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Church Planting

 Leadership Empowerment School of Ministry

 

Empowering Those who Empower Others with a Knowledge of God and His Ways



Chapter One

Before The Foundation of the World

 

1. God's Purpose for the Church

A. All nations to be gathered together in Christ

The fellowship of the Gospel includes "a great multitude... of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues . . ."  (Rev 7:9). God always intended to have such a company of believers. Before the creation of the world, God had in mind a group of holy people from all nations, who would answer His call:  "Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Mat 25:34). Paul mentions this wonderful plan of God as he encourages the Ephesians: "He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world"  (Eph 1:4).

 

B. The primary mission of the church is to proclaim the Gospel and form new churches

1. Mat 16:17-19 – Jesus says, "I will build my church."  That is His work.  The church is His representative on earth.  Through it He completes the work He came to do:

a. Seeking and saving the lost – Lk 19:10

b. Destroying the work of the devil – 1 Jn 3:8

c. Bringing life to people – John 3:16;  10:10

 

2. 2 Cor 5:16 – 6:1 – We are Christ's ambassadors, His representatives.  We are His co-workers.  It is through His people – the Church – that He continues His work on earth.

 

3. Our work is His – building His Church so that through it He might bring salvation and life to people, and destroy the works of the devil.

 

2. The Promise to Abraham 

A. God chose Abraham in order to bless all nations  (Gen 12:1-3).

 

B. The blessing of Abraham is now extended to all nations through the Seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ -- Gal 3:8-14.

 

3. Vision of the Prophets

A. Isaiah 42:6;  49:6

B. Jeremiah 16:19-21

 

C. Micah 4:1-2 (see also Isaiah 2:1-3). 

 

D. Haggai 2:7

 

E. Zechariah 2:10-13

 

F. Simeon:  Luke 2:30-32

 

F. John the Baptist -- Luke 3:60

 

4. The Great Commission

Mat 28:19-20 -- Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

 

Mk 16:15-18 --  Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.  And these signs will accompany those who believe:  In my Name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.

 

Lk 24:46-49  --  This is what is written:  The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His Name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.  I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.

 

Jn 20:21 -- As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.

 

Acts 1:8 --  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

 

A. Here is seen God's twofold mission in the world today:

1. Evangelism to win souls in every nation

2. Discipleship to bring these souls into maturity.

 

B. The first apostles obeyed this commission.

Beginning in Jerusalem, expanding into Judea and Samaria, and finally reaching towards the ends of the earth, they went out  not only to make converts, but also to lead these converts into true discipleship.  The apostles carried out their mission by establishing churches, and then by teaching these churches all things which the Lord Jesus Christ had commanded them to do.

 

5. God Guides His Church Into His Purpose: The Day of Pentecost

A. The promise of the Father was received, and the apostles testified to the glory of the Lord in different tongues, so that people from many nations heard them -- Acts 2:1-11

 

B. Seeing the crowds, the Apostle Peter arose with the twelve and began to minister to the multitudes in the name of the Lord Jesus. Thousands received the Word and were baptized.

 

C. God's desire to reach the whole world with the Gospel is made clear in Peter's message:

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh... it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved"  (Acts 2:17-21).

 

6. The Revival in Samaria 

No longer was the gospel confined to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel"  (Mat 10:5-6). Now, all who believed in the Lord would be blessed. This move of God began to spill over into nearby areas. Philip went to Samaria and preached Christ to them. When they saw the miracles which he did, they listened and received his word, and the whole city was filled with joy -- Acts 8:5-17.

 

7. The Surprise at Caesarea

God supernaturally revealed to the apostles through Peter His desire to reach Gentiles with the Gospel.  He confirmed this by pouring out His Spirit on Cornelius and his household while Peter was still preaching to them -- Acts 10.

 

8. Reaching out to Gentiles in Antioch

A. After Stephen's persecution, many disciples were scattered to distant cities, "preaching the Word to no one but the Jews only." However, some believers in Antioch began to preach to Gentiles also (Acts 11:19-20).

 

B. The Church of Jerusalem wanted to find out about this new work and sent Barnabas as an apostle to Antioch (Acts 11:23;  see also 14:14).

 

C. The Church had been challenged to accept God's desire to reach all nations. God raised up a church in Antioch, which  increased greatly, and became the base for sending apostles to take the Gospel to unreached areas.

 

Assignment:

Study the following passages about the church of Antioch.  What can you learn from these descriptions, and how can Antioch be an example to your church?

