Dec 24, 2015
Cross Cultural Church Planting
The Pauline Cycle of Evangelism and Church
Ten Basic Steps in Planting a church in a New Area
1. The church planters (missionaries, evangelists, pastors) are commissioned
2. The target audience is contacted3. The gospel is communicated to the target audience4. The hearers come to know Christ5. The new believers are gathered together6. The faith of the new believers is confirmed7. The leadership of the new church is consecrated8. The believers of the new church are allowed to stand
on their own9. The relationship between the church planting team
and the new church is continued10. The churches that are sending missionaries gather
with them to renew their own vision of what God is doing through the missionaries.
Four aspects of the Pauline cycle
1. It has a beginning and an end2. It is cyclical, and so will continue until
the Lord returns3. We proceed through it step by step as
well as work on all steps simultaneously4. It applies to a church in any stage of its
existence as well as to pioneer situations.
STEP ONE: COMMISSIONING OF CHURCH PLANTERS
Acts 13:1-4 Principles:1. The Holy Spirit gave the orders (though we are
not told exactly how He did this).2. The people who were called to the task were
specifically chosen3. They were the very best of the Antioch church
leadership4. The church fasted and prayed for them5. The church confirmed the selection of the Holy
Spirit6. The church commissioned them for their ministry
Definition of “church planters”
1. They are initiators, not maintainers2. They are hard workers, not waiting on things to happen, but
creative and contemporary3. They are men of faith, living outside their comfort zone of
certainty and security, taking risks (Heb 11:6)4. They believe in God and act like He was involved with them as
they fulfill His desire 5. They realize that planting a church is a process of at least six
stages: conception, development, birth, growth, maturity and reproduction)
6. They are men who know how to plan, as well as have high and pure motivation. They don’t depend upon spontaneous events, but are planning years ahead of actual events.
7. They are committed to reaching and discipling as many lost people as possible
8. They are not intimidated by cultural barriers, but adapt and build bridges to different kinds of people.
9. They are passionate about fulfilling the desire of Jesus: “I will build my church”
PRINCIPLES OF CHURCH GROWTH
1. Great Commission vision that involves pursuing, evangelizing, and discipling lost people (Mat 28:19-20)
2. Strong servant-leadership (Acts; 1 Cor 11:3; Mark 10:45)
3. A well-equipped, mobilized lay army (1 Cor 12-14; Eph 4)
4. A culturally relevant ministry (1 Chron 12:32; 1 Cor 9)5. A holistic, authentic worship (Rom 12:1)6. A biblical, culturally relevant evangelism that focuses
on biblical styles of evangelism and is not exclusively a confrontationalist.
7. A robust network of small groups
Understanding who you are: Am I a church planter?
1. Discovering what our “divine design” really is: “workmanship” in Eph 2:10
2. Liking who we are—remember it is God’s workmanship.
3. To develop a Personal Ministry Mission Statement: God’s “call” is discovering the purpose of why God made you and transformed you by regeneration the way He did.
4. The Areas of Assessment (next page)
The Areas of Assessment
1. Spiritual Gifts —a God-given ability to serve others (1 Cor 12-14; Eph 4; Rom 12; 1 Pet 4)
2. Passion – a God-given capacity to fervently attach ourselves to an object (a people, a cause, an idea, etc) over an extended period of time to meet a need or make a change in the world. Phil 2:13
3. Temperament/personality —the God-given design of our personality.
4. Talents —Understanding the special abilities that God gave each one for unique performance of some function.
5. Leadership —Understanding of ability slant towards leading or managing or a combination. The distinction is giftedness of leadership (Rom 12:8) or administration-management (1 Cor 12:28)
6. Ministry Lifecycle —as ministries have a life-cycle (born, grow, plateau and decline)
STEP TWO: TARGET AUDIENCE IS CONTACTED
Do we need another church?a. 14% of the 15% of the churches that are growing, are the result of
“transfer growth”, not “conversion growth” according to Arn. Barna predicted that by 2000, “church attendance on Sunday mornings will decrease to about 35 percent of the population.”
