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Table of Contents



Chapter 1: Introducing Ephesiology 

Ephesiology: The Study of the Ephesian Movement

The Life Cycle of a Movement

The Challenge in the United States

The Challenge for the Global Church

How to Read This Book

Timeline for the Movement in Ephesus

Chapter 2: Church Planting Movements in the Book of Act

Measuring the Growth of Christianity between AD 33 and 67

The Gathering Place of the Early Church

Christian Impact on the Roman Empire

Chapter 3: Launching a Movement I: Missiological Exegesis 

The Gospel of a Movement

Missiological Exegesis

Chapter 4: Launching a Movement II: Missiological Reflection 

Missiological Theologians

A Framework for Missiological Reflection

Chapter 5: Launching a Movement III: Missiological Theology 

The Doctrine of God: Formulating a Missiological Theism

Formulating a Missiological Theology

Steps to Launching a Movement

Chapter 6: Grounding a Movement: Missiological Theology II 

The Foundation of a Movement

The Battle for a Movement

The People of a Movement

Chapter 7: Leading a Movement 

Movement Leaders

Paul and His Band of Movement Leaders

Movement Leadership versus Charismatic Leadership

Movement Structures

The Movement Leaders of Ephesus

Chapter 8: Multiplying a Movement 

Spiritual Multiplication

The Nascent Movement in Asia Minor

Multiplying the Movement in Ephesus

Timothy’s Multiplication of Disciples

Chapter 9: Sustaining a Movement 

The Missiology of Revelation

Jesus’ Letter to the Ephesians

The Good Ministry in Ephesus

Sustaining Our First Love

Chapter 10: The Anatomy of a Movement 

Charactistics of the Disciples in the Ephesian Movement

Framework of the Ephesian Movement

Features of an Indigenous Movement


Appendix A: Movement Action Plan 

General Information


Action Steps

Accountability Plan

Appendix B: Movement Maturity Matrix 


Ancient Sources

About the Author

Scripture Index

Topical Index

A Study of the Ephesian Movement
Michael T. Cooper

Discovering God’s Passion for Movements

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 happy to endorse Ephesiology: The Study of a 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
  • 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, 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.
    Rev. Kerry DoyalDistrict Superintendent, Evangelical Free Church of America
  • Ephesiology is a uniquely grounded and helpful framework that will bless any person needing direction for church planting “the New Testament way.” Drawing from biblical, theological, missiological, and practical experience and disciplines, Dr. Michael Cooper has created a tone that faithfully exposits the scriptural principles that guided one of the greatest churches of the New Testament era. As a seasoned church planter himself, complemented by solid academic grounding, Cooper’s book is a must read for anyone who takes seriously and prayerfully the concept of church planting movements.
    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
  • Despite the fact that the modern missiological use of the phrase “church planting movements” is quite recent (in terms of over 2,000 years of church history), the phenomenon of the rapid multiplication of house churches was clearly birthed and evolved almost two millennia ago in Ephesus and other early Apostolic church plants. 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!
    Dr. 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
  • Masterfully handling the book of Ephesians and using its content as a definitive guide, Michael T. Cooper lays a theologically strong foundation that is both corrective and directive to disciple making movements. The principles he gleans from the book of Ephesians and related texts help to ensure the ongoing multiplication and maturation of a movement. Because these are supra-cultural principles, they are applicable anywhere in the world.
    Marvin J. NewellStaff missiologist, Missio Nexus, Author of A Third Of Us

Additional Details

  • Pages: 242
  • Publisher: William Carey Publishing
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publish Year: 2020
  • ISBN: 9781645082767
  • Vendor: William Carey Publishing