Posted tagged ‘Word of God’

Centrality of the Word in Church Planting

July 8, 2011

Mike McKinley, author of Church Planting Is for Wimps, answers the question about how God’s Word drives the agenda for church planting.

HT :: Crossway Blog

Word and Spirit in the Early Church

October 17, 2008

A couple of months ago, I shared a brief critique on church planting movements while advocating a “word-driven movemental Christianity“.  Because of our church’s new church planting initiative, I have been living in the book of Acts quite a bit, which has been rather rewarding.  The “word-driven” post speaks to the nature of the Word of God in church planting, but I want to go a different angle and consider the relationship of the Word of God and Spirit of God in the early church.

The emphasis on the relationship of Word and Spirit was really brought out during the Reformation, especially in the writings of John Calvin and later in the Puritans.  The agency of the Spirit and the instrumentality of the Word are, in my mind, key to understanding how God worked among His people then and now.  The paradigm of Word and Spirit together helps to prevent theological error and recognize the source (or foundation) of our work.  I hope to elaborate this paradigm more in the future, but for the time being, allow me to list seven places in the book of Acts where the Word and Spirit paradigm can be seen.

Word and Spirit in the Early Church

Acts 1:1-2

In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.

Jesus, through the Holy Spirit gave the commands to his apostles.  The commands (word) were communicated in the power of the Holy Spirit (spirit).  The Word and Spirit paradigm was first seen in Jesus and then emulated by the apostles.

Acts 4:8-12

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders,  if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed,  let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well.  This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Peter declared the gospel (word) to the rulers and elders having been “filled with the Holy Spirit” (spirit).  Proclamation of the gospel, as seen in the post-Pentecost Peter, is done in the controlling influence of the Spirit of God.


Word-Driven Movemental Christianity

August 10, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, I had a friendly discussion (see comments) with Ed Stetzer shared a little of his presentation of “Movemental Christianity.” The title really resonated with me as I have been spending a lot of time in Acts and considering the movement of the early church as the gospel spread to the ends of the earth (and how that should look today). Stetzer provides ten elements of movemental Christianity in North America, following the lead of David Garrison’s book Church Planting Movements. I want to take a moment to explain the premise and presuppositions of Garrison’s movemental Christianity as Stetzer calls it “excellent work” and “paradigm-creating.” For the sake of filling in gaps, here are Garrison’s ten elements found in every church planting movement:

David Garrison on Church Planting Movements

1. Extraordinary Prayer

2. Abundant Evangelism

3. Intentional Planting of Reproducing Churches

4. The Authority of God’s Word

5. Local Leadership

6. Lay Leadership

7. House Churches

8. Churches Planting Churches

9. Rapid Reproduction

10. Healthy Churches[1]

Garrison later gives another ten elements found in most church planting movements. Well, you might be asking the question, “What is a Church Planting Movement (CPM)?” Garrison answers the question, stating,

“A Church Planting Movement is a rapid multiplication of indigenous churches planting churches that sweeps through a people group or population segment.”[2]

Garrison begins his description of a CPM with five characteristics: First, there is rapid reproduction. Garrison says that CPMs “always outstrip the population growth rate as they race toward reaching the entire people group.”[3] Second, there is multiplication. Garrison explains that CPMs “multiply churches and believers like Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes.”[4] Third, CPMs are indigenous, that is, generated from within, contrasted with those influenced or started by outsiders. Fourth, CPMs have churches planting churches. At this point, Garrison hones in on the strategic point where things get out of control, like a cascade of falling dominoes. This reveals that “when the momentum of reproducing churches outstrips the ability of the planters to control it, a movement is underway.”[5] Fifthly, CPMs occur within people groups or interrelated population segments. Church movements most naturally occur within “shared language and ethnic boundaries.”