b. Growth of Cults and Non-evangelical Groups worldwide. The Mormon Church has tripled from 1965 to 1996, as have the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
c. Most effective way to reach new people. Jesus stated His heart’s passion: “I will build my church” (Mt 16:18)—He does this through men of like passion.
d. New churches evangelize better than established churches. Churches under 1—3 years old will win 10 people per 100 members; churches 3—15 years old will win 5 people per 100 members; churches over 15 years old average 3 converts per 100 members.
e. Leaders gain credibility faster in new churches. Zunkel in Growing the Small Church describes the transition in leadership acceptance from “chaplain” to “pastor” to “leader”, but the process takes a long time.
f. People are more open to change in new churches. They don’t know any better!
Suggestions for the methodology of contacting the target audience
a. Get out among the people and study the area wellb. Meet people where they are (within their natural contexts)c. Conduct a house-to-house surveyd. Work primarily with adults (and be discerning as to their
position in the community)e. Begin an evangelistic Bible Study (6-8 weeks long)f. Think “reproducible” with every step that you take (2 Tim
2:2). Don’t do what local nationals won’t be able to do
STEP THREE: COMMUNICATION OF THE
Some preliminary considerations a. The message itself is universal; the love of
God applies everywhere in the worldb. The method of communicating that
message, however, will vary from situation to situation. This involves the whole study of intercultural communication.
c. While people are the physical communicators of the Gospel message, God (the Holy Spirit) is the one who convicts people of sin and draws them to Christ (Jn 16:8-11). This aspect of His work is known as elenctics.
Contextualize the message
a. The purpose of contextualizing is primarily to make the message understandable to the target audience
b. A secondary effect of this will be that the message may be more appealing, but this is not to be our primary focus.
c. Methods that don’t fit people—remember no one has sustained more than 10% of their congregation in a consistent confrontational evangelistic effort.
Unchurched DescribedUnchurched Described
1) Unchurched aren’t pursuing the church —2) Unchurched are secular, not Judeo-Christian
– Today the postmodern world considers Christianity as irrelevant to them,.
3) Unchurched are more concerned about the Now, than the Hereafter —
4) Unchurched are Process-, not Event-oriented —Evangelism traditionally has involved a single presentation followed by a quick repeated prayer, which was effective when there had been much pre-evangelism. Thus, a number of mini-decisions are necessary to bring people to Christ. This will require much patience and long-term relationships with the unchurched.
Key to ministry is a “pursuing” mentality
a. Fortress mentality—evident by the expectation that the lost will overcome all obstacles and come inside the fortress to hear the gospel. Too bad if they don’t!
b. Safari mentality—evident in short-term trips into the world of the lost in controlled situations visiting homes. There is no effort to build a lasting relationship, only to add a trophy to brag about!
c. Infiltrating mentality—is always strategizing how to win new friendships in all areas of life who will be interested or made interested in a life-changing gospel message.
Evangelism of the Lost as a passion in Great Commission Churches (GCC)
a. Style: Shift from only confrontational to relational/confrontationalb. Motive: Typically has been guilt (“have to” mentality) which
becomes self-defeating. In GCC churches gratitude is the desire to share the excitement and riches in Christ.
c. Methods: Traditionally rely on an evangelistic message followed by altar call or on child evangelism program, but none for adults. Knocking on doors yields few results. In GCC churches adult methods are numerous: health fair, 10k runs, golf tourney, power weight lift, TSEL, musical event, etc.
d. Missions: Traditionally focus is informational and giving, but in GCC churches the people seek to do mission. They go overseas and next door. Expected response is not only giving, but personal involvement, short-term or joining a team.
e. Expectations: Traditionally the lost are expected to look and act like believers, but in GCC the meetings are designed for them as “seeker friendly” in dress and participation expectations.
f. Finances: the average church allocates 5% for evangelism and 30% for buildings and maintenance. GCC spend 30-50% of budget for evangelism.