. Acts 11:19-30. Acts 13:1-3

 

 

Chapter Two

Paul: A Church-Planting Apostle

 

1. His Commission

"Now get up and stand on your feet.  I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you.  I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles.  I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me." -- Acts 26:16-18

 

2. Fruit of Paul's Ministry

A. Paul usually stayed a short time in each area - Acts 13-14, 17

 

B. Most of the time there were no believers before Paul arrived – Rom 15:20

 

C. Yet he accomplished much:

1. He won converts in each area and gave basic teaching

 

2. Churches were organized which continued to reach out

 

3. He appointed leaders (note that some of these had been saved for as short a time as a few months).

 

D. After about ten years of ministry (from Acts 13-20), Paul testified:

"I have brought the Gentiles to God by my message and by the way I lived before them.  I have won them over by the miracles done through me as signs from God — all by the power of God's Spirit. In this way, I have fully presented the Good News of Christ all the way from Jerusalem clear over into Illyricum.?... now I have finished my work in these regions, and after all these long years of waiting, I am eager to visit you." -- Rom 15:18-23  (NLT)

 

 

1. This was a very large area being described by Paul

2. Within ten years of missions he considered his work in this region to be finished, and he was ready to move on.

 

E. All of this was accomplished even though:

1. He had to travel by horse, boat, or foot

2. He had no public address systems, telephones, etc.

3. He was persecuted and threatened in nearly every place – often forced to leave in order to save his life

 

Discussion Groups:

·      Do ministries today see fruit like that of the apostle Paul?

·      If not, what are some possible reasons why?

·      What are some secrets to Paul's success that we should follow today?

 

 

3. Paul's Methods – Read Acts 14:1-23

A. Evangelism

Rom 15:18-19 - Paul won people through:

1. the message of the Gospel

 

2. the power of his life

 

3. miracles

 

B. Establishing a central church

Paul began by establishing a church in a main center.  This church would be responsible for reaching the area all around.

 

1. The Ephesian church reached all of the province of Asia (modern day Western Turkey) -- Acts 19:10.

 

2. The Corinthian church reached the region of Achaia -- 2 Cor 1:1.

 

3. Paul did not personally take responsibility for taking the Gospel throughout these areas.  Once he had established a church in a center, he moved on and left the work to them.

 

C. Taught the basics of Christian doctrine and living

 

D. Dependence on the Holy Spirit

1. Paul trusted the work of the Spirit in the lives of the new believers and new churches.  This is why he was able to leave them after such a short period of time.

 

2. Focused on training believers to rely on the Holy Spirit.

a. to apply truth to their own situation

 

b. to grow in holiness

 

c. to deal with difficulties

 

3. Paul wanted them to lean on the Spirit rather than on him.

 

4. Gave a lot of freedom to the new churches as a result.

 

5. This freedom did bring difficulties (such as doctrinal problems in Galatia and moral problems in Corinth).

a. Paul preferred these problems to 'laying down the law' and ruling the new churches with a strong hand.

 

b. He was willing to deal with these problems as they came up

 

c. Rarely used his authority to command.  Instead he preferred to urge and persuade people of what was right.

 

6. By trusting in the Spirit and committing the new churches to His care, Paul forced the young believers to do the work and take responsibility in the church.

 

 

Class Discussion:

Consider closely the above six points related to depending upon the Holy Spirit in beginning churches.

·      Based on these statements, what happens when a leader does not depend so completely on the Holy Spirit in his ministry?

·      Does the above list describe churches that we have seen planted by other churches?

·      Are there reasons why the above are not practical in our situation in planting churches in Uganda?

 

E. Appointing leaders

1. Appointed and trusted leaders who were young in the faith.

a. He advised Timothy that this was not necessarily the best situation (1 Tim 3:6), but he used what was available.  He preferred this to staying for a very long time in one place himself to lead the church.

 

b. As soon as he could, he appointed elders to lead who were from that very church.  He preferred this over bringing in leaders from other places.

 

2. Appointed more than one elder.  Remember that in the New Testament the term 'elder' is used in the same way as 'pastor.'  He did not put all the authority in one man.

 

F. Finance

1. Paul did not seek financial help for himself from the churches while he was planting them

a. He often took care of his own needs:

Acts 20:33-35; 1 Thess 2:9;  2 Thess 3:7-8

 

b. Sometimes as he planted new churches he received help from older ones – 2 Cor 11:8-9; Phil 4:16

 

c. He taught that ministers do have the right to receive financial support from the believers they lead

1 Cor 9:7-14

 

d. However, the first principle was to do nothing which would hinder the Gospel – 1 Cor 9:12, 18

 

2. He did not give money to those to whom he was preaching.

Each church was supposed to take care of its ministers and meet their own needs – Gal 6:6; 1 Tim 5:17-18

 

3. He did not administer local church funds.  This was the responsibility of the individual churches.

 

Discussion Groups:

·      What are the financial needs in beginning new churches?

·      How are these needs usually met in your experience?

·      How does this compare with what we've seen of Paul's methods?

·      Based on what we've been studying, what should we do differently regarding finances in new churches?  How will this help?

