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Fostering Indigenous Local Churches and Spiritual Local Leadership.

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Presentation on theme: "Fostering Indigenous Local Churches and Spiritual Local Leadership."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fostering Indigenous Local Churches and Spiritual Local Leadership

2  To describe the key Biblical convictions that should guide missionaries as they seek to responsibly bring two significant social changes into the host culture: a truly indigenous local church movement and a truly spiritual local leadership. Goal of this Workshop

3   Circumstances  Context  Intended Recipients  My Belief and Prayer Introductory Words

4   1.Seeing church-planting and leadership development as involving both social and spiritual [Biblical] change. Introductory Ideas

5   1.Seeing church-planting and leadership development as involving both social and spiritual [Biblical] change.  2.Seeing that modern-day missions has strayed in many ways from the simplicity of missions and the Great Commission described in the New Testament. Introductory Ideas

6   1.Seeing church-planting and leadership development as involving both social and spiritual [Biblical] change.  2.Seeing that modern-day missions has strayed in many ways from the simplicity of missions and the Great Commission described in the New Testament.  3.Seeing that one of the greatest needs for the missionary are a set of Biblical convictions to guide practical every-day decision-making while serving in cross-cultural contexts. Introductory Ideas

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8 What do the Scriptures say? Romans 15:14 I Corinthians 1:4-7 Romans 1:11-12

9   Romans 15:14 And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another. Biblical Foundation

10   I Corinthians 1:4-7 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 1:11-12 For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine. Biblical Foundation

11  Question #1: What do these verses teach us about how Paul viewed these young believers? Biblical Foundation

12  Question #1: What do these verses teach us about how Paul viewed these young believers? Question #2: Why was Paul able to say these amazing things about these believers? Biblical Foundation

13  Question #1: What do these verses teach us about how Paul viewed these young believers? Question #2: Why was Paul able to say these amazing things about these believers? Question #3: Application to the present-day? Biblical Foundation

14 Biblical/Theological Foundation The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

15  Missionaries should seek to establish local churches and local leadership by believing that all of God’s peoples in every cultural context can obey all of God’s commands. Principle #1

16   What this principle means for the missionaries: Missionaries must teach the national believers from the very beginning to obey the Scriptures without making excuses. Principle #1 Applied

17  Example of a Biblical Command Often not obeyed on the mission field

18 What do the Scriptures say? I Corinthians 9:11-14 I Timothy 5:17-18 Galatians 6:6 III John 5-8

19  Question What is the Biblical command or principle communicated through the Holy Spirit to the believers in these churches that Paul started?

20  Issue Whenever a church, individual, or missions organization from abroad supports a national leader in another country (as a pastor or church- planter/missionary), they create a situation where the national believers find it difficult to obey clear commands of Scripture regarding the support of their own leaders.

21   What this principle means for the missionaries: Missionaries must teach the national believers from the very beginning to obey the Scriptures without making excuses.  What this principle means for the local believers: The local believers must believe that they can obey all of God’s commands (with the Spirit’s enabling) and not make excuses due to their relative poverty. Principle #1 Applied

22   What this principle means for Stateside believers: Stateside believers must believe that they can obey all of God’s commands (with the Spirit’s enabling) and not make excuses due to their temperament, family background, or environment. Principle #1 Applied

23  1.Is this particular action by the missionary operating under the assumption that the local believers will not or cannot obey a particular command or principle of Scripture? 2.Will this particular decision by the missionary do for the national church what God has clearly commanded them to do? Missionaries should ask

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25 What do the Scriptures say? Acts 2:42 Matthew 28:18-20

26   Acts 2:42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Biblical Foundation

27  1. Apostle’s doctrine --The regular teaching/preaching of God’s Word and a commitment to defend those teachings/doctrines. 2. Fellowship —Worshipping together regularly and being actively involved in one another’s lives, providing accountability to each other spiritually. 3. Breaking of Bread --Regularly reminding one another of our allegiance to Christ through the observance of the Lord’s Table. 5 Pillars of Local Church

