The Five Year Plan!

Guest article by Kip McKean.

(Editor’s note: The following guest article is taken from the web site of our sister church in Los Angeles, California, the City of Angels International Christian Church.)

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3. 

Today marks fifteen months since the Spirit planted the City of Angels International Christian Church on May 6, 2007! Since that time God has added to our 42 member Mission Team from Portland, 121 baptisms and 62 restorations! In the past two months, 30 disciples have been sent out: Melina Zepeda to Santiago, Chile as a full-time intern; Kyle and Joan Bartholomew and the Honolulu Mission Team; and today DJ and Kacie Comisford and the New York City Mission Team. To achieve these dreams, nine months ago $71,000 was raised for the City of Angels Church to be self-supporting; then one month ago $126,000 was joyfully sacrificed for missions. Therefore, the Spirit has multiplied our one congregation into three, while taking on the support of Matt and Helen Sullivan in Santiago for $3,500 per month. Even after sending out so many powerful disciples, the City of Angels Church has 206 members with a weekly contribution of $8,500! Participating in these modern day miracles, Lu Jack Martinez, a disciple converted at Harvard in the early days of Boston, stated, “Never before, in my 22 years as a disciple of Christ, have I ever seen a single congregation do so much, for so many, with so little! Truly, these miracles of God – in the midst of Satan’s vicious attacks – evidence that we are not a movement of man, but a movement of God!”

Currently, the Sold-out Discipling Movement numbers 31 churches – 14 in the United States and 17 international congregations. Dynamically increasing disciples are the “new” church plantings: Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix, Santiago, Honolulu and soon New York City and Washington DC. The vast remainder of our sister churches are small, but heroic and resolved remnant groups – each uncompromising in the call to be sold-out disciples and more than willing to share their meager resources of people and money in sending out mission teams. Two long-established congregations that are to be especially commended are Portland, Oregon and Syracuse, New York! Portland has sent out Eugene, Phoenix and Los Angeles. From the 75 member Syracuse Church, with the assistance of Portland and Eugene, have come the Chicago and DC plantings, led respectively by Chris and Theresa Broom and Andrew and Patrique Smellie.

With the arrival of Tony and Therese Untalan, the leadership of the City of Angels Church includes: the Untalans and Nick and Denise Bordieri – as the shepherds – and Elena and me – as the ministry leaders. With the Spirit now establishing Los Angeles as the “Jerusalem” of our new movement, the time has come for a definitive plan to accomplish Jesus’ dream to evangelize the world in our generation. We dare to draw up plans for this auspicious task, greatly humbled by our need for God, as this dream has not been accomplished since the first century.

After several months of intense prayer and numerous discussions, we are setting before our fellowship The Five Year Plan! Let us remember, every movement in the Scriptures began with a remnant. Therefore, we must continue calling out the remnant of our saved brothers from our former fellowship, the mainline Churches of Christ and the independent Christian Churches. This effort, though providing the precious resources of leadership and money, must be in conjunction with the forceful preaching of the gospel to a lost world. Our long term need is for future leaders and mission team members, best supplied by unencumbered youth. Therefore, we need to greatly heighten our determination to evangelize the college campuses.

Lord willing, by the time my fruitful labor on earth ends, I envision a worldwide brotherhood where any disciple can travel from country to country experiencing the same Spirit of faith, hope and love in each of our movement’s congregations. In the first century near the end of Paul’s and the other apostles’ generation, the Spirit wrote, “All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing… This gospel has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven.” (Colossians 1: 6, 23) Therefore, I believe with all my heart, this same impact can and will be seen in the twenty-first century!

Paul’s ministries in Pisidian Antioch and Ephesus reveal so much of the mystery of how the gospel spread so far, so fast. After being rejected by the Jews in Pisidian Antioch, Paul preaches to the Gentiles, “I have made you a light… that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” Many Gentiles became Christians and then it is recorded, “The Word of the Lord spread through the whole region.” (Acts 13: 49) When a city is evangelized, the natural influence of the city on the surrounding countryside spreads the gospel through the whole region! Using this principle – but on a much grander scale – Paul evangelized “all Asia” – modern day western Asia Minor. In Acts 18, Paul established the church in Ephesus. Then after again being rejected by the Jews, “Paul left [the synagogue]. He took the disciples with him and had daily discussions in the lecture halls of Tyrannus [campus ministry!]. This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the providence of Asia heard the Word of the Lord!” (Acts 19: 8-10) Let us not forget, the primary audience in the book of Revelation is “the seven churches in the province of Asia”: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. We can assume that from Ephesus, these other churches were planted in that two year span. These three principles emerge: 1) leadership targets the most influential city in order to evangelize the entire region; 2) small groups – like Jesus and the apostles – multiply into other small groups becoming churches in the surrounding smaller cities; 3) campus converts provide idealistic, unencumbered workers and future leaders. Do not be confused, to evangelize a region does not mean everyone becomes a Christian, but merely everyone has heard… often initially through the “negative press” of persecution. Interestingly, it is while Paul is jailed in the most influential city in the ancient world, Rome, that he declares the world evangelized! (Colossians 1: 6, 23)

