How to Start a Church Planting Movement: What the Holy Spirit Does to Assist in Starting a Church Planting Movement
When Jesus sent out his disciples two by two to find persons of peace, he gave them specific instructions. Some of these instructions were: they were to go to the towns where Jesus wanted to work, they were to go needy (do not take money), and they were to find the person of peace that had been prepared to hear the message of the Gospel.
The reason for these instructions is clear; to succeed in the task that they had been given they had to learn to depend on God for their success. They had to discover the town, find a person of peace, and allow that person of peace to meet their needs. All of these require the supernatural intervention of God in human plans.
Starting a church planting movement is not something that is under the control of believers; it requires the work of the Holy Spirit in the world. While starting a church planting movement requires specific behaviors from believers (i.e. entry strategies, Gospel strategies, discipleship strategies, church formation strategies), these behaviors are not enough to succeed. Unless the Holy Spirit is directing us where he wants us to go, bringing the person of peace into our path, and preparing the person of peace to hear the Gospel, we cannot start a church planting movement.
Here is a brief list of additional ways the Holy Spirit works to start a church planting movement:
1. The Holy Spirit makes possible our confession of Christ in the world.
2. The Holy Spirit stirs and calls people to the work of multiplication.
3. The Holy Spirit calls and convicts the person of peace and their family and friends.
4. The Holy assists in bringing people to saving faith in Christ.
5. The Holy Spirit heals the family members of the person of peace.
6. The Holy Spirit gathers the right group of people together for training who will become the nucleus of a new congregation.
7. The Holy Spirit empowers the trainers of the new group.
8. The Holy Spirit forms a group into a church.
9. The Holy Spirit raises up leaders for the church.
10. The Holy Spirit raises up those who can start new groups, and those who can train new multipliers from the members of the new church.
A church planting movement is a supernatural process. Only those people who learn to move in the supernatural realm by becoming dependent on the Holy Spirit’s work in the world can succeed at this work.
Report From Bruce Bennett: 9,000 New Churches in the Last Twelve Months
The following paragraphs are excerpted from Bruce Bennett’s December Newsletter:
In the last twelve months we have been able to initiate 9,000 new churches bringing to total some 30,875 new VCP Churches with over three million members. This Christmas 1,3 million new VCP members will celebrate Christmas for the first time. You are part of this exciting Kingdom history.
Widows and orphans
We are teaching the churches to be socially responsible and to be mindful to Christ’s command to look after widows and orphans. Today our church registries reflect 59,144 widows and 79,555 orphans. The VCP churches across Africa take the lead in providing for the bereaved and destitute in their communities. Never-the-less they need help.
We continue to see the Lord’s hand on the Into Africa minis-tries. Our September 2013 registry records 30,875 churches, with membership at 3,066,360. The persistence and faithfulness of our Supervisors, Coordinators, Trainers, Pastors, and Denominational partners bear testimony to the faith and grace of our heavenly Father.
When Jesus walked among the crowds with his disciples he was moved to compassion because he saw the people harassed and helpless, and likened them to sheep without a shepherd. Interestingly he then said: ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the Harvest, therefore to send out workers into His Harvest Fields.’ (Mt 9:36-38)
Jesus, with an eye of faith, saw beyond the status quo , He saw His Father’s future, His Harvest Field. He mobilized his disciples to pray, not to the Lord of the status quo, but to the Lord of the impending Harvest.
God is in the business of transforming status quo and requires Kingdom workers to:
1) Have faith in the coming harvest
2) Pray to the Lord of the Harvest
3) Train Shepherds/Pastors to reap His Harvest.
Revival as evidenced in today’s Church Planting Movements will not happen when we:
1) Doubt His promise of His Harvest
2) Do not pray to the Lord of the Harvest
3) Do not intentionally train a new generation of pastors to reap Tomorrow’s Harvest
We cannot underestimate the intentionality of preparing Shepherds for Shepherdless Sheep to facilitate a Church Planting Movement. Jesus was doing this as He spoke these words to His disciples. The result was the Church Planting movement recorded in Acts. If we faithfully anticipate the Harvest & pre-pare Shepherds we will see His Harvest in our days!!!
Be With Him…
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you.” John 15:7. “This key text, makes it plain that the promise is unlimited, but its fulfillment depends on the abiding. That is why in all cases of intercession, Mr. Howells constantly spoke of ‘guarding his place of abiding.’” (From, “Rees Howells Intercessor” p. 64).