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We live in a land that is filled with people who seem “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). The present-day experiences and continued threats of Covid, political conflicts, racial tensions, fragmented families, social unrest, financial fears, and more, serve as reminders that all around us there are people who need Jesus!  

how we got here

Evangelism, sharing Christ with those who do not yet know Him, and starting new gatherings of believers have been important among Friends whenever we have been at our best. Although there are many examples of church planting over the centuries, the last major multiplication movement among Friends in the United States occurred in the late 19th century. 

Various leaders in the 20th century made challenges to continue or to reignite this emphasis, but no coordinated efforts ever materialized.  In 1907, Nathan and Esther Frame offered the first call to all Yearly Meetings in America to work together to support church planting, including a nation-wide Church Extension Fund, but nothing developed. 


In 1947, the first Evangelical Friends Conference considered two outward priorities – world missions and church planting. This led eventually to the formation of a very successful cooperative effort for world missions (EFM), but nothing for church planting in North America.
 

today's movement

In recent years, the attention and priority of united efforts for church multiplication among Friends in the United States has been on the rise.  In 2013, Friends leaders at Barclay College in Kansas offered the first National Friends Church Multiplication Conference. They hoped that 30-40 leaders might participate, but more than 100 Friends gathered from nine Yearly Meetings. Three more national conferences followed in 2014, 2016, and 2018, with each one larger than the previous.  

 

In 2020, this emphasis shifted to an International Conference, held online with over 500 registrations from 26 states and 26 countries. Most people (over 310 devices, not counting various watch parties at churches) participated from the United States. Despite many obstacles, interest in supporting one another to plant churches among Friends in the United States has perhaps never been higher.

the vision today

We do not believe that God has asked Friends to win the whole country to Christ by ourselves. He has entrusted to us an important slice of the gospel pie. We want to be faithful to do our part to fulfill the Great Commission and contribute to a multiplication movement!  

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