Updates from the Proegers

Church Planting Part 1: Two Models of Starting Churches

The Beautiful Milan Cathedral

This week our speaker is a Christian leader from another country in Africa (purposely leaving details of his identity out) who is speaking to us about church planting.  It dawns on me that there are probably several catgories of people reading our blog and that it might be useful to explain more about this term “church planting.”

The term merely refers to the means by which new churches are begun.  Ceci and I are here in order to learn more about this practice and how to do it well and in a way that has the most positive and long reaching effects on those we are trying to reach with the gospel.

There are two primary ways of trying to church plant.  Both are good and both have certain limitations.  Because our focus is on planting house churches, I want to focus briefly on what that means.

Simply put a house church is a small community of believers who are going after God together.  This means they come together to worship God, read Scripture and pray for one another.  There are other critical components, but the key thing is that they are seeking to follow Jesus and then seeking to let others know about Him.

If the truth were known, many think of a “house church” as a poor substitute for reaching the world with the gospel and actually see it as somehow deficient when compared with what most of us consider a “real church.” It is easy to be impressed with large churches with massive budgets and massive staffs.  By typical American standards, these churches are the ones “really reaching the world with the gospel.”  Of course that means a “traditional” church with a building, a staff, a budget and a larger gathering of believers.

Obviously, we are not at all opposed to such an expression of the body of Christ, but would like to point out that the house church model is actually more “traditional.”  The house church model is first introduced in Acts 2:42 at what can be considered the very beginning of the New Testament church.

Please understand that I don’t automatically assume that because something is “more traditional” that it is therefore more correct.  I actually believe God gave us a great deal of freedom Scripturally in how we choose to establish churches in terms of structure, size and means of multiplication.  I also believe that it is through the large churches that much of what we are doing over here is being financed.  Most of our support (all of it?) comes from people who are involved in the “traditional churches” I have just described.  So the main thing is that the gospel is going forth and that people are becoming followers of Jesus as opposed to merely “converts” who mentally ascent to propositional truths about God without letting it really affect the way they live.

In my follow up to this post, I give details of a movement started by one of our speakers.  You may be shocked when you hear what is happening!

Church Planting Part 2

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  1. Church Planting Part 2: Small But Potent | The Proeger Family - March 8, 2012

    […] If you have not read Part 1, go here first:  Church Planting Part 1 […]

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