Archive - June, 2011

A Gift from the Sky

In the last year I’ve made the commitment to attempt to give a an ESV Study Bible to every Pastor I meet who does not live in the United States.  This Bible has been such an incredible blessing in my life that I’m passionate about seeing church leaders all over the world have the resources, references, & study notes that I enjoy using daily.  Here’s a reminder of how much resources can help pastors in other countries.  This is my friend pastor Ronald from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Why Planting the Gospel?

Why Planting the Gospel?  Some people may think this is only semantics but I’m convinced otherwise.  “Planting a Church” & “Planting the Gospel” are not the same thing.

After being involved in church planting for over a decade, I’ve found a familiar question that almost always comes up.  The first question I’m asked usually goes something like this:

  • Do you have a building yet?
  • Where are you going to meet?

While there is nothing wrong with these questions, I think they reveal a mentality that pervades church life in America or at least in the South.  When we think of church we wrongly think first of a building: steeple, programs, sunday sermon, etc.  Now there’s nothing wrong with these things (okay maybe steeples are a little weird if you research the history behind them & definitely a waste of $$$) but they aren’t what we’re called to think of FIRST when it comes to following Christ.

Jesus was good at drawing a crowd, but for some reason he always turned back to the small group of 12.  In 3 years of ministry he only drew a following of about 120 people.  (Jesus would not have been recognized as a successful church planter).  But the Gospel went viral & impacted the entire known world in just a few short years!  HOW?

Because Jesus’ followers actually did what He told them to do.  They made disciples!  They didn’t promote an institutional mentality of counting nickels & noses.  Instead they lived as missionaries in their homes, neighborhoods, villages, & cities .

Men taught their families & kids what it meant to live in light of the Gospel.  New Testament believers didn’t think first of a building that you visit one or two days a week where a spiritual priest is responsible to teach you the ways of God.  They thought first & foremost of an “incarnational” God.  A God who chose to come & live among them.  A God who now lives within us, if we are believers & followers of Jesus Christ.

It is possible to plant a church, attract disgruntled Christians, and meet once or twice a week counting nickels & noses and call this success.  But Jesus’ desire & mission is much deeper, further-reaching, and impacts cultures, generations, and the world.  We must STOP doing church and we must BEGIN living incarnationally, on mission, as followers of Jesus.

If this happens a small group of people will not only Plant the Gospel, but they will Plant a Church in the process.  The difference is their main goal is not to accomplish a meeting – their main goal is to make disciples.  And that requires a far different process than just doing institutional church.