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CHURCH PLANTING

a practical introduction
CHURCH PLANTING
a practical introduction
WHAT IS CHURCH PLANTING?
WRITE YOUR OWN
DEFINITION
“CHURCH PLANTING IS
EVANGELISM THAT RESULTS IN
NEW CHURCHES.”
JD PAYNE,
He explains this idea by talking of:
- passages of Scripture (such as Acts 13–14;
20; 1 Tim 3; Tit 1),
- different stages of church planting,
- planned role changes for the church-
planting team
- the priority of unreached people groups.
Payne suggests that this is
“nothing more than what
we read about in Scripture.”
Many people claim to be
doing this, but in fact don’t
do it.
It led him to conclude:
“when the Church is shocked at
a biblical model, it reveals just
how far away from the
Scriptures we have moved in our
missionary practices.”
Payne suggests that this style of church
planting has been around for 2000 years.
But, What we have been doing has not
worked.
Change is never easy...evangelicals must
begin to make necessary adjustments as we
continue into the twenty-first century.
Over six thousand people
groups remain unreached
(including three thousand
unengaged-unreached).
More of the same is not
good enough.
While great things have
Over six thousand people
been accomplished for the
groups remain unreached
kingdom in the realm of
(including three thousand
church planting, we must
unengaged-unreached).
build on them and venture
More of the same is not
into new waters with an
good enough.
ancient approach.
While great things have
been accomplished for the
kingdom in the realm of
church planting, we must
build on them and venture
into new waters with an
ancient approach.
The 10/40 Window
Home to most of the world's least
evangelised countries.
3.02 billion unreached people.
Soon church planting will stop.
We shall all gather around the throne of
God, Rev 7:9.
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great
multitude that no one could number, from every
Soon church planting will stop.
nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages,
We shall all gather around the throne of
standing before the throne and before the Lamb,
God, Rev 7:9.
clothed in white robes, with palm branches in
their hands,
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great
multitude that no one could number, from every
nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages,
standing before the throne and before the Lamb,
clothed in white robes, with palm branches in
their hands,
But until that day we are called to be wise
stewards of time and resources—using all
that we have received in the best possible
way.
WHAT IS
CHURCH PLANTING?
Lots of interest around the world—there
are many books, many websites, many
denominations, many conferences and
courses all over the world about this
subject.
THINK: LIST SOME BIBLE
REFERENCES TELLING US
[DISCIPLES] TO PLANT CHURCHES.
“HERE IS AN INTERESTING FACT:
NOWHERE IN THE BIBLE IS THE
CHURCH COMMANDED TO PLANT
CHURCHES. NO SUCH REFERENCE
EXISTS.” PAYNE
Church planting takes
place, but that is not the
same as receiving a direct
command.
We are commanded to make
disciples, baptise and teach
(Mt 28:19-20). Disciples are
to follow Christ and
experience sanctification in
local kingdom communities
—local churches.
This is not the same as planting churches,
because the Bible doesn’t command it!
In the Bible churches are born
after disciples are made.
Biblical church planting is
evangelism that results in
new churches.
Putting it in a different way: Church
planting is evangelism that results in new
disciples, who then gather together and
identify as a local expression of the body of
Christ.
Churches are birthed from disciple making.
Churches are
birthed from
disciple making.
Payne suggests Four
Necessities [required things]
for planting a church
What do you believe you need
to plant a church? Make a list
below:
Suggestions might include:
- A good charismatic leader
- Money in the bank
- Good PA system
- A place to meet
- A website
- Chairs, good tea and refreshments
THE CHURCH IN THESSALONICA
DRAW A MAP SHOWING THE
LOCATION OF THESSALONICA AND
JERUSALEM
Look through the following references
about the beginning of this church.
Write down what you can see about the
process, major events or any other
factors etc. that were important for this
church to be established.
ACTS 17:1-8
1 THESSALONIANS 1:4-8,
1 THESSALONIANS 2:7-8
Acts 17:1-8
Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and
Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a
synagogue of the Jews. 2 And Paul went in, as was his
custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them
from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was
necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead,
and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the
Christ.”
4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and
Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a
few of the leading women. 5 But the Jews were jealous,
and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a
mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of
Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. 6 And
when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and
some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting,
“These men who have turned the world upside
down have come here also, 7 and Jason has
received them, and they are all acting against the
decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another
king, Jesus.” 8 And the people and the city
authorities were disturbed when they heard these
things.