 

G. Paul's Gentile missions were birthed in the local church

1. Paul's journeys began as a direct result prophesy in the church in Antioch (Acts 13:1-5).

2. God had already called these men to work for Him, yet they continued in submission to the church in Antioch until special direction came from the Lord concerning the time of their departure. When this word of direction did come, it was not given only to Paul and Barnabas, but to the church!

 

3. After their first missionary journey, Paul and Barnabas returned to their home church.  "Upon arriving in Antioch, they called the church together and reported about their trip, telling all that God had done and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles, too" (Acts 14:27).

 

4. The second missionary journey of the Apostle Paul also originated in the church of Antioch.  "And the believers sent them off, entrusting them to the Lord's grace"  (Acts 15:40).  At the conclusion of this second missionary journey, they again returned to their home church (Acts 18:22, 23).

 

5. By these examples from Acts, we understand how Paul's ministry was linked to the ministry of a strong, local church. He did not separate himself from the Body of Christ even though he had received so many wonderful revelations from the Lord. 

 

H. Focused on planting churches more than overseeing them

1. The work of planting is different from the work of overseeing.

 

2. In planting you build a foundation and trust others to build up on it – 1 Cor 3:10.

 

3. Often the one who begins a work is not the best one to oversee it

 

4. If you focus too much on overseeing, you will not plant as much.  If you are called to an 'apostolic' ministry, than focus on planting, and allow others to oversee.

 

5. Paul did oversee some

a. However, his focus was always on planting – Rom 15:20

 

b. He focused his oversight on strategic areas

 

c. His oversight included

1). occasional visits

According to Acts, he did not visit the churches very often  In about ten years, he visited the churches in Galatia three times.

2). letters

3). sending others

4). praying for them – Eph 1:15-16;  Phil 1:4;  1 Thess 1:2

 

I. Suffering

Shortly after Paul was converted, the Lord instructed Ananias to go and minister to him.  When Ananias did not want to go, the Lord told him that he had chosen Paul to take the Gospel to the Gentiles, and He said, "I will show him how much he must suffer for my name." (Acts 9:16).  The theme of suffering came to be very important in Paul's ministry.

 

1. Paul told about his sufferings to prove he was a true apostle

1 Cor 11:22-30 --  Some believers in Corinth were saying that Paul was not a true apostle.  They compared him with others who seemed to have more qualifications than he did.  In defending himself, Paul told about all his sufferings.  He knew that no one had suffered more for the sake of the Gospel than he had.  This was his proof that he was a genuine and powerful apostle.

 

2. Paul's sufferings helped him to spread the Gospel

a. 1 Cor 4:8-16 – The apostles are on display before the whole world.  However, they are not seen in power and victory, but in humiliation, weakness, and affliction.  It is in this state that the Gospel is made know through them.  Note that v 16 says, "I urge you to imitate me."

 

b. 2 Cor 4:7-12 – Paul's difficulties bring about life for those to whom he is sent.

c. 2 Cor 12:7-10 – Weakness and suffering go hand in hand, and they serve to demonstrate God's power. 

 

d. Phil 1:12-18 – Paul says that his being in prison is good for the spreading of the Gospel

 

e. Col 1:24 – Paul's sufferings enable the message of the Gospel to be received by those to whom he ministers.

 

3. Paul's sufferings helped him to know Jesus more – Phil 3:10

This suffering refers to any hardships that come as a result of being in Christ.  Paul was thankful for suffering, because it deepened his relationship with the Lord.

 

4. Paul expects all believers to have the same experience of suffering in order to know Jesus and make Him known.

a. Phil 1:29 – The sufferings of the Philippians are a privilege

 

b. 1 Thess 1:6 – The Thessalonians received the message of the Gospel with joy, "in spite of severe suffering."

 

c. 2 Tim 2:3, 4:5 – Timothy is told to "endure hardship" in his ministry.

 

d. 2 Tim 3:12 – "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."

 

Class Discussion:

·      Is suffering needed today in order to spread the Gospel?

·      If not, why did Paul have to suffer but not us?

·      If so, who is called to suffer?

·      What type of sufferings might be needed?

·      How can suffering be helpful?

 

Chapter Three

Ministry of Church Planting

 

1. The Need for Church Planting

A. God has called us to make disciples of every nation (see chap 1)

 

B. Beginning churches is the best way of doing this

1. Every village needs a church to be a light to that village and an ongoing witness.  There should be a place where people can go for prayer and godly counsel, and a community of believers whose lives witness to the power of Christ.

 

2. Evangelism needs to be followed by training and discipling.

 

3. Everyone should have easy access to a church.  If it is very difficult for them to get to one, they may not stand.

4. In beginning a church, the work in that village continues even when you are not there.

 

C. Even in areas where churches already exist, new ones are often needed.

1. Different people are attracted to different churches.  It may be that the churches in an area will never reach certain people, but a new church might be able to.

