Thursday, December 3, 2009

Why Church Planting?

Dave Harvey has some great posts over at the Sovereign Grace Ministries Blog in regard to church planting.

Just pulling a couple of quotes out of the articles, Harvey states:

I hope this is important to you as well. But sheer enthusiasm is not enough. We need to understand from God’s Word why we as a ministry are called to plant and build gospel-centered local churches around the world....

That’s why we can’t get all hyped up on the latest way to do missions, the latest research, the latest means and methods of doing ministry. Because nothing we can concoct will ever prepackage the power of the gospel. Church planting shouldn’t start with techniques, technology or talking to territorial spirits, often the launching point for church planting in certain parts of the world. It must begin with our confidence in the explosive message embodied in Christ and entrusted to us in Matthew 28. It’s the one message that makes all the difference. And we’re the megaphone....

I’m one of those guys who responded to an altar call at a concert. I shot to my feet so fast I got dizzy…and I was already a Christian! The altar call was for radical Christians; believers who would risk life and limb to become missionaries and take the gospel to faraway lands. Being radical for Jesus sounded like a great career move to me, way better than my minimum wage job. So I stood! I stood up to be counted, stood tall for Jesus, stood ready to leave that night for the radical life.

The tug on my pant leg came just above the knee. It was my new bride. I had, ummm, momentarily forgotten about her. She was still seated and not a little confused. Stow the passport—this needed to slow down a bit. Eventually God showed us that we should be seated in a church before we could stand for missions. So we joined a church, and it was there we discovered that God’s mission to the world—the Great Commission—doesn’t sidestep the church but actually involves the church. That’s part of what makes it a GREAT Commission....

Think about how the Great Commission was applied in the New Testament. Missions in the New Testament was about churches and church planting. It was profoundly church-centered. That’s why Paul was sent from local churches and received into churches. It’s why his labors resulted in churches and his letters were addressed to churches. It’s why the aim of missions was never to separate from the church, but to result in the church.

You can read Harvey's messages in whole:

Hi, My Name is Dave

Why Plant Churches? (1)

Why Plant Churches? (2)

Why Plant Churches? (3)

You can also listen to his excellent message, The Gospel and Ambition here.

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