in our strategies.
    Dr. Joe L. Wallprofessor of Systematic Theology, Grace School of Theology, Author of Going of Gold
  • I am happy to endorse Ephesiology: A Study of The Ephesian Movement, by Dr. Michael Cooper. church planting movements continue to grow and thrive around the world. As these movements grow, Cooper’s work will provide a necessary theological and missiological foundation to ensure that these dynamic movements remain healthy into the future.
    Dr. Dudley BrownInternational Training Institute, Christ Community Church, Greeley, Colorado

Additional Details

  • Pages: 234
  • Publisher: William Carey Publishing
  • Binding: paperback
  • Publish Year: 2020
  • ISBN: 9781645082767
  • Vendor: William Carey Publishing