There are massive movements taking place all over the wold right now. North Africa. Iran. India. China. Africa. Millions of new believers are coming to Jesus. Five million among the Bojpuri in India is just one example. Believers are suffering for their faith and the church is being born in unimaginable sacrifice.
Why are we seeing the same results in the Christianized West? Three reasons:
- Lack of obedience to the word: One example: followers of Jesus don't pursue finding the person of peace, finding one who's oikos is open, then making disciples among them, as Jesus instructed in Luke 10
- Traditional ways of doing church encourage a "watch the main man on sunday" mentality instead of every believer getting out and making disciples through a lifestyle of obedience.
- A lack of willingness to suffer and sacrifice. It takes sacrifice to plant churches and Western believers don't believe in sacrifice.
Recently, I wrote to a young church planter in the making in the Unite States. He was worried about finding a church or a team to work with. Here is the advise I gave him: "i would love to stay connected to you guys. it is going to take some pioneering and persevering for you to start simple churches with others there where you are. best bet is go door to door in a poor neighborhood until you find a person of peace and then if their family or network is open, start a jesus bible study with them. don't call it church, just study the world. two qualifications: the person of peace has to be open and their network (oikos) has to be open to doing regualr bibles studies. get them to the word, teach them simple bible study and watch god speak to them!!!
We have been learning how to do that with "discovery" bible study approach in cape town... very simple. based on belief that god is drawing people to jesus by the spirit, that he will teach people through the word if they study it together, and group discovery is much more powerful than individual study because you are imparting the DNA of a future simple church while it is still a study. for example, everyone participates. the bible is the focus. there is accountability to what each other to obey what they are reading. it is focused on non-believers studying the word together.
There are three steps to doing the discovery bible study method:
- choose a passage that is short about obedience, hearing holy spirit, jesus, etc. ask people to write it down from their translation.
- ask them to write it down in their own words
- ask them to read it and write down things they hear god saying to them that apply to their lives that they should do in the next week
Lead the bible study 2 times. then turn it over to someone in the group to lead. You model it first two times, then in the following bibles studies you sit on the outside of the bible study circle and watch as new leader leads the same process of discovery. doesn't have to be a christian to lead it, preferably not in fact.
This is the MAWL method of caoching: model, assist, watch, leave
You are a commando bro. you are an army guy. you can do this! it is will take pioneering leg work, sweat, tears, loneliness and lots and lots of prayer, then more prayer, but practice luke 10. go to the poor and the loverlooked and you will find them!! look for the person of peace, the person is open and has a network of friends he or she can gather.
About wanting a team to work with you: don't look for them among the sheep but among the wolves (luke 10:3). this is why jesus said to his disciples to pray for laborers from the harvest. he didn't want the new believers to be tainted by religious people. find your team amongst the unsaved. maybe go door to door and say you want to start a bible study for people who are not church attenders but who want to look at jesus again. shake the dust off your feet from those who are not HUNGRY! do bible study in their home, with non-believers. it must be open seekers, not cynical or highly christianized (they have too many non-biblical preconceptions)."
I am passionate about seeing disciples made who gather and reproduce themselves in others. May God empower us to see massive numbers of new believers, but much more important, to see transformed individuals, families and communities.
May God empower believers in Christianized lands to find new wineskins to hold the wine of millions of new believers.