Motus Dei

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Table of Contents







Introducing Motus Dei 


Part I — The Big Picture of Movements 

Chapter 1 — Movements Today: A Primer from Multiple Perspectives 

Chapter 2 — Observations Over Fifteen Years of Disciple Making Movements 

Chapter 3 — Addressing Theological and Missiological Objections to CPM/DMM 

Chapter 4 — How Exactly Do We Know What We Know about Kingdom Movements? 

Chapter 5 — How Movements Count 

Part II — Missional Theology of Movements 

Chapter 6 — A Biblical Missiology of Kingdomization through Disciple Multiplication Movements of House Church Networks 

Chapter 7 —The Word Spread through the Whole Region: Acts and Church Planting Movements

Chapter 8 — God’s Expanding Family: The Social Architecture of Ekklesia Movements 

Chapter 9 — John’s Missiological Theology: The Contribution of the Forth Gospel to the First-Century Movement in Roman Asia 

Chapter 10 — Households of Peace: Relationships, Boundaries, and the Gospel 

Part III — Movement Dynamics 

Chapter 11 — Why Movements Rise and Fall 

Chapter 12 — From Her Perspective: Women and Multiplication Movements 

Chapter 13 — How Ethnodoxology Drives Movements 

Chapter 14 — Media to Movements: A Church Planting Fusion 

Chapter 15 — Terra Nova: Opportunities of Movement Work in Diaspora Contexts 

Part IV — Case Studies 

Chapter 16 — The Way of Life: Transference of Spiritual DNS within Movements in East Africa 

Chapter 17 — Bhojpuri Case Study 

Chapter 18 — A Thai Multiplication Movement 

Chapter 19 — Movements in Iran and Algeria: The Second-Generation Challenge 

Part V — Movement Leadership and Next Steps 

Chapter 20 — The Profile of an Effective Movement Catalyst 

Chapter 21 — Pursuing Movements: An Organizational Paradigm Shift 

Chapter 22 — Maturing the Missiological Discourse on Discipleship Movements 




Motus Dei
The Movement of God to Disciple the Nations
Warrick Farah, editor

Discover Your Place in the Movement of God

An incredible breakthrough in missions history is taking place as disciples of Jesus make more disciples of Jesus around the globe, particularly among the least-reached. But what exactly are these church planting or disciple making movements? Where are they occurring and what are their unifying features? How are they manifesting in diverse populations? And can you or your organization be instrumental in catalyzing more movements? Motus Dei, Latin for “movement of God,” seeks to answer these questions and more.

Warrick Farah has expertly synthesized an extensive conversation between mission practitioners, scholars, and seasoned movement leaders from around the world. The resulting in-depth analysis of movements provides a multi-disciplinary academic investigation of an emerging “movements missiology,” highlighting the importance of theology, social sciences, ethnology and anthropology, communications theory, leadership theory, and statistical analysis. Motus Dei locates the current Church Planting Movement (CPM) phenomenon within modern history, while tracing its roots back to the first century, and articulates a missiological description of the dynamics of Disciple Making Movements (DMMs) in Asia, Africa, and diaspora contexts in the Global North.

Offering over thirty first-hand accounts of indigenous churches planting churches among the nations, Motus Dei provides a seedbed for growing movements in diverse contexts. There are lessons to be learned here by anyone seeking to participate in the movement of God.


