Why Start Multiple Churches?

Why Start Multiple Churches?

The church is the pillar and ground of truth (1 Timothy 3:15). It is the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12), of which He is the head (Ephesians 5:23). God has chosen to do His work in this age through the church. Baptism (Acts 2:41), the Lord’s supper (1 Corinthians 11:17-34), giving (1 Corinthians 16:1-2), exercising God-given gifts (1 Corinthians 14:12), sending forth laborers (Romans 10:15; Acts 13:1-3), and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19–20; Mark 16:15) are undeniably connected to the church. Since the times of the New Testament, the work of God has been inseparable from the church. Grasping the importance of the church is needed for a missionary to fulfill his role on the mission field effectively.

The Great Commission can be divided into two evident sections: evangelism and discipleship. The church and the people of God begin by telling the sinners, but they continue by teaching the saints. The task cannot be accomplished without the church. The church is needed for “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20).

As Mark Coffey, a missionary in South Africa, says, “If they have a church, they have a chance.” Every city and every area needs a gospel-preaching church. The church is God’s training camp to spread the gospel worldwide.

A missionary goes to the field with ambitions, hopes, finances, preparation, and plans. There’s hope for people in that area while the missionaries are present, but what happens when the missionary leaves? If a church is established, the chance of more people being saved and more being taught is greater for everyone. If the missionary starts multiple churches, clearly the impact is greater. The beautiful fact is that the missionary can prayerfully plan to start multiple churches, hence helping cause the greatest impact possible. Let’s consider a few things a missionary will do to start multiple churches:

  1. Every church needs a local pastor.

It’s not the job of a missionary to pastor every church, although he will certainly need to be a pastor for a while to teach others how to pastor. A missionary will pray and be attentive from the very start for those whom God may use to be prospective pastors. He will love them, equip them, pray for them, be patient with them, and help them successfully lead others.

  1. Missionaries must keep moving forward.

The crowd in Mark 1:38 wanted to set Jesus up as their leader for that area. Jesus responded saying, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also.” A missionary will get a map and a burden to prayerfully plan where churches need to start all over a city and country. A missionary won’t settle in so much that he will build a perfect, comfortable church he will never leave. The philosophy of one mega-church versus multiple smaller churches will affect how he does ministry. He will keep the map in front of him. He will constantly tell his church and perspective leaders the need for more churches and pray that God will help him start more churches.

  1. Missionary church plants don’t need to be large. It is possible!

The average church in the US that sends out a missionary is around 60 people. It’s not just the large churches supporting and sending missionaries; it’s the smaller ones, too. Many of them have bi-vocational pastors, not full-time supported by the church. It is sometimes thought that a church cannot send a missionary or start another church if they only have 50–60 people, but that’s proven to be the perfect size for sending out laborers. Understanding this will help the missionary look at the mission field with belief, sharing with his congregation that God can use them to start other churches.  

If you would like to find out more about what it means to be a missionary, click here. Jason Holt and Jeffrey Bush discuss the difference between a missionary and a pastor.

12 Principles of Carey’s Covenant

12 Principles of Carey’s Covenant

A.T. Pierson, in his book, The Divine Enterprise of Missions, shares the following 12 principles and explanation about a covenant that missionaries Carey, Marshman, and Ward drew up to guide their work in India in a spiritual fashion. The idea of the covenant was to encourage holy living so as to see the Lord bless and prosper their work. It is a challenge to us to seek to live holy lives through God’s Spirit so that we too may experience God’s blessing on our work of world evangelism.

And therefore do we steadfastly maintain that no great power can attend Christian missions, while in the Church Christian life sinks to a low level. Such a life can beget no life of a higher sort, and our missionaries will, in their work, represent our uncertain convictions and our divided affections, and their unbelief and worldliness will make God’s many mighty works impossible on the foreign field.

It was October 7, 1805, thirteen years almost to a day from the day when that mission compact was signed at Kettering, that Carey, Marshman, and Ward, at Serampore, drew up their famous spiritual “Covenant.” It covered twelve printed pages octavo, and was read publicly at every station at least once a year.

