• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Urgent Need for Church Planters Revisited

I think it is worth sharing a rather lengthy quote from the book, Global Church Planting, to underscore again what we were talking about in Tuesday’s post.  This comes from a section titled: “New Coworkers Recruited from the Church Plants Expand the Missionary Force”:

“One of the most noteworthy features of Paul’s mission was his recruitment of coworkers from the various churches he planted.  He recruits from the harvest for the next harvest.  “The majority of Paul’s coworkers came from the new churches that he had established .… The ‘home churches’ of these workers acknowledge that they share in the responsibility for the expansion of the kingdom of God by providing missionary workers who help Paul” (Schnabel 2008, 255).  Though Paul’s initial church-planting teams were sent out from Syrian Antioch and were composed of Jewish background believers, he did not look to Antioch alone for new missionary recruits.  Rather he recruited them from the churches he had planted, and the coworkers were increasingly of Gentile, not Jewish, origin (Ollrog 1979, 62).  For example, about three years after the estimated time of Timothy’s conversion in Lystra on the first missionary journey (Acts 14) Paul took him on as a missionary apprentice (Acts 16:1-3).  Soon after that Timothy began working semi-independently of Paul in Thessalonica (Acts 17:14; 1 Thess. 3:1-5), Macedonia (Acts 19:22), Corinth (1 Cor 4:17), Philippi (Phil. 2:19), and Ephesus (1 Time. 3:14-15)”

What made this quote ‘come alive’ for me was when one of the leaders from the French church we attend approached me last week and said that the church should consider ways to send ‘workers’ to work with us.  This is a church that WT had a major part in establishing.

We need to be recruiting from the harvest for the next harvest.

2 Responses

  1. It’s a sort of ethnocentrism, to be recruiting back in the States and not in the immediate body God has placed around you, isn’t it? Perhaps it’s unintentional or subconscious, but I believe it’s ethnocentrism nonetheless.

    As we’ve started language school in France, my eyes have been opened to just how much of the world speaks French, especially in Africa. And a lot of those African natives are living here, too. I’ve started to dream about the day when the body of which I will be a part sends some of its own to work in those African countries. It would very likely be easier for them to get in and stay in and easier for them to minister.

    • Yes, you’re right that we need to think larger than our current way of seeing mobilization. However, we must never forget that the mandate Jesus gave His Church is for all believers. So I wouldn’t want to limit my thinking by only seeing some able to go rather than multicultural teams going (as we see in the book of Acts).

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