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Reflections from Discovering Church Planting J. D. Payne Nehemiah Professor, Southern Seminary

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Presentation on theme: "Reflections from Discovering Church Planting J. D. Payne Nehemiah Professor, Southern Seminary"— Presentation transcript:

1 Reflections from Discovering Church Planting J. D. Payne Nehemiah Professor, Southern Seminary

2 re-Discover a Biblical Definition of Church Planting re-Discover a Biblical Understanding of the Apostolic Nature of Church Planters re-Focus Your Strategy on the Multiplication of Disciples, Leaders, and Churches

3 re-Discover a Biblical Definition of Church Planting

4 Acts –Evangelism that results in new churches It is not about church planting –Making Kingdom Citizens who live according to a Kingdom Ethic in covenant relationship to God and one another as the local expression of the Body of Christ

5 re-Discover a Biblical Understanding of the Apostolic Nature of Church Planters

6 Where is the pendulum in the U. S. and Canada when it comes to church planting? Church planter as... MissionaryPastor Why?

7 re-Discover a Biblical Understanding of the Apostolic Nature of Church Planters Missionary Methods Missiology Theology -- If our foundation is wrong then our missiology and methods are on tenuous ground.

8 The Missiological Shift in Western Contexts As a society moves from an historical point in time when they were without the gospel, to a time when they became Kingdom citizens and developed a well-established Church, four shifts seem to occur:

9 The Missiological Shift in Western Contexts From Simplicity to Complexity Time Complexity

10 The Missiological Shift in Western Contexts From Apostolic to Pastoral Apostolic Pastoral

11 The Missiological Shift in Western Contexts From Apostolic Missiology to Pastoral Missiology As the Church becomes more pastoral in her functions, and less apostolic, missions in that society becomes filtered through a pastoral lens instead of a missional lens, resulting in a pastoral missiology out of which the Church then develops her missionary methods—which generally are not very missional.

12 The Missiological Shift in Western Contexts From Approaching the Mission Field with Missionary Methods to Approaching the Mission Field with Pastoral Methods Since our methods are derived from our missiology, if a community of believers shift from a missiology being apostolic in nature to a missiology being pastoral in nature, then the evangelism, church planting, and leadership development methods will reflect such shifts.

13 A result of a pastoral missiology applied to a post-Christianized context is a failure to think and function missionally (i.e., apostolically), but rather with more of a pastoral approach to missionary labors. A pastoral missiology leans toward maintenance and the conservation of structures and organizations. Such is the nature of pastoral ministry— even for the most evangelistic pastoral ministries. The heart of the pastor is aligned in this direction, and this direction can be a very good thing— for a pastor and an established local church. Unfortunately, a pastoral missiology misapplies this good desire to the mission field, and finds satisfaction in the planting of churches with believers who have been Kingdom Citizens for a long-time, rather than with recent converts from the harvest fields. A pastoral missiology typically wants to maintain and control rather than empower and release others to be and function as the local church in their context. By way of an historical analogy, a pastoral missiology understands missionaries to be like a scaffold, but desires that scaffold to remain attached to the building (i.e., the local body of believers), once the construction is complete.

14 What is an Apostolic Missiology? a missiology that treats societies and peoples as a mission field should be treated—lost without Jesus and in need for the rapid dissemination of the gospel resulting in the multiplication of disciples, leaders, and churches. a missiology that recognizes while the West has many local churches in existence some ten, twenty, fifty, or one hundred or more years in age, the structures and organizations of those churches (and denominations) took a long time to develop.

15 What is an Apostolic Missiology? a missiology that seeks to sow the gospel seed into the hearts of the people, with the expectation that the Holy Spirit will birth His church in His time. a missiology that allows for the development and application of simple, yet highly reproducible, methods that the new believers can be taught to use to preach the gospel and plant other churches.

16 What is an Apostolic Missiology? a missiology that informs missionaries that once the “building” has been constructed (i.e., local body of believers), the scaffolding needs to come down, and erected elsewhere to repeat the process. a missiology that desires to see self- supporting, self-expressing, self- governing, self-identifying, self-teaching, self-theologizing, and self-propagating churches planted from the moment the Holy Spirit births those churches.

17 What is an Apostolic Missiology? a missiology that works hard to avoid falling into the trap of paternalism (i.e., new believers and new churches must depend on the church planters for everything because they can’t “do” church “right”), or the trap of pragmatism (i.e., that the goal is to get a church planted by any means that works to create the organization, rather than see the Kingdom expand).

18 What is an Apostolic Missiology? a missiology that drives missionaries to reach, teach, empower, and release new churches to the power of the Lord and His Word (Acts 20:32), knowing that He is able to keep them from stumbling and to present them “blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy” (Jude 24, ESV). a missiology that drives missionaries to follow after the example of the Apostle Paul who made certain that the new churches had their own elders (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5).

19 Three Primary Purposes of Apostolic Missionaries Evangelism (Rom 15:20; 1 Cor 9:16) Discipleship (Acts 20:27; Eph 3:14-19) Leadership Development (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5) Where do you spend the majority of your time? Do you need to change your priorities? How does knowing these three primary purposes influence how you coach and mentor future church planters?

20 re-Focus Your Strategy on the Multiplication of Disciples, Leaders, and Churches

21 Three Guidelines to Keep in Mind Receptivity-Need Analysis for Where to Begin Reproducibility Potential Guide for your Methods

22 Guideline #1: Assume the Great Commission. The general call for all believers is to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Intentionally making disciples is to be the normative pattern of the Church at any time, any place, among any people. Therefore, where is the place to begin? The answer is simply, wherever there are people who are not disciples.

23 Guideline #2: Has God Extended to You a Specific Call to Hard Soil? Unless there is a specific call for a team to work among an apathetic or resistant people, clear Holy Spirit leading, and confirmation by other believers (Acts 13: 1- 3), then the team should move to Guideline #3. The call to be a Jeremiah or an Ezekiel and labor for years in a resistant field is a legitimate and valid calling, but not normative. The church is commanded to “make disciples,” which carries the expectation of seeing disciples made.

24 Guideline #3: Determine the Most Receptive and Most Needy Field. In order to be faithful with available resources, church planters should prayerfully locate the peoples and areas where receptivity is high and need is great.

25 A Priority 1 B Priority 2 C Priority 3 D Priority 4 RECEPTIVITY NEED High Low Receptivity-Need Analysis Guideline Where are you serving? Why? How will you guide future church planters to know where to begin in your area?

26 Reproducibility-Potential Guide Reproducibility Technicality How technical are your methods? Can the people you have reached reproduce what you have taught them? Why or why not? How will this guide assist you in coaching future church planters?


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