Ed Stetzer has been posting a series of things that can be learned from international church planting. This post was particularly thought provoking…
I've been working through a series of reflections on what we can learn from international church planting, based on a recent meeting with the North American Church Planting Leadership Fellowship. For what we have covered thus far, click the links here:
• Be a Learner, not a Leader • Be Simple and Reproducible • We Need Greater Commitment to Discipleship
This next installment relates to part two and three. When you have empowered simple structures and empowered disciples, it is natural that you would have empowered leaders-- which leads to the next point.
Fourth, empowered non-staff leadership regularly marks the Church Planting Movements seen around the world. We have heard this repeated on multiple occasions, and from multiple speakers working in a variety of areas around the world. The growing global church provides more empowerment for people to go out and do.
One of the speakers at our recent CPLF conference said, "We didn't want to make it look that hard. It's not that hard." And I think that's an extraordinary way to describe an ordinary New Testament practice.
When we look in the New Testament, we see the ordinary practice of ordinary Christians planting ordinary churches.
Today, what I would say I see in church planting is that it takes an extraordinary, very hard-to-find individual to plant the churches the way most of us in church and denominational life are planting churches. I would not suggest that we should stop planting churches like that. At LifeWay Research we even created an assessment that helps us find ways to plant churches with an entrepreneurial bent. We believe that it's important that church planters be prepared. However, at the same time, what we're hearing is that people need to be given permission all over again to be those disciple-makers, to start missional communities and churches, and to find pathways for them to engage along the way…
Read the rest of the article here.