So I have some issues that I have been meaning to blog about, but keep coming across this amazing stuff in the book, “Church Planting Movements” that is so much much better than anything I have to say. Check it out, and let me know your thoughts…
On Church Leadership:
“Satan knows that if he can distort God’s teachings on the church and on church leadership, he can stop the flow of new believers into the Kingdom of God. The Bible has clear guidelines for defining church and it’s leadership. When we try to improve on these we don’t create a better church we create a church that is less than what God intended. Church Planting Movements are often derailed by well intentioned, yet inflated, definitions for a church or overwhelming requirements for church leadership.”
“In the New Testament Christ identified the church with Himself…Paul took this lesson to heart, often referring to the church as the body of Christ while identifying church members as members of His body.”
“In many older mission fields, church planters labor under the weight of years of tradition-built definitions of church and church leadership. This happens when well meaning Christians come to believe that they are not a church until they have been constituted by a national denomination, or have reached a certain congregation size, employed a seminary-trained pastor, secured church property, or constructed a building. All of these requirements exceed and encumber the biblical ideal.”
“When it came to church leadership, Jesus set the example by choosing disciples from all walks of life. He spent three years walking with them, and this became their license to lead.” p242
On Reaching The Lost:
“Conventional wisdom holds that one should always work through the local church to reach neighboring people groups. Though logical and intuitively appropriate, this approach is often not born out in reality. In too many instances the local church is the major stumbling block that is preventing the unreached from coming to Christ. Despite this fact, some missionaries have spent their entire career trying to turn the local church in the direciton of the lost. Others tied themselves so closely to the local church that they ended up sharing the church’s unsavory characteristics.”
“The best way to bring about change in a fallen expression of Christianity is by unleashing vibrant, living Christianity. Once authentic Christianity demonstrates Christlike virtues and begins drawing new converts into the fold, true Christians in the nominal churches will be attracted to the movement like moths to a flame. We have seen many instances of comatose Christianity awakened by the outbreak of a Church Planting Movement.” p246-247
On Empowering Local Believers:
“When we inject foreign elements into the church that the local believers cannot reproduce for themselves we alienate a Church Planting Movement.”
Garrison goes on to describe a story of Christian leaders in Latin America who came across a beautiful church building that had been built three decades earlier by American volunteers. The local members took great pride in the building, but had never attempted to plant any new churches, because they could not reproduce the only thing they knew. They believed that real church had to have such things, and so the moevement died before it started.
What are some things that we do in the church in America that might hinder new believers from excersizing their faith in such a way that causes new works to be birthed due to their feelings of not being able to reproduce the only thing they know about church and the Christian faith? Thoughts?