06.03.2020 Feature Article

Church Planting

Church Planting
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The attacks and opposition that characterized the Church Growth Movement in the twentieth century are similar to the ones that are being leveled against the multisite movement in the twenty-first century. It is easy to rest on an armchair and criticize those who are working in the trenches. So far as the gospel is not watered down or the message changed but remains the same, we should use all methods to reach people for Christ. Methods change but the message of Christ remains the same.

The cultures of our world have changed. Therefore, churches that use the same methods that were used in the twentieth century to reach society would be left behind and vacant. We are living in a Missional context in the twenty-first century. Therefore, we are to examine the approaches and methodologies of the Apostolic Church in the Book of Acts to be able to reach the masses of people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There was a saying in the twentieth century that if you build the church facilities they would come. Therefore, churches included Gyms to attract people. That paid off in those days. Today, Gyms are operated everywhere with good facilities. Therefore, churches cannot use their Gyms as the center of attraction. Rather, we are to go where the people are and reach them for Christ. That is why the multisite movement has become the talk of the town today. The truth is that methods of reaching people for Christ change but the message of the Gospel remains the same. That was a similar approach that the Apostle Paul used in his day.

It is true that the New Testament does not command church planting. However, when we examine the Great Commission and the example of the New Testament Church in the Book of Acts, we soon realize that church planting is implied. We see that in the apostolic and Missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul and his team of colleagues they saturated the Gentile nations with the gospel of Christ. As a result many New Testament churches were birthed.

When the first century apostles and disciples passed away from the scene, if others did not continue to build the church of Christ then, the church would be extinct today. However, because they took the Great Commission seriously then, the church continues to grow today. The moment believers become complacent, comfortable, and neglect the importance of church planting then the church becomes irrelevant. For the church to continue to thrive, we have to be missional realizing that we are living at a time similar to apostolic age where many people have not heard the gospel. Others who have heard the gospel have turned off against institutional churches.

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