A team approach to church-planting

For those of you who are new to my situation, I am attempting to raise funds so that I can work in a full-time capacity alongside our current pastor/church-planter.  He is an ordained minister in the PCA (www.pcanet.org), has been called to the mission work here in Danville (www.christpresbyterianchurch.org), and is being supported financially by the members of our mission church as well as our presbytery.  So for many folks out there, you are asking yourself the question, “If they already have a full-time, ordained minister in place, why would they need another full-time man?”  Well I am so glad you asked… I am attempting to be faithful to the pattern of church planting found in the Bible.  Although the Bible does not give us the “7 Easy Steps to Church Planting”, it does give us patterns and principles within which we are free to operate according to wisdom and the providential circumstances God has laid before us.  One of those patterns we see in the New Testament is concerning the apostle Paul’s missionary activity.  We always see him working either in pairs or teams when bringing the gospel of Christ to a place in hopes of planting a church or strengthening the saints already there (Acts 11:25-26; 13:2-5, 13-14; 16:10-14; 17:1-4; Rom. 16:3, 9, 21; Gal. 2:9; Phil. 2:19-25).  So my desire to remain in Danville and assist our pastor in a full-time capacity is to be faithful to the scriptures and help minimize the “one-man-show” approach to church planting which is fraught with more difficulties than a team or paired approach.  

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3 Comments

Filed under Vision and Devotion

3 responses to “A team approach to church-planting

  1. T. J.

    Good ideas, kirk. I’m not much of a denomination man, but where do you think the conservative gospel-driven denominations in america miss the boat when they just send one person to plant a church by themselves?

    I think the major denominations would do itself a favor by cooperating with groups like Acts 29 and other church planting networks that are seeking to be a faithul witness.?

  2. boat14va

    At a certain basic level your concern over gospel-driven denominations who are not cooperating with gospel-driven church-planting networks is the Church versus para-church organization question. I must grant that para-church groups can focus more specifically on certain areas of gospelizing our context and can many times gather a like-minded group of folks to facilitate things even further and produce a great deal of fruit. But it is helpful to remember that it is to the Church that the promises of victory, of God’s presence, of God’s preservation and so forth are given. It is also the Church’s responsibility to do more than plant churches (shepherding issues, securing/maintaining appropriate facilities, Christian education, etc.) which consumes time and funds. The effect that para-church organizations have on the Church (not in all cases) is that the Church has to compete with this other body for its membership’s funds so that it can plant churches. But the church-planting networks (as I imagine they are) are more efficient and focused and so give a “greater return” on the Christian’s “investment”. Please understand I am not trying to take away or diminish the mighty things done for the Kingdom of Christ through organizations like Campus Crusade, Acts 29, Samaritan’s Purse, etc. nor am I trying to excuse the lethargy or bureaucratic sins of denominational churches. All I am trying to say is that if people brought ALL of their firstfruits (10% tithe) into the church where their membership is held before giving any money to anywhere else, then the church which is seeking to gospelize the context faithfully might find itself able to do the very things that many para-church organizations are doing now, but in an ecclesiastically connected way where the means of grace can be brought to bear on everyone involved in the church-planting process.
    As to the difficulties of a solo approach to church-planting, I’ll have to get back to you.

  3. T. J.

    Thanks for the response. While my question wasn’t one of christian ethic, like, say the tithe, but was over trying to learn one another and take cues from one another accross conservative evangelical lines. Things like t4g.org have to be a good thing, i think.

    Know that we’re thankful for the gifts that you’ve been given. Now get to bloggin, son!

    Next post: Biography You’re a history guy, and what better history to air across the blogosphere than your own! 🙂

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