We have to love the re-emphasis of church planting the past several years. It thrills the heart of every believer to hear about men and women laying their life, and their stuff, on the altar of service for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Lord has allowed my wife, Susanne, and me to begin and be part of Church Planting in an unreached area of India. She oversees support and help for an orphanage we have while I train church planters, write tracts for evangelism, provide messages for the spiritual growth of new believers and help raise basic support for the church planters.
The work is hard, not very appreciated among nominal church members, but very fulfilling with the Lord. Thinking about church planting and the emphasis it places upon the gospel (when properly focused), made me think long and hard about what it ‘really is.’
In its basic sense, it is simply the reproduction of life; bringing others to the gospel and seeing them changed by the power of God through faith. It is deliverance from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Christ. It is really simple, though in America we make it complicated with all our modern perceptions of ‘church’ and our focus on steel, brick and concrete. We think huge budgets and outward structure; we take the NT visual of church and transform it into something it is not–a humanless object.
When our hearts experience a paradigm shift to the correct theological definition of “church,” maybe we’ll see what it really is and begin moving out into our neighborhoods and workplaces with the call to offer life through Jesus, instead of simply inviting people to a building! We need church planting in America…not the reproduction of buildings and ostentatious facilities, but the reproduction of life.
What will it cost? Everything!
But, after all, isn’t that what we gave to the Lord when we surrendered to Christ?
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1Cor. 6:19-20, ESV)