28  4. Prayer --Making corporate prayer a serious part of one’s church life. 5. Fulfilling the Great Commission --Regularly engaging the lost in evangelistic witness, and diligently discipling/teaching those disciples everything God commands. 5 Pillars of Local Church

29 Biblical/Theological Foundation The Simple New Testament Pattern of the Local Church

30  Missionaries should seek to establish local churches that follow the simple New Testament pattern: ones that are spiritual in nature. Principle #2

31   What this principle means for the missionaries: 1.Missionaries must only introduce into mission churches the simple activities described by the church’s example in the book of Acts. 2.Missionaries must allow the nationals to naturally develop their own styles of ministry and Christian traditions while making sure the local believers know clearly what the Biblical boundaries are. Principle #2 Applied

32   What this principle means for the local believers: The local believers must come to the conviction that the Biblical activities described in the early church in Acts are the most important elements. The local leadership must focus on these spiritual activities.  What this principle means for Stateside believers: Stateside believers must come to the conviction that the Biblical activities described in the early church in Acts are the most important elements. Stateside church leaders must focus church ministries around these foundational spiritual activities. Principle #2 Applied

33  1.Will this particular decision encourage or discourage the local believers to remain focused on the core activities of the local church as given in Acts 2:42? 1.Is this an activity or action that the local believers could and would do given their own financial resources and their own cultural identity? Missionaries should ask

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35 What do the Scriptures say? I Peter 5:1-4 Hebrews 13:17

36   I Peter 5:1-4 Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples of the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Biblical Foundation

37   Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you. Biblical Foundation

38 Biblical/Theological Foundation The Simple New Testament Pattern of Local Leadership

39  Missionaries should seek to establish local leadership that follows the simple New Testament pattern: one that is spiritual in nature. Principle #3

40   What this principle means for the missionaries: Missionaries must understand that their relationship with the local churches that they help establish on the mission field must be only spiritual in nature (as opposed to a spiritual/financial mix).  What this principle means for the local believers: The local leadership must guard their spiritual relationship and spiritual authority with their people by not becoming a financial patron of the people in their church. Principle #3 Applied

41  Patron-Client Model Patron Client Provide Services Provide Loyalty Missionary Or Local Pastor Or Local Believers

42   What this principle means for Stateside believers: Stateside believers must be careful to chose their spiritual leaders based on spiritual, Biblical qualifications as opposed to those who have financial power in their assembly. Principle #3 Applied

43  1.Does this particular action emphasize that the missionary is primarily a spiritual leader in the church setting, or is he seen primarily as a medical doctor or English teacher who just happens to teach the Bible? 2.Are the local believers in a situation where they feel obligated or feel loyalty to follow their spiritual leaders (whether missionary or national pastor) for reasons besides Biblical ones? Missionaries should ask

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45  Summary of where we have been so far 1.Belief that all true Christians are called to obedience in every situation (Principle #1) 2.Return to the simple patterns established in the New Testament for the local church and church leadership: one that is spiritual (Principles #2-3). The last two principles (Principles #4-5) are going to describe in more detail what an “indigenous” church is.

46 What do the Scriptures say? I Corinthians 9:19-23

47   I Corinthians 9:19-23 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. Biblical Foundation

48 Biblical/Theological Foundation The Example of the Apostle Paul

49  Missionaries should seek to establish local churches that are culturally distinct (or culturally appropriate). Principle #4

50   What this principle means for the missionaries: 1.Missionaries must take seriously their calling to a particular culture by learning the language of the people and striving to understand and make adjustments to the culture that they minister in. 1.Missionaries must be careful not to bring American/Western cultural forms into the field culture that are not based on clear Biblical statements or principles. Principle #4 Applied

51  Two-Culture Model Cam. Cul. Bib. (CCB) Cambodian Culture Neutral (CCN) Cambodian Culture Unbiblical (CCU) American Culture Unbiblical (ACU) Amer. Culture Neutral (ACN) American Culture Biblical (ACB)

52  Applications: 1.ACU—Do not transport at all 2.ACN—Careful not to transport 3.ACB—Seek to transport sensitively 4.CCB— Keep at all costs 5.CCN—Encourage to keep 6.CCU—Do not keep at all Two-Culture Model