For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has
chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not only
in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and
with full conviction. You know what kind of men we
proved to be among you for your sake. 6 And you
became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you
received the word in much affliction, with the joy of
the Holy Spirit,
so that you became an example to all the believers
in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For not only has
the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in
Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has
gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say
anything.
But we were gentle among you, like a nursing
mother taking care of her own children. 8 So,
being affectionately desirous of you, we were
ready to share with you not only the gospel of God
but also our own selves, because you had become
very dear to us.
ACTS 17: 1-8 DESCRIBES THE
BIRTH OF THE CHURCH IN
THESSALONICA:
Acts 17:1-8
Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and
Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a
synagogue of the Jews. 2 And Paul went in, as was his
custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them
from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was
necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead,
and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the
Christ.”
4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and
Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a
few of the leading women. 5 But the Jews were jealous,
and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a
mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of
Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. 6 And
when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and
some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting,
“These men who have turned the world upside
down have come here also, 7 and Jason has
received them, and they are all acting against the
decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another
king, Jesus.” 8 And the people and the city
authorities were disturbed when they heard these
things.
THIS IS BASICALLY THE BIG PICTURE OF
WHAT HAPPENED.
PAUL LATER GIVES US A DIFFERENT IDEA OF
HOW THINGS HAPPENED. 1 THESS 1:4-6,
For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has
chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not only
in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and
with full conviction. You know what kind of men we
proved to be among you for your sake. 6 And you
became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you
received the word in much affliction, with the joy of
the Holy Spirit,
Here we see that sowers
came, sowing the seed
in Spirit-prepared soil.
Nothing fancy. Nothing
flashy. Nothing complex.
• The team evangelised - some people
believed, others didn’t.
• The believers imitated the faith of the
team.
• Their maturity, zeal and
gifting were not the same as
the team who did the
evangelism.
• But they saw what was required for
them to be disciples, and to make disciples,
as part of a local church
• This was provided by the Spirit and
shown to them by the team in a short space
of time.
PAUL DESCRIBES THE
RELATIONSHIP IN 1 THESS 2:7-8,
But we were gentle among you, like a nursing
mother taking care of her own children. 8 So,
being affectionately desirous of you, we were
ready to share with you not only the gospel of God
but also our own selves, because you had become
very dear to us.
THE RESULT WAS WONDERFUL
1 THESSALONIANS 1:7-8
so that you became an example to all the believers
in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For not only has
the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in
Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has
gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say
anything.
Payne reflects on his own experience by
saying, “Is church planting a difficult ministry?
Yes! Absolutely.”
He continues by telling us that a friend
suggests that some of their greatest
spiritual highs came during church
planting...but some of their greatest
spiritual lows came in the same ministry!
WHAT PASSAGES IN THE NT DO YOU KNOW
THAT TELL OF THE SPIRITUAL OPPOSITION
AND PHYSICAL PERSECUTION THAT COMES
WHEN PLANTING NEW CHURCHES?
There are many examples in Acts.
In Thessalonia we see preaching the Gospel
and the conversion of people was enough
to start a riot! Acts 17:6 is a powerful
statement of what they thought of this
ministry.
There are many examples in Acts.
In Thessalonia we see preaching the Gospel
and the conversion of people was enough
to start a riot! Acts 17:6 is a powerful
statement of what they thought of this
ministry.
In the Bible church planting is not
complex, it is simple: disciples are made,
baptised and taught, in community with
other Kingdom citizens.
#1 SUMMARY
WHAT IS CHURCH PLANTING?
➤ Biblical church planting is evangelism
that results in new churches.
➤ The four necessities for planting
churches are sowers, seed, soil and the
Spirit.
➤ Church planters are to set a copiable
model before the new believers.
➤ Church planting is a hard ministry but
not a complex one.
#2 ECCLESIOLOGY AND
CHURCH PLANTING
Assuming you have a high
view of the Bible, Christology,
and soteriology, the most
important issue in church
planting will be your doctrine
of the church, your
ecclesiology.
How you, and your team, define church
(local and universal) will affect:
How you, and your team, define church
(local and universal) will affect:
➤ your church planting work
How you, and your team, define church
(local and universal) will affect:
➤ your church planting work
➤ what you are trying to plant
How you, and your team, define church
(local and universal) will affect:
➤ your church planting work
➤ what you are trying to plant
➤ your strategy
How you, and your team, define church
(local and universal) will affect:
➤ your church planting work
➤ what you are trying to plant
➤ your strategy
➤ your resources, methods
How you, and your team, define church
(local and universal) will affect:
➤ your church planting work
➤ what you are trying to plant
➤ your strategy
➤ your resources, methods
➤ who is allowed to pastor new churches.
