The seed for the vision of Multiplication Network was planted after Dr. John Wagenveld was approached to write a book on church planting. To promote the book Iglecrecimiento Integral (Wholistic Church Growth) and make the ideas more accessible, a seminar was held on September 30, 2000 in Puerto Rico. It was led by Alfredo Vallellanes, Raúl Orlandi, Rosilio Román, and John Wagenveld. The success of the Wholistic Church Growth seminars led to John developing two-and-a-half-day church planter bootcamps that were provided in various parts of Latin America. At this time, John and a few others were starting to sense the need to switch from an event orientation to a process orientation that actually had measurable and verifiable results.

John moved to Chicago in 2001 to begin working with Bible League as the Associate Director for Latin America where he was able to use the Wholistic Church Growth book and conference as a way to promote their existing programs.

In 2002, John was invited by FLET to write a book on church planting. In collaboration with 22 authors from 11 countries and varied denominational backgrounds, Sembremos Iglesias Saludables (Let’s Plant Healthy Churches) was published by Unilit and FLET in 2004


John began to write down ideas about potential sequences for trainings in 2003. Eventually, those notes - with discussions, additions, and refining by others throughout the years - became the “ministry path” that Multiplication Network uses today. Two years later, in 2005, John and others created the first website and decided to call the ministry Multiplication Network Ministries and because of the focus on Latin America, they started with Spanish - Red de Multiplicación. The name seemed to best describe what they were—a network of leaders who were interested in the multiplication of healthy churches.


In April 2007, two important events took place: the first continental congress was held in Puerto Rico and on April 19, the founding board of directors signed the documents of incorporation to make Multiplication Network Ministries an official organization with the U.S. government. Rev. Tim Koster, pastor of Emmanuel Christian Reformed Church, had been very supportive of the idea of incorporating the organization so that we could hire people and provide tax receipts to those who donated to the cause. Tim Koster was the first chairman of the Board of Directors and George VandeWerken, Paul VanderAa, and John Wagenveld were the other founding members of the board.

The ideas of having a presence in 100 countries, material in over 10 languages, and the rallying cry of “More Churches, Stronger Churches” surfaced during this time along with Multiplication Network Ministries’ official name, logo, and new staff members.

Several people were hired part-time in Quito, Ecuador to prepare PowerPoints, lay out the materials, and do some graphic design but Juan Carlos and John determined that the ministry needed someone full-time. Rommel Salazar became the first full-time employee of Multiplication Network Ministries and is still part of the team today. One of Rommel’s greatest initial contributions was the creation of our original logo.


The need for full-time leadership of the ministry was apparent and the board considered options throughout 2008. The next year, after praying for provision, John received the news that two organizations would offer six-figure amounts to support the ministry. John left his position with Bible League to provide full-time leadership to Multiplication Network. Along with dedicated volunteers, Tim Maxwell, Steve Chittenden, Corrie Lenting, and Gary Teja came to be part of a core team. “I remember exactly where I was when I phoned Juan Carlos Melo to share the good news and to see if he was up to the challenge of training 300 church planters in the coming year. He said yes and has been a powerhouse for the work in the continent ever since,” John says. Multiplication Network expanded their commitment in Latin America to 14 countries and a growing number of U.S. donors were providing support for work in other places around the world.

John also called co-author in the church planting book, Dr. David Ramírez. He shared his new direction and David spontaneously invited Multiplication Network to come down to address his Church of God bishops of South America who were soon having a special meeting in Lima, Peru. John traveled with Juan Carlos and presented a model for church planter training. The second day of meetings, John and Juan Carlos Melo signed our first serious denominational agreement for the training of 2,000 church planters by 2020. This was the first partnership of what later was going to be a regular part of our way of working.


Multiplication Network’s Founding Years (2000-2010) were focused on developing the tools to effectively train church planters and on building partnerships with those who needed the tools. The Pioneering Years (2010-2020) were years of significant growth. From starting 264 churches in 2010 to 4,354 churches in 2020, Multiplication Network was blessed to see more than 1,045,400 people in over 50 countries now following Jesus and being discipled.


In February 2021, Multiplication Network Ministries moved forward with the creation of the Center for Innovation and Technology (CIT). The CIT was designed to provide scalability for ministry that would allow us to serve our partners and the end users at a whole new level.

God has continued to bless Multiplication Network with great momentum, including strong donor support, strategic organizational partnerships, and increasing ministry participation. As of September 2021, we had 7 global ministry hubs - Latin America, East Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Caribbean & US Hispanics, West Africa, and Europe - to lend from which leaders receive training that teaches them to strengthen churches under their care.


In 2022, the ministry underwent a brand refresh, including a name refinement from Multiplication Network Ministries (MNM) to simply Multiplication Network. These significant changes better reflect who Multiplication Network is today and to symbolize our future. We have created a brand identity that reflects our organizational values and our brand essence is More Together, which is about the power of connecting diverse Christians in service of the Great Commission. It is by working together, in obedience to God’s Word and as a united Body of Christ, that impact can be maximized. With each new person, the Kingdom impact is greater. More Together.

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