church planting

Word on keyboard

These are three key things I now ask about a church, three questions I ask about a church, and  require of a church before I would be part of it.

I ask these three questions about a church…..

1. How many churches has the church planted?

2. How many missionaries have they sent out?

3. How many baptisms do they do a week?

What I am look to learn, find out, is the church actively fulfilling the great commission, about Equipping and Sending, that is Making Disciples and Going into the world and Baptizing people. ( Matthew 28:19-20 , Mark 16:15 )

Jesus said, “Go and make disciples.” “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation”, so then as followers of Jesus, as the church we want people to become both disciples of Jesus and to Go and make disciples for Jesus. That is what the church is for, to make disciples, to equip them to be disciples of Jesus, and to go into the world and make disciples of Jesus. That is what Jesus did with the twelve disciples, He equipped them, then sent them to do the same thing.

If a church has been around for more than tow or three years should have a list of churches it has planed, missionaries they have sent out. A church that has been around 10, 20 or 30 years that has not planted a church is a dead church. Any church that’s not equipping, sending, and planting churches is not taking Jesus, nor the great commission seriously. It’s not doing its job to equip and send out.

Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa got it right, it is one of the few church in the last four decades that got it, when I was left there in the late 80’s Calvary had planted over 2,000 church around the world. Chuck Smith understood its all about teaching the word (verse by verse), equipping the body and sending them out to reach the lost of the world, planting churches.

If you entered ministry you where expect to Go, no one was to be on staff from more than three years, after that you where expected to Go and plant a church. I went out from Calvary as a missionary with YWAM.

So I have returned to my roots so to say, to the root of Jesus’ mission for His people, His church, to Go, to Go preach the gospel, to make disciples and to baptize, every nation. Every church should be doing that, must be doing that, the church’s  very commission by Jesus was all about Going, Making all about Multiplying.

The gospel should so compel us that we are never satisfied to attend the same church every Sunday year after year and set on our pews. As a pastor you should never be satisfied with one church, growing in numbers of pew warmer, people who keep coming year after year to just sit there and admire you. Or with growth coming from transplants from other church, no one getting saved, just other church goers switching brands. You should burn to have a line of people to be baptized every Sunday, see the gospel go forth and soles get saved. That every Sunday there are names to be read of those who are Going, being sent out as missionaries and church planters.

Jesus was passionate about Going, spreading the gospel and so I’m going to be passionate about Going, taking the gospel to the world. And I want to fellowship with those who have the same passion as Jesus. Be part of a church that has the same passion. It was Jesus’ last words on earth.

If the word is being preached and the gospel being proclaimed then naturally the people will be Going into the world, people will be getting saved and therefore churches are being planted.

So now when I meet a pastor, or talk to others I ask, How may churches has your church planting? How many missionaries has it sent out? How many baptisms do they do a week? If the answer is none, my next question is Why Not?

And honestly the way I feel these days is that any church that is not doing those three things should stop calling it self a church, perhaps call it a Christian entertainment center, or Christian Community center, but certainly not a church.

Any church that is not “making disciples of all nations, baptizing them”, “Going into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation”  why would any follower of Jesus want to be part of it?

img_3321 Shortly after God showed me though the book ‘ Not A Fan ’ that I was not only right in my choice to be a follower of Christ and not be a fan of Jesus. But also showed me to stand on my view on church, what church is to be and what I look for in one and not to compromise on that.

Idleman pointed out in his book that most church in America today are set up to cater to Fans of Jesus and not for followers of Jesus. The thought that came into my head was “Fan Clubs”, that they are, places where fans come to be fans of Jesus. Places where you Never have to make the commitment to follow Jesus. The sermons are tailored for fans, not followers. The services are set up to accommodate fans not followers, for entertainment not worship, for membership in a club, not discipleship,  for inward focus not outward movement. They are set up for weekend Christians, a place where you come to admire at best Jesus for a hour or two, then go on with your life. They are not where you go to become equipped to follower Christ but to be encouraged as a fan.

So I am sticking to my pursuit of biblical church, a gathering of Followers of Christ. Standing by my favorite pastor Francis Chan and his same view of church, “give me what I see in the bible, noting less will do”.

So what do I seek in a church, just that can I open the book of Acts read chapters 1 and 2 and then look at the church and see the same thing? Can I read the bible and every description of church in it and visit a church and say that’s it. If not, its not for me, and I refuse to settle for anything less.

I will not be part of a church that is a Fan Club, for Fans of Jesus, I will only be part of a biblical church, one that mirrors what I read in scriptures. I am not about planting Fan Clubs, but rather Churches that are gatherings of Followers of Jesus.

I am not a Fan of Jesus therefore I am not looking to join or start a Fan Club. I am a Follower of Jesus therefore I am all about biblical Church, that is a gathering of Followers of Jesus Christ.

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Just heard the story out of YWAM of a 12 year-old girl orphan at an orphanage in Russia that is leading a church at the orphanage she is at for other children.

My first thought was praise God and the verse Isaiah 11:6 “A little child shall lead them“.

Going on with her story, Jesus healed one of the children at their church gathering, here’s the story as it was shared.

“The orphans were gathered together, reading the New Testament. They came across a story about Jesus healing the sick. One of the girls had a deep cut on her hand. She asked, “Could Jesus heal me?” The orphans started praying asking Jesus to heal her. When the girl opened her eyes, her cut was gone. It was completely healed, without so much as a lingering scab.”

So we have a 12 year-old orphan girl start a church at her orphanage, she is leading the church service. They are reading scripture and believing what they read so much so, that they pray for each other and healings are happing. Praise God.