 

2. New churches often grow faster than older ones.  If churches in an area are not growing, new ones are probably needed.

 

3. The population is growing, and so there is always a need for new churches.

 

4. Sometimes a new church plant can actually help other churches in the area.

a. The new church generally has a primary focus on evangelism.  Some of the people who get saved will join the older church.

 

b. The new church will challenge an older church that may have become apathetic in evangelism.

 

5. Of course, this is a sensitive issue, and great care should be taken.  You want to do all you can to foster unity in the body of Christ, and not a spirit of competition.

 

2. Church Planting Methods

A. Each church plant a church

1. Every church can be involved in some way in the ministry of beginning other churches

 

2. Choose a nearby village and begin to send teams there to minister.  Plan how this will lead to a new church.

 

3. Make a goal of beginning a new church every year, or every two years.

 

4. Possible example:  Let each church form a church-planting team.  Every year (or whatever length of time you are led to choose) the church should have the goal to begin one other church.  The team which starts the church should continue working closely with it for one year.  During this time a new team can begin another church in a different location.

 

B. Church Planter – Apostle

1. Some people are given the ministry of church planting.  This is their calling and their gifting.

 

2. Such people should carefully plan how and where they will carry out this ministry.  It does not have to just happen in any way or in any place.

 

3. The goal of this person is to begin church planting movements.  This means that, like the apostle Paul, he will seek to reach an entire area (sub-county, county, district,…) with churches.

a. Once he identifies the area, he will choose a few strategic centers to begin the work.

 

b. His goal is to carefully plant a church in each of these centers, and then give the work of planting churches throughout the area to these central churches.

 

c. Once such a movement has begun, he can begin to concentrate on another area.  He will continue to communicate with these central churches, but as an advisor rather than an active leader.

 

3. Leadership for New Churches             

One major concern in beginning new churches is where will the leadership come from?  Who can pastor this new work?  Here are a few ideas.

 

A. Mature believers from nearby churches

1. The advantage to this is that there may already be people who have been saved for some time, and who are mature.  Sometimes they are gifted in ministry, but are in a situation where there is not much opportunity to use those gifts.

 

2. However, there also may be disadvantages to this method

a. You do not want to 'steal' a good person away from another ministry

 

 

b. Because you have not been working with this person, you may realize later that they have a different vision than you, or a very different idea of how to lead a church.  This can create conflict.

 

B. Send people from the mother church

There are two different ways this can work:

 

1. The person completely shifts to the village and becomes the permanent pastor for the church.

a. advantages

1) stability – the leadership for the church is set and people know this is the pastor

 

2) you know the person well, and have been working together already.  He has seen how you pastor the church, and feels comfortable with your leadership style.

 

3) maturity – you will be able to choose someone you know to be strong in the Lord

 

b. disadvantages

1) the person may not be accepted  by the church – they had no part in choosing him, and they do not know him.

 

2) by not raising up local leadership, you may be hindering their spiritual growth  (elders that Paul appointed were forced to mature because of the responsibility he gave them).

 

3) it will be difficult to find someone willing to go – this will limit the number of churches you are able to plant

 

2. The person shifts for a limited period of time (maybe 6 months), and is given the responsibility of raising up local leaders for the church.

a. This has the advantage of entrusting the work to a mature person, while at the same time challenging the local believers to come up in ministry.

 

b. However, it may be difficult to find people willing to have such a ministry where they do not stay in one place for long.  It is always difficult to hand over your work to others.

 

C. Appoint people from the village itself

1. There may be some believers already in the area, even if there is not a church.  Sometimes these can make very good leaders.

 

2. There may be a new believer who shows a lot of potential.

 

3. If you use this method, you (or your representative) will have to spend a lot of time with the new church and these new leaders for at least six months or so, training them in how to minister.

 

 

Discussion Groups:

Think about the methods discussed so far in planting churches and providing leaders.  What do you think will work best in your situation?  What are some other ideas not mentioned in this study?

 

 

Chapter Four

Stages in Planting Churches

 

1. Planning

A. Planning takes time and energy and effort.

It is very important, and should not be skipped or passed over quickly.

 

B. Begins with seeking the Lord – Acts 13:1-3

Take time to pray, fast, seek counsel from others,…  It is important to be guided by the Lord from the very beginning.  Also, know that prayer is the foundation of all that will follow.

 

C. This includes determining the location of the outreach, the methods that will be used, and the resources available.

 

D. Form a church planting team

1. Do not attempt to fulfill this ministry alone.

 

2. Paul gives us an example of team ministry.  His team-mates included Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, Luke, and many others.

 

3. Mix your vision with that of others

Allow your own vision to grow as you team up with others.  Permit the Holy Spirit to bring changes and improvements as your various visions begin to flow together.  Practice humility.