The Ephesian Church, I call a “pillar church,” for all the churches “in the province of Asia” were started by the Ephesian disciples. Upon the Ephesian Church and the other pillar churches – like Jerusalem, Antioch, Philippi and Rome – Paul and the other apostles built the entire brotherhood of believers. To evangelize the world, pillar churches will be planted in the following mega-cities: Los Angeles (20 million), New York (20 million), Chicago (10 million), London (12 million), Paris (10 million), Moscow (11 million), Cairo (15 million), Lagos (14 million), Johannesburg (5 million), Hong Kong (8 million), Tokyo (28 million), Mexico City (25 million), Sydney (5 million), Santiago (7 million), Sao Paulo (18 million), and one city in India – Mumbai (19 million), New Delhi (12 million), or Chennai (9 million). During The Five Year Plan, several more US churches must be established providing international student converts, who will “go home” to plant churches of sold-out disciples. Also, being a first world country, the US will provide mission funding for the third world.

Outlined is a brief history of the Sold-out Discipling Movement
and our new Five Year Plan.

The Sold-out Discipling Movement was initiated in Portland, Oregon after the Hilo, Hawaii confrontation. This controversy centered on the McKeans response to Kyle and Joan Bartholomew’s plea to revive the Hilo Church. The International Churches of Christ vehemently opposed the McKeans’ influence. The now vibrant Hilo Church is led by Evan and Kelly Bartholomew. Evan is Kyle’s brother.

Phoenix (5 million/ 110,000 students) – Led by the Sullivans, the Mission Team from Portland joins the Phoenix Remnant Group led by Chris & Sonja Chloupek. The Chloupeks now lead the Phoenix Church.

Chicago (10 million/ 200,000 students) – Chris & Theresa Broom

Los Angeles (20 million/ 700,000 students) – Kip & Elena McKean,

Santiago (7 million/ 200,000 students) – Raul and Lynda Moreno’s gallant stand produces a new church of sold-out disciples. The Sullivans presently lead the Santiago Church.

Honolulu (1 million/ 65,000 students) – Kyle & Joan Bartholomew

New York City (20 million/ 500,000 students) – DJ & Kacie Comisford

Washington DC (5 million/ 350,000 students) – Andrew & Patrique Smellie

Five Year Plan initiated – 2008 World Missions Jubilee in Los Angeles

“New Hope” led by the Bordieris (2% of plantings’ weekly contribution will support this worldwide charity.)

London (12 million/ 180,000 students) – Michael & Michele Williamson

Miami (4 million/ 80,000 students) – Raul and Lynda Moreno / Ken & Liliana Zindler

India (A full time couple selected to lead India, funded by the plantings.)

Johannesburg (5 million/ 100,000 students) – Chris Van Staden

Mexico City (25 million/ 300,000 students) – Vic & Aurora Gonzalez

Paris (10 million/ 300,000 students) – Tim & Lianne Kernan

Hong Kong (7 million/ 150,000 students) – Mike Underhill

Under consideration for other US plantings during The Five Year Plan are: Boston, Houston, Denver, San Diego and San Francisco. International prayer targets without designated, trained leaders are: Sydney, Sao Paulo and Moscow. With all these plans, we remain mindful of Proverbs 16:9, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Therefore, these plans are subject to change according to God’s purposes.

Jesus told the disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of harvest to send out workers into the harvest field.” (Matthew 9:37-38) Let us pray fervently that God continues to gather the remnant from the farthest horizons. Let us pray for the remnant to be strengthened and equally sold-out as our new converts. Then, let us pray with our deepened convictions and radical decisions from this Jubilee to “Declare His Glory Among The Nations!”

(On Tuesday July 29, 2008 many of our church leaders from around the world gathered at the Zindler’s house. Immediately following the first reading of this article, The Five Year Plan, “the place where [we] were meeting was shaken!” (Acts 4: 31) A magnitude 5.4 earthquake had hit Los Angeles! After deafening cheers and applause, we prayed for boldness to evangelize the nations in this generation! I can only imagine what magnitude of earthquake God would have sent with a ten year plan!)