Forming Simple Churches

May 22, 2011 in Communities (F4) by CPM UK

Most people would never dream that they could be used by God to ‘plant a church’

With ‘successful churches’ being modelled as muti-million pound corporations with Business structures, hierarchical leadership and departments such as childrens ministry, youth ministry, poor ministries, outreach minist etc.

Only extremely gifted professional middle-class university trained business leaders could ever build such churches. And only those at the top of their game

But what if we radically rethought ‘church’, ‘mission’ and ‘church planting’ in the light of Scripture

Apostle Paul planted most churches in the space of between 3-6 months, then left them to move onto the next place

When he went to Philippi (a town in Macedonia/N. Greece) he met a few women at a river and spoke about Jesus. One of the ladies- Lydia, liked what she heard and invited Paul and his apostolic/church planting team (paul, silas + tim) to stay at her house

Her whole household accepted the message about Jesus and were baptized and the Church in Philippi began.

When a prison officer and his family heard the message, accepted it and were all baptized the church in Philippi met in at least two homes- Lydias (a business woman who sold expensive fabrics) and the Prison Officers!

When planting churches do we have in mind:

1. A complex business organization with hierarchical levels or

2. Simple communities of people with Jesus at the centre

What could Apostle Paul type church-planting look like today?

A Church-Planting team of 2-4 people are sent from their local simple church

They arrive in a town, meet a few people and share Jesus

2 or 3 people respond and get baptized, they start meeting regularly with the church-planting team who model Jesus-centred relationships, learning together, praying together and eating together.

The new believers invite the Church-Planting team to meet other members of their families or friendship networks.

The message spreads.

They meet in homes, cafes, workplaces.

The Church-Planting team shares their life and message and how to be church

As the life of Jesus and the church-planting team is transferred and modelled to the new local believers the church-planting team leave after encouraging them to continue firmly planted in love for Jesus, loving relationships with each other and multiplying- reaching widening circles of people and surrounding places

 

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