Over the past few months I have become increasingly aware that there are many (Mostly “Big Christian Leader Men” in the Evangelical world) who seem to think that making disciples, and seeing new communities of faith birthed is a “Bad Thing…?”
I know what you are thinking: “Aaron, what do you mean they think it is a bad thing!? It has become VERY popular, and many pastors are starting to pursue planting churches out of their churches!?”
This is true. Pastors ARE realizing that if they are to be kingdom churches they must be starting new ones. However, I have noticed that “they” love church planting so long as it is either:
1) Planted directly out of their church
2) They can SOMEHOW take credit for the fruit produced
In other words: If it continues to grow “their thing”, benefit them in some way, and DOES NOT challenge/get in the way of what they are pursuing then “yes of course we are a church planting church!”
The “question”, “A Bad Thing…?”, resulted after I became aware of several different situations taking place all over the country. The students, and young people we train to start lay-led simple churches have shared that they are constantly getting flack from institutional church pastors/Christian leaders.
For some reason the FIRST response from the pastors to these students after the students share what God has been doing is to: “Burst their bubble, reign on their parade, question God’s activity, doubt what is going on, oppose what they are doing, WARN them AGAINST it, and challenge them to the point of COMPLETELY delegitimizing what is taking place.” (Usually based upon extra-Biblical, Cultural American church concerns.)
This breaks my heart, and leaves me in awe. Picture it: young people all over the country being equipped/empowered/released to go onto their campuses and into their neighborhoods to plant Gospel seeds. In the process new decisions for Christ are made, and new disciples Baptized. Then, new communities of faith are being birthed as a result. Students are Baptizing students, who are then going and Baptizing OTHER students. Churches are birthing, and birthing OTHER new churches! This is bad? Dangerous?
It saddens me that these Christian leaders, for whatever reason, HINDER the movement of the Spirit by abusing their “authority” and influence in the lives of younger Christians. Instead, my prayer is that today’s Christian leaders would rise up to Spiritually Father these young people by affirming and encouraging them to keep moving forward; yes, even if it means their churches have one less member.