Saturday, May 30, 2009

This Week in the Mission Blogosphere

Church planting, economy, and methods. These three, in strange ways, seemed to characterize this week in the Mission Blogosphere. If we are satisfied with how church planting is going, then no need to consider stirrings this week. If not, it would do us well to listen in.
  1. Southern Baptist Convention Worries- The SBC has recently made known its economic concerns. Last year the Convention sent 1,088 new missionaries to the foreign field. This year that number will be "significantly smaller." It isn't that there aren't people that feel called to go. It's just that there is no money to send them. Amidst this has come questions of funding misallocation (with only 2.5% of SBC offerings goint to international missions). Several solutions have been offered. New short and intermediate term mission endeavors are already on hold. There's a push to change the Cooperative formula to a heavier emphasis on foreign church planting, decreasing support for US works. There is also debate ensuing concerning a proposed reorginization of the Convention, due to an alleged bloated and bureucratic denominational structure. So this is what is happening at the SBC. The economy is affecting us too though, isn't it (nod your head)? There are some serious impending missionary support problems in the Independent Baptist systems as well. What steps need to be taken?
  2. The 'Home' Church Movement - A question was proposed to Bro. Cloud regarding the 'home' church movement. His response is worth reading. The house church movement in the US is often (though not always) motivated by an unwillingness to submit to any pastoral authority. As far as this is true, it is wicked. Here are my own thoughts: intentionally planting house churches (even in the US) is not wrong in itself. In fact, it may be right. It may do us good to foster the idea that the church is not a building, but people. Further, being (biblically) content with meeting in houses may be the only way that we can keep up with population growth in certain metro areas. We must envision more than the planting of some churches. Our vision must be for a church planting movement if we ever hope to 'keep up'. Is setting the goal of many reproducing house churches in an area a possible solution for these times?
  3. Why Church Planting Movements Don't Happen in Christianized Lands - One missionary blog tried to answer this in a recent post. The 3 reasons given were: lack of obedience to the Word (especially concerning Jesus' commanded church planting methods), traditional ways of doing church (just watching the main man on Sunday), and a lack of willingness to suffer and sacrifice. True? Largely, yes. While I don't approve of all of the solutions he offers, the question and the reasons deserve our careful attention. Church planting is happening, but why no movements?

Let's 'fess up.

We could do much better here and abroad. Economic and other conditions are eventually going to force us to make difficult decisions. But there is no need letting them slow expansion. How will we respond? I believe that I have the solutions. No, they didn't originate with me. They have been around for ages.

  1. Trust God

  2. Return to a less complicated, more biblical 1st century model of church planting, including contenting ourselves whith reproducing house churches led by indigenous pastors.

Cost effectiveness. Faith. Yes, I think so. What do you think?

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