Transcultural Principles of a Biblically based Evangelism
Principle of Pursuit—Instead of waiting for them to come (Mt 28:19; Mr 16:15)
Principle of Value—Lost people matter to God… a lot. (Luke 5:27-32; 15:1-31)
Principle of Relationship—It isn’t that we are to be like lost people, but to be with lost people (Lu 5:29-32; Mt 9:9-13).
Principle of Need—that is, “felt need” (Acts 2:45; Eph 4:29; Phil 4:19; 2 Cor 8:19, 9:12). The key to opening a disinterested heart is helping them in an area of their need.
Principle of Cultural Adaptation— The church should adapt its practices (forms), not its faith or message (function) to the people it is trying to reach.
Principle of Receptivity—The church should pursue receptive lost persons (obviously presenting the gospel to everyone).
More Transcultural Principles
Principle of Responsiveness— The church should pursue those interested in spiritual truth, sometimes called “seekers”.
Principle of Clear Communication—The language used must clear, not foggy only understood by the “initiated” or committed, and misunderstood by other subcultures (e.g., “brother”).
Principle of Multiple Hooks—The church should use as many methods as possible to reach the lost.
Principle of Specific, Intentional Prayer—Jesus was moved with compassion and taught His disciples to pray for workers for the harvest (Mt 9:36-38).
Principle of Discipleship—Evangelism without discipleship fails to fulfill the Great Commission. True evangelism is conversion not just a decision
More Transcultural Principles
Principle of Natural Style—Hybels has isolated six possible evangelistic styles in Scriptures
Principle of Natural Prospects—The best prospects are friends and family (75-90% of all converts
Principle of Grace—God does things for mankind with “no strings attached” out of pure kindness
A strategy for individual pursuit
1. Examine One’s Relational Community—Family—Neighborhood—Work—Recreational—Social—Educational
2. Develop a “hit list” (“Ten Most Wanted List”)3. Pray for those on the “hit list”4. Cultivate Relationships with those on the “hit
list”5. Discern their Needs and Look for Times of
Receptivity6. Be ready to present a testimony, gospel
presentation or invite to a service
Strategy for Corporate Pursuit
Develop a unique strategy of Evangelism—a church’s values are reflected in the programs it develops and maintains.
Encourage and help people in their personal evangelism efforts
Public presentations of the gospel should be the culmination of a team effort to get the unchurched under the sound of the Gospel
Factors that may hinder a church’s evangelistic efforts
a. The absence of vision for church-based evangelismb. The lack of church-wide ownership of evangelism as a core
value and activityc. The absence of church-wide prayer for evangelistic effortsd. A lack of significant relationships with nonbelieverse. An attitude of disinterest in non-Christiansf. The goal of facilitating decisions rather than conversionsg. Too much reliance upon the pastor to make evangelism
happenh. Not enough strong leadership by the pastor in evangelismi. The absence of a strategic plan for outreachj. No accountability for meeting evangelistic goals and
Hindrances to a church’s evangelistic efforts
k. The inability to change from existing methods to more effective methods
l. Poor-quality ministry activitiesm. Having only one entry point for nonbelieversn. inadequate training of evangelizerso. Allocating responsibility without giving authorityp. Failure to celebrate stellar efforts, obedience to
God’s call and His blessingsq. Division among churches
STEP FOUR: THE HEARERS CONVERTED
What is conversion?a. The Greek (epistrepho) generally means both a turning from and a turning to. The biblical sense involves turning from evil to god (Satan to God), and includes the intellect, emotions, and will.