4. Honestly evaluate your gifts, and team up with those who can complete you.

If you are a gifted evangelist, but are not especially strong in teaching, then team up with a teacher.  If you are strong in teaching, but are not very good at beginning things, perhaps work with someone who has an apostolic type of ministry. 

 

5. Make your team relationships a priority.

The enemy will surely attack you in this area.  If he can destroy your relationship with your co-workers, than your effectiveness will be greatly reduced.  Therefore, you need to actively maintain these relationships.

 

a. Stay broken

This means do not try to always look good in front of others.  In humility, allow the Lord and your coworkers to work with you in areas of weakness.

 

b. Develop the habit of being a good listener.  Listen before you speak.

 

c. Be quick to repent when you have offended others.

Even if they are more wrong than you are, repent for your part in the problem.

 

d. When needed, carefully confront others on the team

 

e. Spend time developing team relationships

 

f. Plan for how you will handle conflict

 

6. Help each person to understand what his role is in the ministry and on the team.

 

7. Training

a. Be sure to take advantage of all the training opportunities you can to prepare you for this work

 

b. Equip team members.  This should include both giving instruction and providing opportunities for ministry.

 

8. Plan for spiritual well-being of team

 

E. Contact other ministries which are working in the area

1. Do whatever you have to do in order to develop a good relationship with other pastors from the beginning.  Understand that at first they may not be pleased that you are coming, but if you move forward in love and humility you can win them over.

 

2. Determine in what ways you will be able to work together with them, and be able to help one another.

 

3. Make specific plans of how you will strive for Christian unity

 

F. Learn about the target area

1. What are the needs of the people?

 

2. What spiritual forces are at work? (see the BSM course SPIRITUAL WARFARE)

 

3. What can you learn from ministries which are already active in the area?

 

G. Develop a vision statement.

This should be general and brief but complete.  It should be something that everyone who is involved in the ministry can easily understand and agree to.  What is God calling you to accomplish?  What will it look like when you have completed this work?

 

H. Develop specific faith objectives

1. In order to follow the vision, what will be accomplished at various stages?

 

2. What will have been accomplished in six months?  One year?  Five years?

 

3. What needs to happen in order for you to consider the work completed?

 

4. Include details such as the number of churches there will be in the area, how many people will be part of the churches, the types of other ministries which will be carried out (leadership training, caring for orphans,…)

 

5. These should be based on faith and hearing from God

 

2. Evangelism

A. Proclaim the Gospel in the power of the Spirit

 

And I... came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom...  and my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power...  1 Cor 2:1-4

 

1. Philip's preaching in Samaria was largely successful because of the miracles -- Acts 8:6

 

2. The apostles depended on God to prove His Word through miracles -- Acts 4:29-30

God answered their prayer, for we read that "Meanwhile, the apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people..." and the result was that "more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord — crowds of both men and women." (Acts 5:12-16)

 

3. The miraculous power of God was very evident in Paul's ministry -- Acts 14:1-3Rom 15:17-19.

 

4. Sometimes God's power brought judgment as well as healing.

The power of the Spirit was directed against those who were hindering the work of the Kingdom of God. These manifestations of judgment brought great fear upon all who heard about them. Such was the case when Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead; and when Elymas, the sorcerer, was struck blind by Paul's ministry  (Acts 5:1-11; 13:4-12).

 

B. Engage in informed spiritual warfare – 1 Jn 3:8

Gather intercessors to pray for the area (making use of information you learned in the planning stage).  Break strongholds of the enemy and repent of collective sin.

 

C. Make use of a variety of methods

1. Open-air crusades

2. Films

3. Door-to-door

4. Others

 

D. Train believers in evangelism

1. life-style evangelism

2. personal witnessing

3. helping in campaigns, such as crusades, films, etc.

4. provide opportunities for them

 

E. Baptize new believers in water

 

3. Forming a Church

A. Teach foundations of Christian faith

1. In the early stages of the church, begin with the basics.  Teach what is most needed, and continue teaching it until the people get it.  Then move on to something else (1 Cor 3:1-2).  Teach:

a. Important doctrines

b. Practical Christian living

c. Equipping for ministry

 

2. Teach in a way that can be reproduced.  In other words, teach so that the learner can go immediately and teach someone else the same lesson.

 

3. In your teaching, demonstrate good Bible study principles (such as the three steps).

 

4. When possible, make use of a team of teachers

 

B. Provide for Christian fellowship

1. Small groups meeting in a home can be a very helpful way of accomplishing this.  Small groups also:

a. are good tools for evangelism

b. provide a good way of following up new believers

c. provide opportunities for ministry for all believers

 

2. Be an example of how to live together in spiritual unity – honoring one another and showing love to all

 

C. Develop a strong 'follow-up' ministry

Very many people who get saved never end up following through on that commitment.  The church needs to be prepared to actively follow up on these people so that they will be more likely to stand.  The following are some ideas about how to strengthen such a ministry:

1. Biggest needs for new converts

a. foundational teaching

b. loving Christian fellowship

c. experiencing the presence of God

d. opportunities to serve

 

2. Train believers in how to disciple others.  Once one has been trained, appoint him as a minister of discipleship.

 

3. Whenever someone in the area prays to accept Christ, assign the new believer to one of your trained disciplers.

 

4. This discipler will visit the new believer many times over the coming months.  The first visit should be within 24 hours of his getting saved.