After reading her story I though how none of us, especial me have no excuse for not planting a church or leading a house church, after all if God can use a 12 year-old orphan to plant and lead a church. Then so can I or anyone else who is in Christ.

Now I ask you who’s qualified to plant a church? Who’s qualified to lead a church? Whether it be in a orphanage, living room of a home or wherever? Whom ever God wants, even a 12 year old orphan girl can.

This along with other teaching the Lord has given me the last week has given me a change of mind as too what I can do, even when the “church” and others say I can not do it, because I’m not qualified to according to their rules. With God, we are always qualified to do what He wants us to do. God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called. So None of us have an excuse for not doing what scripture has given us the authority to do. Like preach the gospel, make disciples and even plant a church.

I must chose to be like the 12 year-old girl and live like the Nike slogan, and Just Do It.

(Note above photo is not of her, just a photo I used)

weseasons

Acts 29 WE Boot Camp “For All Seasons“, Day 2, the finale day, once again was Mark Driscoll and Steve Timmis. Steve Timmis closed it out. Here are the bullet points from Timmis teaching. He hammered it, these are the points that spoke to me, hit me where it counts.

Once again God wrecks me, He has so wreck me for what everyone considers the normal life. I am wrecked, refreshed & restored,  all the stuff the gospel does to you!

It’s only the gospel that tells me who I am (identity), why I am (purpose), and what I am (function).

Love God and love people: “The gospel says whoever it’s about, it’s never about me!”

I can’t tell you ‘let’s go and plant’ but I can tell you who,why and what you are ‘in Christ’ so that succeed or fail you can glorify God. (more…)

weseasons

Acts 29 Western Europe Boot Camp called “For All Seasons” is taking place in Birmingham, England was today, and once again I got to precipitate via the web. Gather in the nuggets of wisdom from some top pastors – church planters. Mark Driscoll and Steve Timmis two men I highly respect.

So God continues His stream of messages on the same themes coming my way, with the third conference on church planting in a week. Still do not know what God is up to. Besides intensifying the passions in me, fanning the fire and zeal in me for preaching the gospel, church planting, feeding the hungry and going, going somewhere, anywhere over seas.

Here are the key points from today.

  • Jesus is coming back and it’s gonna be awesome! That’s basically our eschatology!” M Driscoll
  • “Without the Holy Spirit you ain’t gonna do jack, or if you do it’s gonna be evil!” Driscoll
  • “Church planting/evangelism/mission is not something we do for God. It’s something He does through us.” Driscoll
  • “You cannot be a church planter and a cessationist!” Driscoll
  • “Practice repentance, don’t just preach it.” M Driscoll
  • “Planting is about disciples not decisions. Not just people who vote for Jesus 1 day, but people who vote for Jesus every day!” (more…)

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I got to participate in the Closing the Gap Conference today via the webcast, this on the heals of the Exponential conference last Wed – Friday. On the same theme of church planting with missions mixed in with it. Got a lot out of it. God continued His theme with me preaching the gospel, Church planning, missions, going, not excepting the status quo anymore.

God threw gas on the fire and zeal He kindled in me with the Exponential stream of teaching. God is up to something, do not know what yet.

Here are my notes bullets:

  • You may be getting nervous because your status quo isn’t changing the way it needs to change.” Jim Haney.
  • There is a decline in evangelical growth in the world today.
  • 86% of Buddhists, Muslims, and Hindus have no relationship with a Christian. (more…)

Notes from Neil Cole, the founder and executive director of Church Multiplication Associates, notes from his teaching at the  Exponential Conference 2011.

He states he finally found the secret of church multiplication. That it was right under his nose. The secret to multiplication is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Christ in each of us, is the power.

It isn’t a strategy, it is Christ in each of us.

Don’t plant churches, plant Jesus

church doesn’t really change lives. Jesus changes lives. We need to put our faith in that, instead of our organization, and institution.

Connect everyone to Christ, make everyone disciples. (more…)

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Here are some more highlight from the Exponential Conference 2011 the last day, I will be also post some more complete notes from the workshop, and more about what God is doing in me through what I picked up from this conference. This is more bullet points, one liners that grabbed the heart of the message, and me, being taught.

Friday 4-29-11

God has a mission for you, the question is will you accept it?

“it’s not just about believing the gospel, it’s about you applying the gospel to your life”

Discipleship needs to be at the heart of all we do – Jo Saxton

If you make disciples, you always get the church. If you build a church you will rarely get disciples

Discipleship was Jesus’ strategy to change the world

We need to make disciples who make disciples (more…)

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I got to partake in, that is eavesdrop in on the Exponential Conference in Orlando FL via the web on Thursday. It was great. It was gasoline on the fire of my sole. The conference was for church planters, one of my great passions. So may of the things said stir my heart and soul. God ignited many emotions and zeal in my heart for church planting. I was so over taken by the Spirit on Thursday, I felt the presence and power of the Spirit on me and in me. Woke up with the Spirit still on me in a powerful way on this morning (Friday). Here are some notes from the conference, key points that caught my attention. His is how I felt on Thursday “My heads about to explode, I’m anxious, my hearts on fire, full of zeal from what’s going on at exponential Just had my world rocked” There will be a part two to this from the Friday session.

“Church is a who not a what, is deployed not gathered, is a verb not a noun. Reggie McNeal ”

“The secret to church multiplication, is Christ in you, not strategy”

“The Church is not the destination, the Kingdom is. ‘Thy Kingdom come…'” -Reggie McNeal

“What if we could see the church not as a place but a movement attacking the gates of hell? (more…)