What are the different parts
of your ecclesiology?
Ecclesiology is very, very,
important as it shapes
everything.
For example it might include:
What is the church?
What is the purpose of the
church?
What is the importance of
Christian baptism?
What is the importance of the
Lord's Supper?
What does the Bible say about
the form of church
government?
The Bible uses the
word church in two
different ways:
The Bible speaks about the universal
Church as all those across the ages who
have repented of their sin and placed their
faith in Christ.
People from all over the world.
People from different ages.
We too are part of the universal body with
them.
This was the church Jesus referred to in
Matt 16:18.
This was the church Jesus referred to in
Matt 16:18.
The Bible also speaks of a local church as
members of Christ’s body in a specific
place (location).
We see Jesus referring to this in Matthew
18:17, and also in Rev 2-3 where he speaks
to the churches in...
Most of Paul’s epistles were written to
churches like these—congregations of
believers (saints) in specific cities.
To be a believer is to be a
member of the universal
Church;
- but there is also an
expectation that believers
will take part in a local
church.
- It is impossible to
carry out total obedience
to Jesus without a
commitment to a local
expression of his body.
- As the Thessalonians
became imitators of the
team, we should see these
believers as examples to
follow in this.
- If we expect new believers
to unite together as local
churches, our teams also
need strong commitments to
local churches. It is difficult
to tell others to imitate us if
we are poor examples.
SOME SUMMARY STATEMENTS:
THE LOCAL CHURCH IS THE
LOCAL EXPRESSION OF THE
UNIVERSAL BODY OF CHRIST.
A church comes into existence
[starts] when people repent of their
sin and place their faith in Jesus, are
baptized, and agree to unite together
(self-identify) as followers of Jesus in
community with one another, as a
local expression of his universal body.
What about pastors, worship gatherings,
deacons, evangelism, ministry, communion,
small groups, Bible study, taking care of
orphans and widows? What about being
involved in our culture with a Christian
worldview? What about all of those other
things that we have been told must be in
place for a church to be a church?
These are all very important
and essential elements of local
churches. They are the things
new churches should grow
towards as soon as possible.
Payne gives a wonderful
piece of advice,
PLANT THE CHURCH THAT IS,
NOT THE CHURCH THAT IS TO
COME
PLANT THE CHURCH THAT IS,
NOT THE CHURCH THAT IS TO
COME
Often church planters
start with a list of what
they require;
- Make sure you have all
this stuff
- Make sure you have this
structure
- Have these activities
- Have this amount of
money
- Be affiliated to this group
- Etc.
- Make sure you have this
structure
- Have these activities
- Have this amount of
money
- Be affiliated to this group
- Etc.
Are you trying to reproduce
your own home church, or a
successful (well established)
church, or following a
fashion or trend?
Such churches can produce instant
“results” but be hard to maintain a
complex structure or organisation.
Churches like these can be built using
existing disciples:
People with years of sanctification
Years of church experience
Understanding of church expectations.
Planting with long time believers should
not be the usual way of planting, it is not
the biblical pattern.
Most churches in the Bible are birthed
from the harvest field, not by moving
sheep from one field to another.
But this is not the same
as planting churches with
new disciples.
Understanding
ecclesiology stops us
having wrong
expectations from
churches planted and
formed of new disciples.
Churches like these are
just staring the
sanctification process.
- Don’t expect the same level of
maturity from a new believer as a 20
year old believer.
- Give them time to grow.
- Newborn believers crawl, they
don’t run.
- New believers have little Bible
knowledge, don’t know doctrines,
don’t know church history.
- Remember new churches are
made of new believers!
A CHURCH PLANTING STORY

From 1978 to 1996, George and Harriett


Walker joined Bob and Noby Kennell to
serve among the Bisorio people, a remote
and unreached tribe in Papua New Guinea.
They were introduced to the Bisorio by a
neighboring tribe.
As the team introduced medicine to the tribe
for the first time, the Bisorios’ health began to
improve dramatically. After the first contact
with the tribe, when Bob said he wanted to tell
the Bisorio about their creator God, they
responded, “Please live with us and tell us
about him because we are not happy living the
way we are.”
