Art at “Church Task Force” has put together a great series of articles concerning making disciples and planting churches. (Are these different activities?) For example, consider his article “Rediscovering Paulâ€™s Church Planting Strategies.”
Art finds seven “observations” from examining Paul’s example in Scripture, “which would be considered ridiculous strategies by the church planting movements in the West today.”
- On average, churches were planted and self-sufficient in 12 months
- The work was unfunded, accomplished by bivocational servants
- Paul planted multiple churches regionally, often from a base camp church in a major city (churches that planted churches)
- There was follow-up by Paul and/or itinerants as well as letters to continue to support and encourage, especially through troubles
- Whole households were being converted, not just individuals
- After an initial time in weeks or months of reaching new disciples, they are left on their own as a church without formal leadership for months
- Paul enlists additional workers from among the new churches as local elders (on average with 6 to 12 months experience as believers) and as itinerants (with about 2 years experience as believers). They all share the same focus (see Eph 4:11-16).
Do you see also see these “observations” in Paul’s example? Should we take these into consideration when making disciples (planting churches) today?