Sunday, November 8, 2015

Great Book on Birthing Churches

Wow. Simply Wow. No other words to describe this book. Assumption after assumption shattered. And with each shattered assumption came a new idea. I’m talking about J.D. Payne’s book Apostolic Church Planting: Birthing New Churches from New Believers (IVP, 2015). 
Drawing from his own research and experience, scripture (especially some of Paul’s letters), as well as the experience of career missionaries, and the writings of some of the respected names in the field of Missiology, Payne has put together a brief guide for ‘Birthing” new churches.
Many people who consider planting churches want to take 30 or 40 people from a thriving church, get a building a few blocks away, call a pastor, have some events, and eventually kick off the new church, pretty much a copy of the ‘Mother Church”.  Payne’s model for birthing churches is different in that the growth and the leadership of the new church come from within. The original team develops relationships, models appropriate Christian behaviors and disciples the future church leaders. At all stages the new believers are involved and encouraged to take part in the decision making process. A ‘phase out’ plan is in place from day 1, since this process does not allow for a team to arrive onsite and deliberately set out to clone a church that may work in another culture and context. The relationship is built, and there may be ongoing conversations, discipleship and mentoring, but the goal is to offer enough theology and doctrine to help new believers establish new churches. Paul didn’t stay on as the Pastor of the church at Philippi, nor at Colossae, nor at Ephesus. Corinth and Crete also benefited from his teaching, but it is a reasonable guess that none of these churches were exactly like the Jerusalem church.
Payne also plays the devil’s advocate by asking the questions that many people are bound to have, and then offers a logical response.  He makes it clear in the intro that this book does not contain all the answers, but he does suggest several resources that are available for the person interested in taking their Christian walk one step further.
Of particular interest to me is that the processes explained here should work just as well in the USA (United States of America) as in the USA (Union of South Africa).  I may just have to work through this book with some of the members of our Church Board.
And I bought this book, so don’t have to include the FTC disclaimer. 
Great Book! Get yours today.  Kingdom growth depends on God, but he uses people like you and me to help.


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