In Your Bible Read This
Acts 20, 17-37; Mark 1, 9-45
Here Is Your Memory Verse
What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. Revelation 3, 7,8
Afterwards Talk About This
Where do you know that has no evangelical church. It may be a place or it may be a group of people who live near you. Do you think you could do something about this?
Something To Do Before Next Time
Go and find some people nearby, maybe from a different country richer or poorer than yours, who have no church. Ask them if they would be interested in having a new church opened specially for them so they have somewhere to pray and to find help for their spiritual and social needs.
Written Diploma Work
Write an analysis in no more than two pages of the peoples in your district that have no church of their own.
Meditate Word By Word On This Verse
Spend a Minute to Change the World
Pray For Laos – Nearly 5,000,000 poor Asian people. 2% Christian, many Buddhist. Church suffered under communism.
Be sure to teach this lesson to others. Always pray and prepare well adding your own verses and stories to bring it to life.
To win one soul is wonderful but as the population explodes, it is never enough. Planting new churches and linking them together in an apostolic, cared for network is a far better goal.
But Here Is What Some People Say ~
"We don't want any more churches."
"One big church has more influence."
"We should support existing churches."
"Let the people come to our meetings."
As you can see there is not one valid Bible reason given. All these excuses show an inward looking defensive attitude which neither pleases the Lord, nor will ever they produce an attractive, purposeful church that people will want to be part of.
Why Plant New Churches?
Is It To Combat The Needs In Society?
No, that’s probably an emotional reaction to the fact that people are visibly in greater spiritual and moral need with every year that passes. But the fact of the matter is that God does not automatically meet with need, otherwise the world would be a very different place.
He Meets With Faith
If need and suffering really bring revival, then Europe after a century of savage wars ought to be the most spiritually open continent on earth. In fact, it is the darkest, and the most spiritually indifferent to the gospel. Church planting is a natural extension of the evangelism that is part of Christ's Great Commission.
To cover an area with new churches is a vision that makes room for the gifts of all of God's people from the youngest to the oldest, rather than relying upon guest evangelists. Everyone is able to do something to help reach their own age group and win them for Jesus. They like that!
Church planting is also very healthy because a church that lives for the people outside of itself has very little time for internal argument. And why wait? I heard about a church of just 17 people that is aiming to plant three more new churches its city.
Aren't New Churches Usually Divisions In Disguise?
Obviously rebellious, complaining people and those who want personal status by being at the front are never going form a healthy church. In fact they will pass on their discontent and probably fall out with each other causing the new ’church’ to collapse. They should repent and get their motives right before the Lord, with his help.
Is The Urge To Expand Always Wrong?
Who scattered the reluctant Jerusalem church when it preferred not to obey the Great Commission and evangelise?
Who separates light from darkness?
Who separated the Protestant church from Rome?
Who took the Methodists, Pentecostals and Charismatics out of the established church and prospered them?
The answer is said to be God himself!
Edward from Pakistan and his wife Kylykke from Finland are missionaries in England. Recently they opened a new church with some new Asian believers and some people from existing churches. Was that division? No, because nine ministers of the established churches all came to conduct the opening service and to publicly give their blessing and support. That was a healthy birth.
God Tells Us To Plant Churches
Church is the Father's purpose, Ephesians 3.10
Church is the promise of the Son, Matthew 16.18
Church was an outcome of Holy Spirit's arrival at Pentecost, Acts 2.42-47
Church planted by ordinary men and made strong by gifted men is the golden example of Antioch, Acts 11,19-26
Church planting was one of Paul's goals, for example in Ephesus. Acts 13; 14; 19 to 20,17
God has brought church planting to the top of his agenda today, for example by inspiring and blessing the internationally successful DAWN & SEAN church planting movements.
How Do You Plant New Churches?
Here are some spiritual ingredients from the example of Jesus. The result seen in Mark 1.45 is that people ‘just kept on coming,’ brought about by these steps, ideal for a foundation in church planting ~
- A welcome for Holy Spirit, and a yielding to being led by him. 9-12
- A necessity to overcome Satan, 13
- A need to get the timing right, Mark 1,14a, 15
- A priority put into preaching. 14
- A team is more effective, 16-20
- A proper use of spiritual gifts, Mark 1, 23-42
- A dedication to serious prayer, 35
- A pioneer spirit that denies comfort, Mark 1, 37-39
- A love for people is very important, Mark 1, 23, 30, 40.
Practically, What Do You Do?
A big church can send 50 people to worship and evangelise in a new area, helping till the new baby grows. You can plant a special ‘language’ church amongst groups in your area like immigrants or refugees. Seeker-sensitive services are good to present the gospel to secular people in non-church ways with attractive music and drama on Sundays, whilst the believers can meet mid-week.
There are many books to inspire you, but always remember the theology of Mary. She simply said, " Do whatever he tells you." See also Rev. 3, 7-8.
To Close Pray for the World's Most Unreached Peoples by Name
Taken from the Joshua Project Unreached Peoples List these people have no church and as yet no cell, church or mission has committed themselves to prayer, adoption or church planting among this people.
|Dom Gypsy (Nawar, Kurbat, Barake)||Domari||10,000|
|Kurd, Western||Kermanji (Kurmanji)||667,800|