The week before COVID hit the US full on in March 2020 my wife and I were at the Exponential church planting conference in Orlando. We had wondered if at some point in our ministry we would plant a church but weren’t really sure if that was the case or not. We heard amazing speakers, attended impactful classes and we prayed about it and concluded at that time planting churches was not for us. We had no idea what God had in store! You have to laugh.
Fast forward several months into the pandemic. Church had stopped meeting on Sunday but we had started meeting with our neighbors outside. While so much isolation plagued our country we were in vibrant, yet distanced and masked, community right in our backyard.
We started to see that God didn’t just call us to start a church. He had already started it, we just needed the eyes to see it!
I never thought I would plant a church. Maybe you feel that same way. It is so easy to think church planting is for a select group of specially trained people But the reality is the majority of churches being planted all over the world are planted by people with little training and a big heart to grow in their love and faithfulness to God and neighbor. Many churches around the world are planted by new believers. They were converted and immediately tasked with attending Sunday school….no wait, that isn’t it! They were converted and immediately tasked with planting a church in their home!
So many of us have been in church for decades. If this is you, you have enough knowledge to plant. The question is not whether you know enough. The question is whether or not you believe the great commission and the example of the church in Acts is for you.
I want to point you to two resources that are changing lives all over the world.
The first is Zume – a free, 20 hour online training in how to evangelize and plant churches with new believers.
The second is 2414 Now – a site that is dedicated to seeing Jesus’ kingdom vision of planting churches in every nation before the end comes.
The third is Finishing the task – also determined to take the gospel to the nations per the Great Commission.
I hope and pray you will look at these three resources and ask God if He is calling you to plant new churches!
God called us to proclaim the message of the Crucified/Risen Savior. God did not call us to “plant” churches. That is a natural result of the proclamation.
We have lost the sense and urgency of that proclamation, and handed that off to the trained professionals.
Having grown up in a mission country, it was interesting to meet people who answered the call to go and make disciples. They were not trained professionals. They were people who saw a need, and filled that need.
Few of them had a completed college training. There was no such program as the ACU Mission Seminars, where they learned about cultural differences and such.
And yet, that generation of missionaries were “fruitful.”
Ad here we are, 2021. We have sciencefied (I know, not a word, so called it an HAPAX) missions, have reduced our support for missions beyond belief, have highly educated people in the field, and are so good at deciding “fruitful” fields over not worthy fields.
Our ownership in real estate has increased enormously, our mission budget reduced enormously.
So let’s go back to the basics: Go, make disciples, baptize them, and teach them to do the same.
Forget requiring extensive education. Forget ‘professionalism.” Remember the call is made to each and every believer. And if you want to spend money? Spend it on missions – not on real estate and payrolls.
I agree with that for the most part but it really ends up being semantics, especially if you walk through the training you will see it play out as you said.
Actually, I did go through training. granted, a few decades ago… I worked with others who also went through the training.
And yet, my best role models? Two-year graduates from colleges that were “junior-colleges.”
Glad you did that. The training I mean is in the first link to zume. Super simple, to your point.
Thank you for your insight.
What I hear Rudy saying is that we have institutionalized our expression of discipleship. A”St Thomas” Christian from India came to DFW a few decades ago to receive “professional training.” He was appalled at what he saw as soon as they left the airport- one multi-million dollar “church” campus after another. He started researching and estimated 98% of US church budgets go for real estate and salaries. He started a charity to keep US professional missionaries out of Asia! He can support at least six native preachers with the funds it takes to support one US family overseas.
“Church” is a forced bad translation of ecclesia, which Tyndale translated as congregation (or assembly.) “Church” lays institutional and real estate overtones over the body of believers.
I have heard David Young say it may be best from keeping Christians in Africa from knowing how we do church. They would see you don’t have to make disciples or plant churches and it would hurt their momentum.
Christians all over the world are running laps around us.
It’s a huge problem. That’s why I am poking people to consider their responsibility in this but very few will ever do it.