Planting the Gospel

What would happen if we as Christians focused our efforts at planting Jesus in the hearts of people rather than simply planting a “church”? As a church planter, I wrestle all the time with ideas and expectations of what the process of establishing a “church” looks like. Is it found in programs? A building? Teams of people moving to an area?

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
(John 15:7-8 ESV)

What if we simply took the words of Jesus to heart and began producing fruit? Would that fruit not eventually grow into a church? I think sometimes in our zeal to plant a “church” we forget the most important element and that is the heart of people. Most church planters I talk to say they are planting a new church because they want “see the lost get saved and serve Jesus” but if that really is the case then you have to realize that new Christians will come with a lot of baggage that will take a long time to shed. Sometimes (Many times!), they will get discouraged and leave the work you are trying to establish. In doing this they will often criticize you, your vision, God, your spouse, and other people in the congregation you are trying to bond together. All the fancy systems and planning cannot eliminate this. We have to focus on people.

What would such a movement look like? How much would you be willing to sacrifice? Would you and your spouse be willing to work full-time jobs as you started the process of reaching people? It would certainly speed up the process of getting to a specific region and moving forward in planting Jesus in the hearts of people. Even the apostle Paul made tents as he planted the gospel seed of Jesus into the hearts of the people he ministered to.

All good questions to consider. Feedback anyone? Anyone?

Planting the Gospel

2 thoughts on “Planting the Gospel

  1. Great questions Scott. Our Master taught about the mustard seed-starting at an insignificant size, yet with all the potential to grow very large. The starting place must be the small place…with broken people sowing into their lives and seeing the Gospel transformation! Most church planters want to start with “church” because it’s big enough to count…

  2. RSubiono says:

    Exactly the thoughts that I have had on occasion. My church is headquartered in Maui and has 60 or so satellite locations around the US and internationally, mostly in Asia and Polynesia. I attend the first extension on Oahu, which has been around for 7 or so years, and we recently opened churches in three other locations on Oahu. I go to church there because I subscribe to the global vision of our senior pastor. But I sometimes get frustrated with the expediency of the church planting and the “soul harvesting.” Sometimes it seems very impersonal. While I believe that we should be part of providing every opportunity possible for people to hear the gospel and have a venue to worship God in, sometimes I worry about what will happen to people after they step in the doors and feel a connection with the worship style and the manner in which our pastors preach. They will almost certainly be looking for a role in a church that seemingly spends more time establishing new churches than developing roles for people within the churches that already exist. In many cases, I imagine they will find themselves ignored and alienated and perhaps considering finding somewhere else to attend church or losing interest in going to church altogether. Maybe I speak too much from personal experience. Good thing I know that it’s not about me, but about worshiping our God. Hopefully future church planters will consider finding the balance between building the corporate and building up the individual. Seems that’s the way that God goes about doing it.

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