 

5. Among other things, during these visits the discipler will...

a. give assurance of salvation

 

b. give instruction in Christian basics (doctrine, living, ministry)

 

c. pray with the new believer concerning needs

 

d. encourage him to join a small group and be involved in church

 

e. lead him into ministry involvement

 

f. prepare him for baptism

 

D. Develop teaching for more mature believers – Heb 5:12-14

Always try to bring people to a higher level through teaching.  Decide on what people need, and develop a way to ensure that they receive it.

 

E. Equipping for ministry – Eph 4:12;  1 Pet 2:9

1. All believers should be encouraged to be active in serving the Lord from the time they get saved.  Show them that part of following Christ is ministering.

 

2. Provide instruction in how to serve

 

3. Provide opportunities to serve, and do your best to get everyone involved in something.  Possibilities include:

a. ushering

b. praise & worship

c. prayer teams

d. evangelism

e. hospitality

f. small groups – hosting, leading, …

g. many others…

 

4. Make it your goal to have a church full of ministers

 

F. Develop leadership – Acts 14:23; Tit 1:5

1. The church needs elders (or pastors) to:

a. govern the church -- 1 Tim 5:17; 1 Pet 5:3

b. minister the Word -- Acts 20:28; 1 Tim 4:2; 1 Pet 5:2

c. equip believers – Eph 4:11-13

d. protect from false teachers – Acts 20:28-30

e. visit and pray for the sick – Jam 5:14

 

2. The church needs deacons to do all other types of work in order to be sure the pastors are free to fulfill their ministries – Acts 6:1-6

 

3. Organize the church

a. who has what authority and responsibility?  For example:

1). who makes financial decisions?

2). who appoints leaders / ministers?

3). who gives discipline when someone does wrong?

4). to whom is the pastor accountable?

 

b. what is the church's relationship with the church planter or "mother church?"

 

4. Decide how to provide training for leaders.  There should be an ongoing program in the church to train leadership.

 

5. Paul's most effective method of training leadership was by example -- Acts 20:31-35

As a leader himself, he manifested a compassionate heart, a good conscience before God in all things (2 Cor 4:2), and a zeal for the ministry in which he labored.

 

G. Keep records

Record such things as attendance in services.  This is one way to help you see if your goals are being reached.

 

4. Handing it over

A. There comes a time when the church planter or mother church needs to step back and release the new church.  See Acts 14:23; 20:25-38;  Rom 15:20-24

1. Maturity will only come as each church accepts full responsibility for its own growth. Too often young churches have been made dependent upon the 'mother church' rather than upon the Lord.

 

2. The Apostle Paul demonstrated a different approach. He sensed that there was a time to depart from their midst and commend them unto the Lord. Before leaving however, he was careful to instill in the leadership of each new church the burden of their pastoral ministry.

3. The new church needs to gradually experience more and more freedom if it is going to reach its full potential

 

4. They need to learn how to struggle through difficulties, trust God for needs and wisdom, and reach out to their community

 

5. Leaders need to be given more and more authority and responsibility

 

B. Some goals for each church to reach for:

1. Self-governing – the church should come to the point where it carries out all the normal functions of a church without outside input.  They can make their own decisions, appoint their own leaders, provide discipline, etc…

 

2. Self-supporting – the church should be able to exist on its own without any outside funding.

 

3. Self-expanding – the church should be evangelizing and planting other churches without help from the mother church

 

C. Continued relationship with apostle / mother church

1. The above three goals do not mean that there will be no relationship with the mother church, or that the church will never be assisted in any way.  However, the goal is that they will be able to function and grow even if such help is not available.

 

2. There should be agreement on what type of organizational structure will exist between related churches.  Will the church planters create a fellowship of churches or a denomination?  What will be the responsibilities and authority of each part?

 

D. Reaching the goals

1. Handing over the church needs to be planned for from the beginning of the plant

 

2. Handing over should be gradual.  As the church increases in maturity, the church planter plans to become less and less involved, forcing the young church to grow in ministry

 

3. Decide the final goal for the church, and the eventual relationship you will have with it.  What will the church be like in order for you to know you have completed the work of planting?

 

4. Trust the Holy Spirit working in the new leaders.  It can be very difficult to hand over control to others, especially when you see their weaknesses and shortcomings.  However, it is essential for you to do so.