53  Illustrations: 1.ACU—Rights driven; Quick to anger; Hollywood 2.ACN—Buildings; Pianos; Chairs; Bulletins; Choirs 3.ACB—Congregations supporting pastors; social equality among members; caring for handicap and widows/orphans 4.CCB—Respect for elders; Rare public anger; Fasting 5.CCN—Worship all together; Loose with time 6.CCU—Difficulty in confronting and speaking truth; Church leaders tend to be powerful financial patrons Two-Culture Model

54   What this principle means for the missionaries: 3.Missionaries must actively encourage and assist the local believers (particularly the leaders) in establishing Biblically- grounded and culturally appropriate expressions of their faith.  What this principle means for the local believers: The local believers must understand that there will be things in their culture that are clearly against the Scriptures. In those cases, they will need to obey God over their own culture. Principle #4 Applied

55   What this principle means for Stateside believers: Stateside believers must be willing to give up one’s rights and comforts and become a “slave to all” by actively engaging individuals outside their churches who are socially or culturally different from them for the sake of the Gospel. Principle #4 Applied

56  1.Is this particular lifestyle or ministry choice going to encourage our identification with the local believers? 2.Is this particular church tradition from our home culture something that is Biblically essential, or is it a culturally-based expression of the faith? Missionaries should ask

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58 What do the Scriptures say? I Corinthians 4:14-17 I Corinthians 11:1-2 Philippians 3:17; 4:9 I Thessalonians 1:5-6 II Thessalonians 3:7-9

59   I Corinthians 4:14-17 I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church. Biblical Foundation

60   I Corinthians 11:1-2 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.  Philippians 3:17; 4:9 Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Biblical Foundation

61   I Thessalonians 1:5-6 For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, Biblical Foundation

62   II Thessalonians 3:7-9 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example. Biblical Foundation

63 Biblical/Theological Foundation The Example of the Apostle Paul

64  Missionaries should seek to establish local churches that are reproducible from the beginning so that the church can be locally owned. Principle #5

65   What this principle means for the missionaries: 1.Missionaries must strive to only establish church structures or ministry models in the national church that are REPRODUCIBLE by the local believers given their financial resources and cultural identity. 2.Missionaries must strive to establish church structures or ministry models in the national church in ways that allow the local believers to fulfill all of their Biblical responsibilities FROM THE VERY BEGINNING. Principle #5 Applied

66   The Significance of “From the very beginning”: 1.The missionary will need to realize that he is temporary and must act as though this were true from the very beginning. In this way, his long-term role with the national church is different from the typical pastor (in the States, for instance). 2.The missionary will need to realize that he is completely dependent upon the Holy Spirit to work as opposed to dependence upon money and its power. Principle #5 Applied

67   What this principle means for the local believers: The local believers must understand early on that the church is their responsibility, not the missionaries’ (or some foreign organization). Principle #5 Applied

68   Description of “locally owned”: 1.The Self-Supporting Principle—The national church must not depend on foreign resources in order to function. 2.The Self-Governing Principle—The national church must not depend on foreign intervention in order to govern. 3.The Self-Propagating Principle—The national church must not depend on foreign personnel in order to expand. Principal #5 Applied

69   What this principle means for Stateside believers: Stateside believers must realize that they are completely dependent upon the Holy Spirit to work as opposed to dependence upon programs and the power of money. They must place far greater dependence upon the working of God’s Word and God’s Spirit through God’s People. Principle #5 Applied

70  1.Will this particular action lead the local believers to think that they cannot operate as a local church or fulfill the Great Commission without financial dependence on foreigners? 2.Will this particular action exemplify for the local believers a real dependence upon the Holy Spirit for spiritual ministry or does it imply a greater faith in the power of money, entertainment, or other forms of manipulation? Missionaries should ask

71   Meditate on the Scriptures and the 5 Principles we have studied in this workshop  Read more about missions strategy  Talk to seasoned missionaries about these issues so that you can develop a grid (set of clear Biblical principles) that will serve you either on the mission field or in your Stateside local church ministry. Final Challenge


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