Two reports. Reports that conflict. Two different stories about the same thing. The church.
One tells a tragic story. The church is in decline. People seem to walking away from the church in greater and greater numbers. Churches are closing their doors because there is no one left.
The other story is fantastic, almost unbelievably so. The church is rapidly exploding. Thousands, no tens of thousands of people are coming to Christ. Churches are multiplying at an amazing rate. In fact there some who would suggest that the church has never grown so quickly.
Both of these reports are true. The first is the story of the western church (including
We live the first story. Oh, some of churches may be growing, though many are actually declining. But we are not seeing thousands of people coming to Jesus, not even hundreds. The majority of church growth comes not from converts but from other churches. In fact many of us know too many who walked away from the church. Most of us are not part of a church that has successfully planted another church in the last 10 years.
Why does God not move in our churches the way he is moving around the world?
There is a group in southern
The other night we gathered in a back yard for the first time. There were about 30 people there from the different churches in the region. We ate together (because after all we are Mennonites). Had an action plan presented. And prayed together in the rain.
This is our tentative plan:
- We need God. Prayer is absolutely important
- 10:2b virus - This comes from Luke 10:2. Jesus calls his disciples to pray that the God would send workers into the harvest field. So we will commit to doing that. A simple way to do this is to set our cell phone's alarm for . When it goes off pray that God will send out workers.
- Prayer meetings - We will meet in local areas to pray together
- A group will meet monthly to pray, learn and discern
- Right now it seems that this group will meet for about one year
- There will be no meetings in summer - so the next one will be in September
- During the summer we will read the Gospels and Acts
- At September's meeting we will discuss what we have learned
- At some point during the year we will be reading Organic Church and Missional Handbook.
- Attend "The Church Planting Congress" which is happening in
this November Winnipeg
- Additional resources: There is No Time, this is put out by Advant and explains their model of "short-cycle church planting" and an issue of Mission Frontiers magazine which is dedicated to church planting
- The group is called “launch 2012”. The reason is we are praying and hoping to launch a church plant in 2012.
There are a couple of ways you can become part of this:
1) If you are in the area join us – by attending, praying for this group…
2) Start something like this in your area, church