             

Discussion Groups:

Think about the four stages in planting a church mentioned above (planning, evangelism, forming the church, and handing over).  Compare this with what you have seen or experienced in church planting.  How could following these steps help church planting to be more fruitful?

 

Roles of the Church-Planter during different stages

In planting a church, you will have different roles at different stages of the work.  It is important to progress through these various roles without getting stuck with one of them.  Wisdom from the Lord is needed to know when to move out of one role and into another one.

 

1. Planning

Role:  Learner – The first role you will need to fill is that of a learner.  During this stage of planning, you are a student.  You are seeking to learn all you can about church planting and about the particular area you are going to reach.  In fact, you must maintain this role of learner throughout the entire process, even when you progress to other stages.

 

2. Evangelism

Role: Evangelist – During this stage you are focusing on preaching the Gospel and winning people to Christ.  Even in future stages you will still evangelize, but will also add on other things.

 

3. Forming Church

Role: Teacher – You are teaching new believers, equipping people for ministry, and training leaders.  You are seeking to duplicate your own ministry by this stage, raising up other evangelists, teachers, pastors, church-planters, etc.  See 2 Tim 2:2.

 

Role: Resident Advisor – You are still very active in all the details of the church.  If you are not actually present yourself, a trusted representative is.  However, others are beginning to do most of the work of ministry.  You are there to offer advice and to encourage them as they begin taking responsibility themselves.  In all the various ministries needed for the church, you follow this basic pattern:

1). do the ministry

2). model the ministry for others (show them how to do it)

3). release them to do the ministry

 

4. Handing Over

Role:  Traveling Advisor – You plan to be away from the work for periods of time.  When you return, meet with the leaders to talk about how things went in your absence, and try to answer any questions they may have.  As time goes on, make the absences more often and longer in length.

 

Role: Absent Advisor – The work is now solidly in the hands of those you have raised up.  You still communicate with them, but they do not need your active leadership or involvement.

 

Chapter Five

Missions Principles

 

1. Missions as developing people

A. No dead ends

1. Plant churches that plant churches

a. From the beginning,  prepare the new church to plant other churches.  Show them church planting as a natural part of church life.

 

b. Even as the church is forming, train them to see themselves not as a mission field, but as missionaries.

2. Apostles produce more apostles; teachers more teachers; evangelists more evangelists,...

 

B. Always be looking for and training potential leaders:  elders, pastors, etc...

Training people is not simply going through a curriculum.  Much of Paul's teaching was situational, meaning that he taught as problems and questions arose.

 

C. Need to trust the Holy Spirit working in and through people.

This can be difficult, as you will see many areas in which the new leaders still need to grow.  However, as you resist the urge to do things for them, they will grow and develop.  Trust that the Lord is at work in them.

 

2. Leading Others to Mission

Develop strategies to get believers involved in reaching people for Christ, even outside of your immediate area.

 

A. Allow believers to accompany you on mission outreaches.

1. You can supervise them in ministry, and they can be a great benefit

 

2. Do not simply use them to accomplish a task, but let it be a time of training and growth for them.  Put them in situations that stretch them.

 

B. Encourage the youth to be involved -- especially during school holidays.

Young people can be a very zealous addition to your ministry team.  In addition to this, you have a wonderful opportunity to influence them in pursuing God's purpose for their lives.

 

C. Never allow believers to develop an attitude that the pastor does the ministry while they support him.

 

D. Encourage believers to seek how the Lord would have them involved in reaching the lost.

 

3. Finance

A. Mission requires money.  Where will it come from?

 

B. Having to give to support new works can limit your church planting ministry.

1. If you have to spend a lot of money on church plants, than you will not be able to plant very many.

 

2. If the new church sees that you had to spend so much money in beginning it, they will not be as likely to continue the ministry of church planting.  They will automatically assume that they do not have the financial resources for that type of ministry, and you will have created a "dead end" church.

 

C. Giving money can sometimes be harmful to the new work

1. If a new church is struggling with finances for a particular need, and you have the ability to meet the need, there are times when it may be best that you do not do so.  You do not want to cause the church to be dependent on you, but you want to lead them to dependence on the Lord.  Do not become a replacement for faith.

 

2. Always consider what is best in the long term.

 

D. Sometimes giving can be very helpful.  When thinking about giving money to a "daughter" church, consider the following:

1. Will this gift help in reaching the overall goals of the church?

 

2. Can you challenge the church to also participate in meeting the need?

 

3. Will the gift foster an attitude of dependence on you?

 

4. Is the church learning how to trust God to meet needs?

 

E. Be diligent to maintain integrity in finances – 2 Cor 8:16-24

1. Do not seek to impress someone simply to get money from them.

 

2. Always be sure to use money in the way you say you will.

 

3. Keep accurate financial records, and allow people who give to know how you spend the money.

 

F. Supporting Missionaries / church planters

1. One good use of money in the churches would be to help people who are involved in the ministry of church planting.

a. They need money for transport and other expenses while traveling, and to help their families while they are away.

b. Following the example of Paul, it would be best if they could avoid being a burden to those to whom they preach – at least until a church is firmly established.