  • God is working in remarkable ways in parts of his world. Yet terms like Church Planting Movements and Disciple Making Movements have stirred strong debate in mission theology circles. Are we talking about the Spirit, who “blows where he wills,” or cultural captivity to technique, strategy, speed, and scale? This book is important, whatever your perspective. And perhaps there is a third way. Despite the fact that God has chosen to work through movements at different points in history, the missiology of movements is relatively underdeveloped. The multiple authors in this volume help us take a step back from the slogans and action and ask, “What is actually going on here?” This reflective work is vital if we are to join in God’s transforming work with humble boldness and find that third way.
    Paul Bendor-Samuel, MRCGP, MBE
  • There are more than three hundred thousand churches in the United States; that is twenty-three churches for every Starbucks. With so many good churches, most American pastors have never seen a movement of thousands of non-Christians becoming Christians. I wonder if that is why some church leaders have spoken out against movements. I listened as one critic referred to movements as “diabolical.” He should not have said that. I forgave him. Another referred to the work of some missionaries as “gimmicks.” I forgave him as well. But in non-Christian countries, we are praying for movements. Movements are always an answer to prayer. I think of Samuel Zwemer, the great “apostle to Islam,” who thanked God for five converts in his lifetime. Zwemer’s prayer was Luke 5:5—“Lord, we have fished all night and caught nothing, but at your word we will let down our nets again.” By a miracle, great numbers of fish filled the nets. Today, in a few parts of the non-Christian world, we are seeing what Zwemer longed to see. Let’s keep praying to the Lord of the harvest. This is what Motus Dei is all about. Warrick Farah tells the story of movements in this superb book.
    Robert A. Blincoe, PhD President Emeritus, Frontiers US
  • As a local church missions pastor seeking to equip and send workers to the fields that are ripe for harvest, I find much of the movement literature communicates a simplistically formulaic methodology. This is not what you will find in Motus Dei. I am excited for this volume, which brings together theologians, historians, missiologists, and practitioners around the important topic of the movement of God.
    Rev. Dave C. Global Pastor, Park Community Church, Chicago, IL
  • Issues surrounding movements have risen to the forefront of missiology, creating a need for a more robust theology of movements. Motus Dei is a window into the dynamic discussion that is reshaping how the global church is fulfilling the Great Commission. If there was any one book that provides the clearest snapshot of the current “state of movement missiology,” this is it.
    Ted Esler, PhD President, Missio Nexus
  • Any phenomenal movement of God that emerges with force and scale will attract both interest and critique. This volume is a comprehensive and reasoned response from a sterling collection of scholar-practitioners. Together they establish not only the plausibility of these ecclesial movements on the edges of God’s kingdom, but help the reader envision how a fresh movement can arise in their own neighborhood, city, or people.
    Brad Gill Editor, International Journal of Frontier Missiology
  • Much missiological energy has been spent to explore Christ-centered movements of the past: the early Wesleyans of Britain and the US, Dalit groups in southern India, and peoples of the mountains of the India-Myanmar border to name a few. Can such movements occur today? Do they occur today? Building on the 2020 Motus Dei consultation, Warrick Farah and team offer a significant collection exploring the reality of current Christ-centered movements. Their documentation, explanation, analysis, and reflection, seasoned by some contributors with needed critique, help us take vital steps forward in our understanding. I warmly commend this important compendium.
    David Greenlee, PhD Missiologist and Author, Operation Mobilization
  • Clarity, information, and encouragement. This collection on kingdom movements provides all three. The international contributors exhibit extensive ministry experience and keen scholarly expertise. The wide-ranging topics—biblical-historical, missional-theological, analytical, practical—are addressed with substance. Perhaps best of all is the winsome approach that acknowledges missiological tensions and questions, all the while affirming the contemporary surge of peoples to follow Jesus. Many thanks to the Motus Dei Network for this timely and constructive publication.
    Rev. J. Nelson Jennings, PhD Mission Pastor, Consultant, and International Liaison, Onnuri Church Editor, Global Missiology
  • Motus Dei is a breath of fresh air for the mission world, bringing much-needed empirical work to the phenomena of movements, where churches are planting churches. With baseline definitional work, missional theology, the exploration of movement dynamics, and case studies all in one volume, this book and the promise of ongoing research in future volumes is the place to go to better understand movements in order to wisely participate in what the Spirit is doing around the world.
    Alan Johnson, PhD Associate Professor of Anthropology, Assembliesd of God Theological Seminary Coeditor of Missiological Research: Interdisciplinary Foundations, Methods, and Integration
  • As one who has spent decades in the worlds of both higher education and church planting, I highly recommend Motus Dei. It is well-researched, very informative, and extremely practical. Motus Dei would serve well as either a classroom text or a field handbook—a one-stop-shop resource on church planting movements.
    Bill Jones, DMin Cofounder, Crossover Global; chancellor, Columbia International University
  • Motus Dei is the first report of a learning community of mission leaders and scholars in dialogue about how the Spirit of God has moved among them, creating households of faith, new generations of disciples, the multiplication of churches and seekers around the world. The goal of this community is to continue these conversations and to invite others participating with God in movements to join them. This book is an exceptional introduction.
    Sherwood Lingenfelter, PhD Provost Emeritus, Fuller Theological Seminary, senior professor of Anthropology Co author of Breaking Tradition to Accomplish Vision: Training Leaders for a Church-Planting Movement

Additional Details

  • Pages: 376
  • Publisher: William Carey Publishing
  • Binding: paperback
  • Publish Year: 2021
  • ISBN: 9781645083481
  • Vendor: William Carey Library