A mission team crashed a house church.    

Church Planting

Yes, you are right.  Nowhere in Scripture do we find the words PLANT A CHURCH or CHURCH PLANT.   Though the following is what we do find in the WORD, and I am sure that if you are looking for it, you too will see clearly that church planting is found throughout the New Testament.

Jesus - the HERO - of the Bible established the universal Church.   You can read that in Matthew 16:18, where you find Jesus who had just led his disciples to a place that no good Jew,  especially a rabbi, should ever go.   He took these young men - boys really - aged 14 and up to about 23 - to a place called Ceasaria Philippi.   This was the heart of horrible religiousity.   There were three temples there at the base of a stone mountain, alongside a grotto that leads into the mountain itself.   For centuries this grotto was called the "Gates of Hell."   This whole place was dedicated to the half man/half goat God called Pan (a fertility god).   In those temples they used and abused the temple prostitutes in horrible religious rituals.   These temple prostitutes were often children - young boys and girls - slaves who had no choice in their abuse.   So Jesus led a small group of serious young men to this horrible place to show them where to build his church.   In the culmination of that story, he declares to Peter, "I say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it."    You see Jesus wanted that that mess to stop.    He wanted His children protected and not abused.   Throughout the ministry of Jesus, He taught His disciples the Word of God; he shared communion with them. He commissioned them to make more disciples, and as the disciples obeyed that command, churches were planted.    The world was forever changed.

 

The apostle Paul was a church planter.    His commissioning by the church at Antioch in Acts 13 marks the beginning of an incredible church planting journey.   For thirteen years, Paul embarked on mission adventures, and traveled 7,000+ miles and planted 14 new churches of which we know.    Then there is this little piece of Scripture in Acts 19:9b-10,  Paul "met separately with the disciples, conducting discussions every day in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.   And this went on for two years, so that all the inhabitants of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the message about the Lord."   Who knows how many churches were formed through this teaching.   

The other apostles were church planters as well.    The whole book of Acts is an account of church planting ministry.   They planted churches with little or no support from other churches and they did so while facing persecution.   For most of those guys planting churches cost them their lives.     

 

At IMFC we don't actively plant churches, yet church plants are a major part of our mission.   You see we are firmly committed to Jesus' command in Matthew 28:19-20, so our purpose is to make disciples who are willing to disciple others.   We've discovered that by simply taking this commission by Jesus very seriously and staying focused on this one thing then disciples are made, who are then willing to disciple others.    On our blog you can read about some of those disciple's journeys.   You can find our blog by clicking here.    To us it is almost as if church plants appear by themselves.   In our world, new disciples gather together with other new believers and study what God teaches us through His Word.   Those who can read - read, and those who can't listen and repeat.   Then our disciples try to live by what is taught.    Lives are changed, and communities are transformed for the better.   The disiples discipled others, and by following this principle that taught - GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES - we can literally see this promise by Jesus coming to life:  Matthew 18:20  For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them."   Through simple discipleship churches are planted.

When church planting was our focus we counted churches, but when we simply began making disciples we stopped because counting them was just too complicated.    What we do now is keep track of individuals.   It's much easier to keep names, phone numbers and addresses.    You see we know the names of those we disciple.   Currently we have 85,000+ people actively engaged in our discipleship program.   Another number that we count are those who are being baptized.    This year there should be more than 9,000 people who are baptized by our disciples.   

If you want more on how we disciple people begin by clicking on the word disciple.