Today we learned about certain elements and dynamics that tend to stifle or kill an indigenous church planting movement. It would be possible to write a book just on this topic, but I'll include the outline I wrote in my notes from the training.
THINGS THAT STIFLE OR KILL INDIGENOUS CHURCH PLANTING MOVEMENTS
1. Extra Biblical Requirements for being a church
b. Having to have a minimum number of members.
c. Having to have a dedicated location for religious things to happen.
f. Have to have a Bible college.
2. Extra Biblical Leadership requirements
a. Seminary graduates.
b. Ordained clergy.
c. Paid leaders.
d. Full-time leaders.
e. That only clergy can administer sacraments.
f. Extra requirements not found in 1 Tim3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9.
3. Loss of cultural identity
a. To be Christian you must take on Western culture.
b. Political Stigma. Christianity is the religion of the Imperialists.
c. Teaching, worship, Bible in something other than the “heart language.”
d. Foreign elements in the service (furniture, vestments, communion materials…).
e. Extraction evangelism, creating a Christian sub-culture.—idea of winning people as individuals.
4. Non-Reproducible Church Models
a. Externally funded buildings.
b. Foreign funds that tie movement to outside sources.
c. Relying on very talented people to do ministry (talented in preaching, music, etc.).
d. Teaching Methods
i. Literate exegesis with oral learners.
ii. Using expensive non-local materials in teaching. Posters or Power-Point.
iii. Using complicated discipleship materials.
e. What should we do?
i. Train local leaders to think critically about reproducibility and copying other methods.
ii. Discipleship: “I never do things a 1-week old believer couldn’t do.”—Charles Brock
iii. Use local materials reflecting economic level.
iv. Use storying with oral learners.
5. Overcoming bad examples of Church
a. Non-believing “Christians.”
b. Moral failure of leaders.
c. Religion is only for outcasts.
d. White man’s religion.
e. Christians are the paid lackies of the imperialists.
6. Financial Dependency
a. Foreign funding of local pastors weakens the relationship between pastor and local believers.
b. Outside salary subsidies create jealous, division.
c. Outside funding sitles local initiative and giving.
d. Local churches are robbed of the gift of giving.
e. Unhealthy partnerships which do for believers what they should be doing for themselves.
f. Dependence stops a movement from developing.
7. Linear, sequential thought and practice.
a. Thinking you can't do something until something else is finished.
i. Language .
ii. Build relationships.
iii. Disciple new converts.
iv. Form churches.
v. Raise up leaders to take over.
b. Want to be thinking in a parallel fashion, and do things together.
c. Thinking the real work is later stifles urgency for the task (God is delighted to use you and your
d. Fixating on the steps may cause you to miss today’s opportunities.