More than seventy LCMS leaders across Texas recently traveled to Tennessee to participate in Learning Communities hosted by the Exponential organization. Over a day and a half, participants were encouraged by stories of ordinary Christians who are actively reproducing. We were invited into a culture in which it is considered ‘normal’ for disciples to make disciples who make disciples. Our facilitators helped us think through our current contexts and assisted us in making plans for further Kingdom multiplication.

For anyone unfamiliar with Exponential, this organization inspires and equips leaders “to change the primary metrics of success in the Church from addition to multiplication, and from accumulation to releasing. The Multipliers Learning Communities were created to help forward-thinking leaders engage in peer-to-peer learning about the future of the church. The Learning Community journey consists of three separate gatherings in three different cities over seven months (from Fall 2023 to Spring 2024). The journey combines the relational, experiential, and informational components required for transformation. Learning Community attendees build lasting connections with fellow church multipliers while gaining the innovative ideas that will lead to implementing an action plan in their local context.” (

The day after we returned from Nashville, one participant followed up by texting a group of fellow travelers: “Super blessed by the past few days. I am grateful for each of you in my life and for your connection to what the Holy Spirit is doing in our midst. My ministry partner and I had deeper conversations about discipleship in our context than we have had in a long while. I am grateful for the space to do so.”

Another emailed members of our Texas District Mission Team: “I am writing to thank you for the vision and for setting a culture that takes risks in the Exponential ministry. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to listen/learn as the model was presented over the two days in Nashville. It was inspiring to dialogue with men and women eager to share the message and allow the Spirit to move them to action. Thanks to whoever sought this, found a way to finance it, and for the culture that isn’t “permission-giving” but rather is “opportunity seeking” and willing to take risks. Thanks to those who asked me to be a part of this movement. I’m grateful to be around to witness this prayerful effort at renewal and rebirth.”

For me personally, one of the greatest blessings of this experience was made clear at our final lunch together before flying home. Sitting down randomly with a group of Texas District participants, my table mates were senior and associate pastors, church planters, a college intern, an evangelist trainer, and a children’s ministry director. As we waited for our lunch to arrive, we shared the place of birth and our parents’ occupation. Remarkably, the leaders whom God is positioning here in Texas ‘for such a time as this’ have been gathered from the far corners of the earth: Honduras, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Texas, Missouri, and (even) Iowa.

We should not be surprised. For the LORD declares: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6 NIV

By Rev. Pete Mueller
Area C Mission Strategist