 

2. Churches need to change attitude from being a mission field to being a mission sender.

 

3. It is possible

a. Money can often be found to support crusades and other such outreaches.  Why not to help begin new churches?

 

b. Consider the Macedonian church's example:  2 Cor 8:1-4

 

And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.  Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.  For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.  Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.

 

 

G. Remember that God is your source.  Do not rely on anything or anyone else.

"God's work done in God's way will never lack God's provision"  -- Hudson Taylor

 

Class Discussion:

In the Scripture above (2 Cor 8:1-4), how can poverty lead to generosity?  Is it really true that many churches are too poor to give to God's work in other places?  Why or why not?

 

4. Missions churches -- What will they be like?

It is good to seek the Lord about what kind of churches you will be planting.  In some ways, each church will be different from the others, but there are some ideas which can be emphasized in each case.  What might be some distinctive qualities of churches you will be involved in planting?  Following is a small list of such ideas that  could be significant truths to be stressed.

 

A. Allow the church to develop its own character

When planting churches, the new churches do not need to be like the 'mother' church.  In fact, it is usually better if they are not.  Do not force planted churches to worship in the same way, dress in the same way, have the same kind of services, etc.  Forcing new churches into old molds can hinder the work of the Holy Spirit in them.  See Acts 15

 

B. Be determined to maintain Christian unity.  1 Cor 3:1-17

1. Have an attitude that we are not the only ones or the best ones.  Pass this on to every minister and believer.

 

2. Always lift up other ministries, and encourage people to support them.

 

3. Maintaining unity is more important than building your ministry.  See Jn 13:35; 17:20-23.

 

C. Emphasize the priesthood of all believers:

-- 1 Pet 2:9-10;  Eph 4:11-16

 

1. Ministers are not above others in the eyes of God

 

2. Practice servanthood -- Jn 13:1-15

 

3. Get all believers involved in ministry

 

4. Recognize the value in each believers calling from God.  Do not simply lead people to accomplish your vision, but understand that in one sense the church should exist to help the believers to accomplish their visions from the Lord.

 

D. Emphasize mission

As stated earlier, do not allow any church to be the end of the road.  Encourage and challenge them to continue the ministry of beginning other ministries.

 

E. Love people

Train new leaders to seek God's love for the people to whom they minister.  Without genuine love, his ministry will be useless.  Ministry is not a performance, but it is simply loving people.

Class Discussion:

What are some other things that are important for churches which you plant to emphasize?


5. Sacrifice

A. Mission involves sacrifice.

It has been said that many Christian leaders increase their quality of life by entering the ministry.  However, in order to reach people who are in need, often times the minister must sacrifice the 'good life' in fulfilling the call of Christ.

 

B. Giving up rights

1. The Lord has blessed us in different ways -- with relationships, finances, reputation, ...

 

2. However, giving up these blessings that God has given is often necessary in order to truly follow Jesus in discipleship.

There is a principle in the Kingdom of God that we give up what is good, and receive what is better.

 

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."           --  Jim Elliot

 

3. There are millions of people who are untouched by the Gospel.  People who are living without God and without hope.  They will stay that way unless someone sacrifices to reach them. -- Col 1:24

 

C. Take up your cross -- Lk 9:23-26

 

D. Consider the example of Paul as seen in chapter 2

 

E. Peter and the Apostles:  Matt 19:27-30

 

F. Jesus is our example of giving up all -- Phil 2:5-11.  Consider some things He gave up for you:

1. being in heaven with His Father

2. wealth -- He became poor to make others rich (2 Cor 8:9)

3. reputation -- He was the Son of God, but He was despised as a 'Nazarene,' was called a devil, and was crucified with common thieves

4. His life

 

"Let every believer produce another believer; Let every pastor produce another pastor; Let every church produce another church. With God's help we will do it."

P.G. Vargis, founder of India Evangelistic Team Using this motto, over 2,000 churches were planted in Asia even before the target date.

 

Prayer Time

Spend time praying together as a class.  Pray for:

·      God to send laborers into His harvest field

·      Churches to begin and be fruitful where they are needed

·      Lost people in this nation to come to Christ

·      Commit yourself to whatever the Lord would have you to do, no matter what sacrifice is needed.

 

Assignment:

Write out a plan for beginning other churches -- personally and in your church.  Think about such issues as:

·      ministry team

·      finance

·      how you will pass through each of the four stages?

·      what will the churches you plant be like?

·      what sacrifices will be necessary to carry out this plan?