When God called you to be a church planter, He didn’t joke around and say, “Let’s see you do this without any financial resources!” God owns it all. His provision is sufficient. Our task as church planters is to establish the church on the correct foundation for growth, strength, and longevity. There is an article from a major mission sending organization that gives insight on this issue based on a long history of experience. They have done it the wrong way in the past, and they have found a more successful approach as a result. READ MORE.
Have you tried door-to-door or house-to-house witnessing and had doors slammed in your face so many times that your nose is all bent out of shape? Have you tried street preaching, only to get chased off by police, or even put in prison? Do you face severe restrictions on spreading Christianity? Do you face apathy and indifference from those who need Christ but don’t know it yet? Are there too many questions? Then let’s look for answers.
It is apparent that the devil is the ruler of this earth (Revelation 12:7-12) and his influence seems to be getting stronger. As Christians we know that Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 1:33) A great majority of the people we see on the street, or in every crowd, is lost and without Christ. We must find ways to present the truths of the Gospel and the truth of the Resurrection. We must find ways to overcome the complacency of the self-satisfied person. We must find ways to bridge the gap between love and hate to reach those who are stubbornly and dogmatically against the teachings of Jesus and the salvation He brings. We must be “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16) We must be fearless, not foolish. We must be brave, not resigned to defeat. We must tread gently as we boldly go.
As Christians, we have the King of Kings, the Ruler of the Universe, fighting for us. “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) No one enjoys or wants persecution, but there are times when God allows it. Persecution does not come as punishment, but as a way of glorifying God. Even physical pain and disease may be used by God for his glory. We can’t know the ways of God, nor can we know the reasons; but we can know the blessings of serving Him, regardless of what happens to us. Let’s march forward as Christian soldiers, battle-ready and fully clothed in the whole armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
I have two resources for you. The first is S.H.A.R.E. Evangelism, which is a very practical training course that encourages the Christian to use the “stuff” of everyday modern life to inspire parables. This is a way of imitating Christ in an easy “as you go” style that makes witnessing a part of who you are. This method is most compatible with evangelical Christian theology and philosophy. Best of all, it is free! Just email me at MitchellBarbara711@gmail.com. Tell me you name, address, cell, your church name, your involvement in the church (pastor, Sunday school teacher, member, etc.) web site if any, your plans to plant a church, and any other information you care to share. I will send you the link and the pass code so you will have access any time.
The second resource is my new book on planting churches that can be self-funded and autonomous from the beginning. The title is, CHURCH PLANTERS HAVE ALL THE FUN(DING)! It follows an agricultural theme and shows how S.H.A.R.E. Evangelism and church planting go hand-in-hand. The manuscript is in the editor’s hands for final editing. I expect the book to be released by the end of summer, 2017. Let me know if you are interested and I will be sure to notify you when it is available.
Meanwhile, please visit other blogs on my web site. You may find them especially helpful and encouraging. I appreciate any comments on the blogs that you care to make. I’ll see you there. http://www.shareinstitute.org/blog/
This account comes from my husband Rick. We enjoy it over and over; as Christians everywhere will understand it’s significance.
After a few weeks of language study in the Philippines, my assignment was to learn the plan of salvation in Cebuano (the local dialect) and practice presenting it with several people. Because of the unrest and insurgency during that time, Lito, a night security officer, was assigned to the subdivision where we lived. Lito and I became friends so I decided to try my testimony on him. I struggled through it and probably murdered the pronunciation, but God spoke to Lito in spite of my feeble efforts. Before I could finish, Lito said, “I want that.” My language skill was not adequate to help him pray, so I quickly called for help from a nearby Christian friend. Lito immediately prayed to receive Christ as his Savior. He was so happy he ran out and told everyone he could find. I gave him a Bible so he could read more in his own language. The next day he brought it back and, in tears, threw it down and said, “They killed Jesus! He was such a good man. Why did He have to die?” I told him to read the next chapter to find out more.
Ten minutes later Lito came back shouting, “He’s alive, He’s alive!” He stopped, looked at me, and said, “You knew this all along, didn’t you, Bro. Rick?” Oh, the joy when he discovered that Jesus arose from the dead. During the following couple of weeks, Lito sat under our bedroom window near the street light and read the Bible all night at the top of his lungs so everyone could hear the Good News! We didn’t get much sleep for a while but we rejoiced in his joy and exuberance.
Shortly after Lito was saved he went to his childhood home on a distant island. He told his mother about his Salvation. His mother said, “Son, I have been praying for your Salvation for ten years!” During Lito’s brief stay on the island, he told others how to find Jesus. He planted a church with 20 new Christians and one Bible. From time to time, Lito would return to be sure they stayed on the right track.
This is a church planter leaving the Baptist Seminary in Davao City, Philippines, around 1990, and going to his first church. His wife stepped out of the picture because she didn’t want to be seen in her “moving clothes.” He is riding on a “carabao” (water buffalo) which will be vital for his livelihood as a work animal for agriculture.
Is the Bible the true and complete Word of God? We only need to go to Revelation 22:18-19 in which the Apostle, John, testifies that God warned us not to add or subtract anything to or from the Holy Bible. That means we are to take teachings and commands in the whole context of the Bible. As Christians we are given the ability of discernment that was not available to us before salvation. For example, Scriptures that once were confusing or seemed so wrong, suddenly make sense to us.
What does that mean for us today? How can we be discerning? The answer is both simple and difficult. Obviously, we need to examine the Scriptures to be sure that our beliefs and practices conform to the examples that Jesus set forth for us. The hard part is separating the truth of the Scripture from the intrusion of tradition and cultural practices.
In this study I would like for us to look at a number of practices in the churches around the world. Please understand, this is not a criticism of any church or any practice. We will look at what is happening and see if it comports with what we find in Scripture. Whether you agree with me or not, I welcome your feedback. A lively discussion among discerning Christians will enlighten us all.
Some of the topics that we may discuss here are:
- What does Salvation mean?
- Is Christ the only way to God?
- Sources of influence
- Cultural expression in worship
- Misperceptions of Western Christianity
- Forms or styles of worship
- Forms of baptism
- Prophecy and Word of Knowledge
- Glossolalia (speaking/praying in unknown tongues)
- Signs and wonders (healings, promises of wealth, and other miraculous acts)
- Manifestations of visits by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
- Commanding the Holy Spirit, the devil, and evil spirits
- Expressions of emotion, slaying in the Spirit, appearance of demon possession
- Can you exorcise an evil spirit from a Christian?
- Return to life after death with memories of heaven or hell