SELF-FUNDED CHURCH PLANTING

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Why would anyone want to buy another book on church planting? According to some pastors and church planters, “most of the books on church planting are a rearrangement of the information that is already out there.” If that is true, then you need to take a look at what this new book, Church Planters Have All the Fun(ding)!,  has to offer.

Church Planters Have All the Fun(ding)! is divided into two parts.  Part One of this book seeks to address two aspects of church planting: the fundamentals of establishing a new church from the beginning based on New Testament principles, and the funding the church will experience as it finds ways to combine evangelism with possibilities for personal income. The fun(ding)–the fun and the finances–for the church planter, as well as the church plant, comes from an outreach method called SHARE Evangelism  Read More (more…)

YOUR HAIR IS NOT LIKE MINE

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When my husband, Rick went to Kisii, Kenya, the children were intrigued by his hair and they all wanted to touch it.  Even though he doesn’t have much, his silky hair was not like anything they had ever seen or felt.  Rick loves kids and they understood they could get permission to touch.  Every time they saw him, they would hold up a hand in greeting, indicating they wanted him to bend down so they could touch again.  Something as simple as hair can break through any language barrier.

SHARE EVANGELISM INTRODUCTION

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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/

SHOUT FOR JOY

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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.

FUN(DING) CHURCH PLANTING

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The journey through life–especially if you unquestioningly follow God’s leading–can take many twists and turns. Although I have written many instruction manuals, articles and letters, I never had any ambition to write a book. I didn’t even enjoy creative writing classes in school, and never thought of myself as an author. But, how things can change! I am now nearing completion of a church planting book that comes from a lifetime of experience–from first hand knowledge and from first hand reporting from other sources.

Those of you who know me, know how much I like to see the humorous side to almost every situation. My working title of the book is CHURCH PLANTERS HAVE ALL THE FUN(DING)!  Not only do we have all the fun, we have amazing resources for funding. There are many books on the market that talk about church planting. They tell you all about why you should plant churches and how to do it. That is not the primary purpose of my book. I am attempting to help church planters find the funding that is needed to plant their churches without getting grants and large donations from outside sources. There is strong evidence that large donations to the church from outside the congregation create a sense of church welfare and dependency. The young congregation doesn’t see the need to give when the provision is already in place. Consciously, or subconsciously, they don’t understand the sudden need when the donations dry up. In their minds, either the pastor just wants more money for himself, or surely the pastor will find another source of funds. Many churches have disbanded due to lack of funds.

Whether your church plant is reaching the wealthy, or it is located in a tribal Third World situation, there are creative ways to solve the church’s financial needs. Best of all, you can have fun doing it. God doesn’t call us to be sad in service to Him, even if he places us in situations of hardship, grief, and despair.

If you want to learn more about these exciting possibilities, watch my blog for excerpts from my book and the big announcement of its publication date, expected by the end of summer, 2017.

THROUGH A CHILD’S EYES

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When you take a child with you to the mission field, all sorts of funny things can happen. Looking at life–even strange new surroundings–can bring on interesting concepts and off-the-wall insights. But, before I get to the story, let me tell you about a long-standing deal Rick (my husband) and I have had with our only child, Emily. Knowing how preacher’s kids and missionary kids are a great source of sermon illustrations, and how much they don’t like it, we found a way to solve both problems. Emily would listen carefully to her dad’s sermon or to my speaking. Every time we mentioned her name or used a pronoun that referred to her, she would get 25 cents. She would carry pencil and paper to keep track so she could collect afterwards. Even though this cost us a little, the up-side is that Emily was glad to hear us, and she listened to what we had to say. Incentives help! Since we put no time limit on that deal, she still thinks we owe her, even though she is already 40! Maybe I already owe her more than $3.00 by now so I’d better get to my story.

Almost every day Rick would go for a run around the neighborhood. Sometimes Emily (age 12 at the time) would pace him on her bicycle. They passed many houses, businesses, and a Mormon church. One day Rick and Emily noticed that workers were doing roof repair on the church. The workers accessed the roof with a very long ladder. Emily said, “I guess that’s why they call them ‘Ladder’ Day Saints!”

I haven’t added up how much she thinks I owe her. I’m sure she will want to be paid per visitor to my blog. I want to hear from all my readers, but you do know I will go into debt for each comment! Oh well. Feel free to comment–I’ll deal with Emily! Thank you.