The Bisorio did not have a written language,
so the team did language learning, alphabet
development and eventually Bible translation
for them. For three years, the team lived in
very close context with the people. George
said they could hear their neighbors in the
hut next door snoring at night.
One day Bob and George asked the tribal
leaders if they could begin telling them
“the important story” around the fire at
night. During their time with the Bisorio,
the team had modeled before the
unbelievers what a follower of Jesus was
like.
Having observed the Christian lifestyle of the
team and realizing the importance of the story,
the leaders responded to the request by saying
that if the story was that important, then
everyone in the village needed to hear it. For
the next six months Bob and George shared
stories from Genesis to the Gospels five days a
week.
In 1981 they started doing chronological
Bible teaching. George described this
evangelistic method as “revolutionary in
my mind” and said that it had an
“unbelievable impact” on the Bisorio.
Through the use of chronological Bible
teaching and interpretive drama, the team
shared the message of redemption, and
following these six months of teaching, a
large number of the tribe repented and
placed their faith in Jesus.
Following this great awakening, the new
believers were baptized and a church was
planted.
WHEN IS A CHURCH FORMED?

Once a group is baptized and self-


identify as a church, it is the local
church. (But it still has a lot to learn and
practice).
WHEN IS A CHURCH FORMED?
But, it does not become the local church
later, when the people can explain
Philippians 2, or can execute a service like
that found in a cathedral, or when they
have complex ministries in place or a
budget the size of a small company.
What questions might you
ask to see if a local church
exists?
- Are they born again?
- Committed to one
another
- Living in Kingdom values
- Baptised?????
If you answer yes to those
questions then you have
planted a church that is ready
to reproduce and make
disciples, leaders and more
churches.
You have planted the
church that is.
It might not seem cool or
fashionable, but God thinks it
is amazing!
PLANT THE CHURCH THAT IS,
NOT THE CHURCH THAT IS TO
COME
PLANT THE CHURCH THAT IS,
NOT THE CHURCH THAT IS TO
COME
PLANT
A SECOND
THE CHURCH
PIECE OFTHAT
GOODIS,
ANDADVICE
HAVE HIGH
FROMEXPECTATIONS
PAYNE…
PLANT THE CHURCH THAT IS,
AND HAVE HIGH EXPECTATIONS
Church planting is
dangerous. You might…
- be so eager to see
churches grow and multiply
that you simply start a new
group (which is not a
church)
- Or you plant a church but
with no real expectations or
teaching, or leadership
development strategy.
In both of these cases you
basically reach people and leave
them.
When you plant a church have high
expectations!
- Teach the disciples the Word
- Teach them how to study
- Make sure they can do it on their own
and together
- Then the Spirit and Word will act to
bring the other marks of a church into
existence amongst them
- And remember, God is able to keep
them from falling, Jude 24.
SOME Q&A AROUND THE
DEFINITION OF CHURCH
What about pastors (leaders)?
- A church can exist without
elders, but shouldn’t do for long
(Acts 14:23, Titus 1:5). Leaders
are important for the proper
functioning of a church.
Can a church exist without having the
Lord’s Supper?
- Communion is done by the church, it is
not what the church is. But as soon as
possible the planting team should show
what the Bible teaches about this.
Can a church exist without
correction [discipline] in the
church?
- Again this is what a church
does, not what it is. Again, the
church should be taught about
this as soon as possible.
What about preaching and worship
meetings, they are not included in your
definition?
- Both are necessary as part of what the
church does, not what it is (hence they are
not included in any definition of church)
Many people define a church by
what it does - its functions.
But the essence (vital part) of
church is in what it is, not in its
activity. A church can exist
without doing many things!
Many people define a church by
what it does - its functions.
But the essence (vital part) of
church is in what it is, not in its
activity. A church can exist
without doing many things!
#2 SUMMARY
WHAT ABOUT ECCLESIOLOGY?
➤ Our doctrine of the church affects
everything we do in church planting.
➤ A biblical understanding of both the
universal Church and the local church is
necessary.
➤ Commitment to Jesus, baptism? and
self-identification as Christians are
essential for a local church to be birthed.
➤ Planting instant churches with longtime
believers should be the exception, not
the rule.
➤ Planting churches from the harvest
should be the expectation.
➤ Plant the church that is; have high
expectations for the church that will
grow.
The End!