Friday, December 11, 2009

Discovering Church Planting

Here is a book I am currently reading onlineDiscovering Church Planting, An Introduction to the Whats, Whys, and Hows of Global Church Planting, by J.D. Payne.  

Alan Hirsch said this about the book: “J.D. Payne has here gifted the church with a missiologically sound, theologically literate, and practically thorough guidebook on the vital task of multiplication church planting.  Of the plethora of books on the subject, this is a standout work.”

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The 25 chapters of the book are organized into four sections, (1) Discovering Biblical and Theological Foundations, (2) Discovering Missiological Principles, (3) Discovering Historical Paradigms, and (4) Discovering Contemporary Issues.

In a recent interview, the author J.D. Payne said this about the purpose of the book: “I begin by ironically writing that ultimately the book is not about church planting, but Kingdom expansion through disciple-making. While there are many ways to plant churches, biblical church planting is evangelism that results in new churches. Therefore, a heavy focus of this book is about Kingdom growth through the multiplication of disciples, leaders, and yes, churches. As the gospel transforms lives and churches are planted, those new Kingdom citizens must set out to expand the Kingdom by living according to a Kingdom Ethic, thus transforming their societies with the gospel.”  This sounds like a really helpful book!

Here are chapter summaries of his first 3 chapters.

Chapter 1. Understanding Biblical Church Planting

  1. There is no command in the Bible to plant churches.
  2. It is in the process of making disciples that churches are planted. [We are told to make disciples, not plant churches. It is out of a disciple making movement that churches are planted.]
  3. Biblical church planting is evangelism that results in new churches.
  4. Church planting is at the intersection of ecclesiology and missiology.
  5. A theological framework for church planting should at least include missio dei, incarnation, and the Kingdom of God.
  6. A Great Commission theology supports the missionary practice of church planting.
  7. The four necessities of church planting are (1) sowers, (2) seed, (3) soil, and (4) Spirit.

Chapter 2. Ecclesiology and Church Planting Part 1

  1. How church planters answer the question, What is the church? influences their strategies, methods, and philosophies related to global disciple making.
  2. Biblical church planting is evangelism that results in new churches.
  3. The Bible is the starting point of the development of a biblical ecclesiology.
  4. Church planters should work to plant indigenous/ contextualized churches.
  5. Indigenous churches are self-identifying, self-teaching, self-expressing, self-governing, self-propagating, self-supporting, and self-theologizing.
  6. A paternalistic ecclesiology forces the church culture of the church planters onto the newly planted churches because it is believed that the church planters’ culture is best.
  7. A pragmatic ecclesiology assumes that a particular expression of the church is healthy and beneficial to all because it “works.”

Chapter 3. Ecclesiology and Church Planting Part 2

  1. The New Testament refers to a universal and a local expression of the body of Christ.
  2. In the New Testament those who are part of the [universal] Church are also part of a [local] church.
  3. It is very important for church planters to understand Jesus’ teachings on the C/church as well as the biblical metaphors describing the C/church.
  4. The church consists of kingdom citizens in accordance with the kingdom ethic as described in the Scriptures.
  5. The kingdom ethic involves the relationships between kingdom citizens with God, other kingdom citizens, and those outside the kingdom.
  6. The church comes into existence as the Holy Spirit brings baptized believers together who understand and identify themselves as the local expression of the Church.

Buy the book.

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