Wednesday, March 30, 2011

organic church planting = make disciples

When we think of church planting we usually think of a missionary or a group of missionaries who enter an area, preach the gospel, have a kingdom presence in the community which eventually becomes a group of believers with a name, a building, and non-profit status.  This is far from what we see in the NT.  There we find believers living out the great commission of making disciples of Jesus and equipping those disciples to make more disciples ad infinitum.  The Church is the body of believers who met to stir one another up and build itself up in Christ.

Guy at The M Blog has some very practical things to say on how to have a church plant movement.
 "What we are learning from the Lord is that we need to get back to basics: 'making disciples that make disciples that make disciples.' The church plants will follow if new disciples are make disciples themselves.
Christ didn't charge us with going out and starting churches. Our assigned task is to 'make disciples'. He has stated, 'I will build my church' (Matthew 16:18)--not, 'WE will build his church'."

This is key.  We are to make disciples of Jesus.  Through the new life in Christ is born a gathering of those alive in Christ.  Isn't it strange how we use organic terms like "planting" for churches but what we do is build a system and an organization.  Granted, it starts off with imparting the life of Christ into others but so often we get distracted from that life into the systems and strategies of instituting something with a name.  We must remain focused on the living Christ.  It is this new life in Christ and our sharing of Him that becomes the life of the church.  Then and only then will the church be the living organism that she is born to be.  Everything else is empty religion.

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As in a biblical church gathering, my word is not complete or final. Participation is allowed, encouraged and expected. Please, don't leave without adding something.