Awareness of Supreme Being, but no Effective knowledge of the gospel
Initial awareness of the Gospel
Grasp of IMPLICATIONS of Gospel
Awareness of the FUNDAMENTALS of the Gospel
Positive ATTITUDE toward GospelPersonal PROBLEM RECOGNITIONDECISION TO ACT
Repentance and Faith in Christ
God’s Role Communicator’s Role Scale People’s Response
General revelation none -8
Conceptual and Behavioral Growth
Incorporation into Body life
Communion with GodStewardshipReproduction
Internally (gifts, etc)Externally (witness, social action, etc)
Missionary appeals in the decision-making process
a. The appeal to selfhood (useful for people who are high on individuality)
b. The appeal to authority (useful for peoples who have a large power distance and/or a high uncertainty avoidance)
c. The appeal to security (useful among people with high uncertainty avoidance).
d. The appeal to reason and logic (useful in the low-context academic and intellectual area; not as useful in higher-context “folk” religion appeals).
e. The appeal to shame (useful for people in collective societies)
f. The appeal of guilt (useful for people with large power distance and individualistic orientation)
STEP FIVE: THE BELIEVERS CONGREGATED
Belongingness: people will not want to come to a gathering on a regular basis unless they feel that they belong
The optimum size for a congregation? Larger numbers can enhance the experience For fellowship, a group should not exceed a
number in which everyone can know everyone else.
Place of meeting
Principles of the Small group ministry
a. Aren’t limited by facilitiesb. Are geographically expandablec. Promote Biblical “community” – “one another”
ministries (59 times). The command “love one another” is repeated 21 times in NT.
d. Are not limited by financese. Decentralize pastoral care—permits the 1% care of
the 99:1 sheep parable.f. Facilitates leadership training and proving grounds
at minimum riskg. Encourages lay ministry through the use of spiritual
Organization of Small Groups
a. According to geography—not the most common, but ideal if a peripheral church plant is planned.
b. According to people’s schedulesc. According to common interestd. According to support group needse. According to ministry teams or tasksf. According to Sunday School classes
Principles of Cultural Adaptation
Explanation of adjusting to changing “world” Changing what it believes: seeking to be acceptable some have changed views on cultural controversies: gays and lesbians, ordination of women, recognition of homosexual relationships as legitimate, sexual activity outside marriage.
Changing what it practices: Strategies, programs and lifestyles in morally neutral areas where the church is free to change and adjust to stay relevant in order to get a “fair hearing” from the unchurched.
Application A willingness to be flexible (1 Cor 9:19-23) Why churches aren’t flexible: They are focused inwardly seeking a comfort and security
There are limits and it will require wisdom to determine
Principle of Cultural Homogeneity
1 Chron 12:32 describes the men of Issachar as those “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.”
1) Build friendships with lost people (at least one, or one couple regularly). The problem is that such strategy is considered “worldly”. We are “in” the world, but not “of” the world (Jn 17:14-19). Many churches pride themselves in being totally separated from the world, becoming more and more like the Amish.
2) Listen to the culture by hanging out on their turf, listening naively and with intensity and providing fast feedback and taking action.
3) Read what people are reading: newspapers, magazines, books. Discover what topics are hot.
4) Collect and interpret demographic and psycholographic data. These describe where people live, income, education, marital status as well as the values and its influence on lifestyles.
5) Develop and implement a community survey.
Principle of Cultural Homogeneity
The church will attract those who are culturally similar to those who make up the core group Definition: “Men like to become Christians without crossing
racial, linguistic or class barriers.” Though this is one of the most controversial of the Church Growth principles and most resisted, over time it becomes a reality. It is not the way God thinks, but it is the way man, especially lost man, thinks and acts.
Reality: Paul targeted Gentiles (Gal 2:6-10) while Peter, Jews. Christian Education focuses on singles, couples, adults, young married, youth, children because there is a sense of affinity among these groups. The just don’t mix well. Ethnic churches in US work better.
Application: a church plant would wisely choose initially a target community, well-defined with real needs which will be addressed by the programs of the church as they can. As the church grows it will become more heterogeneous, which will mean that some people will give up some of their preferences or comforts to assimilate others.