Today we had a class on church planting, and it was great! The first topic we discussed was why we plant churches. Here are some of the ideas we talked about:
We plant churches…
- To establish a community of faith in a local setting
- To have a place where people can learn about God and grow in their relationship with Him
- To have an assembly of people that worship God together and are a family of God
- For discipleship and correction to occur; for encouragement
*We then talked about what churches are/what they look like. In America, these are the most common traits for what a church looks like:
- A building, greeters, worship- songs, hand-raising, standing, announcements, sermon, podium/stage, communion, prayer, refreshments, offering, benediction, attire- typically everyone is dressed similarly
*We looked at a few passages from the Bible to see what they say about what a church should look like. We looked at 1 Corinthians 14:26-32, Acts 2:42-47, and 1 Timothy 3: 1-13. We came up with these things based on the passages:
- The people met daily, they met in a formal setting and in people’s homes, there was giving, there was fellowship and devotion to teaching, there was worship, there was a sharing of food or communion, there were qualifications for leaders and their families, there was order, everyone was able to contribute and be heard, there was discernment on what people were sharing, there was encouragement
*We talked about things that are non-negotiable for church planting like communion, baptism, discipleship, worship, prayer, discipline, and leadership. These are non-negotiable because they are in the Bible for what church should look like. When planting churches in other countries, these should be elements of the church. However, each church can express these principles differently based on their culture. Church can look radically different and can be unique to each people group as long as the non-negotiable parts of a church are held intact.
Every church does not need to look like the one we grew up in or the one we are comfortable with. Church is not just an American thing. Sometimes our traditions can actually hinder the spread of the Gospel because the way we like things are not natural or comfortable for another group of people. God created us all differently, so surely His churches around the world can be different without one being better or more right then another, as long as the Biblical principles of church are there.
We have only had one class so far, but I am excited for the rest of the week. This class is challenging me to think about my views of the church and what I think is normal. It is challenging me to think about what God intended for His church to be or look like. I am ready to learn more!!!
Much love, B