If any one would see what sort of men God chose to lead the van of His modern missionary post, let him study that “Form of agreement respecting the great principles upon which the brethren of the mission thought it their duty to act in the work of instructing the heathen.” Dr. George Smith calls it a Preparatio Evangelica, and well adds that it “embodies the divine principles of all Protestant scriptural missions, and is still a manual to be daily pondered by every missionary, and every church and society which may send a missionary forth.”*

We give here its most important parts, for personal reflection:

“IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY:
1. “That we set an infinite value upon immortal souls.
2. “That we gain all information of the snares and delusions in which these heathen are held.
3. “That we abstain from all those things which would increase their prejudices against the Gospel.
4. “That we watch all opportunities for doing good.
5. “That we keep to the example of Paul, and make the great subject of our preaching, Christ the Crucified.
6. “That the natives should have an entire confidence in us and feel quite at home in our company.
7. “That we build up and watch over the souls that may be gathered.
8. “That we form our native brethren to usefulness, fostering every kind of genius and cherishing every gift and grace in them, especially advising the native churches to choose their own pastors and deacons from amongst their own countrymen.
9. “That we labor with all our might in forwarding translations of the Sacred Scriptures in the languages of India.
10. “That we establish native free-schools and recommend these establishments to other Europeans.
11. “That we be constant in prayer and the cultivation of personal religion, to fit us for the discharge of these laborious and unutterably important labors. Let us often look at Brainerd in the woods of America, pouring out his very soul before God for the perishing heathen, without whose salvation nothing could make him happy.
12. “That we give ourselves unreservedly to this glorious cause. Let us never think that our time, our gifts, our strength, our families, or even the clothes we wear, are our own. Let us sanctify them all to God and His cause. O, that He may sanctify us for His work! No private family ever enjoyed a greater portion of happiness than we have done since we resolved to have all things in common. If we are enabled to persevere, we may hope that multitudes of converted souls will have reason to bless God to all eternity for sending His Gospel into this country.”

In this solemn compact, which sounds like an apostolic document, twelve cardinal principles are carefully set forth.

1. Valuing human souls at an infinite worth.
2. Informing themselves as to their actual needs.
3. Avoiding all putting of stumbling blocks in their way.
4. Watching opportunity to do good unto all.
5. Preaching Christ Crucified as their one theme.
6. Inspiring confidence by a Christlike life.
7. Establishing schools for Christian education.
8. Watching over and training native converts.
9. Raising up a native ministry for service.
10. Translating the Holy Scriptures into the vernacular.
11. Cultivating prayer and self-culture in piety.
12. Surrendering self unreservedly to God and service.

To this nothing remains to be added to give completeness and symmetry. It reads like an inspired paper. The marks of the Holy Ghost are upon it. And we commend it to all friends of missions, and especially to all who have in view or in thought the field of missions. It need be no matter of wonder that, although the first Hindu convert, Krishna Chundra Pal, was not baptized as a Protestant believer until 1800, fifty years after Carey’s death, the native Protestant community, in 1884, numbered half a million, with ordained native pastors outnumbering the missionaries, and every decade witnessing an increase at the rate of eighty-six per cent.!

Let this covenant be to the Church of Christ, as we start on a new century of missions, a trumpet peal of God for a new advance. A higher type of piety is the great demand of our day. Spiritual power depends upon spiritual life. Never will the Holy Spirit set a premium upon low spiritual attainment by resting, in Shekinah glory, upon a Church in whose courts are the idols of this world. While the Word of God is neglected, prayer degenerates into a form, and worship into ritual; while the line of separation is obliterated between the Church and the world, and the whole life of the Church is on the lowest level, we shall look in vain for the anointing from above.

* Short History of Missions, p. 165.

Pierson, A. T. (1891). The Divine Enterprise of Missions (pp. 219–223). New York: Baker & Taylor Co.

Missionary Racism

Missionary Racism

Court cases, marches, protests, books, movies, and much more reveal how racist the world and society in which we live can really be. But sadly there is another kind of racism that exists, one we do not hear much about: missionary racism. This article is not intended to slam anyone and definitely not to make anyone think less of missions, rather its purpose is to help the missionary and missionary sender avoid racism.

Here are a few attitudes that show “racism” in the area of missions:

Not eating what the people eat

Not allowing the people on the mission field into your home

Not sharing a drink with the people

Not trusting the people with your children

Thinking there is nothing good in the country in which the missionary serves

Thinking a national could never be trusted to be a leader in the church

Talking about missionary’s home country as superior to the country in which he serves

Venting about the cultural differences on social media such as Facebook, blogs, etc.

Yes, another country may have a “weird” culture compared to what one knows. They may eat “weird” things or do business in a “weird” way, but remember that just because something is different, it is not necessarily wrong. When missionary racism is present or even slightly detected by the people the missionary works with, doors of opportunities will begin to close. Remember that if the people do not trust or confide in the missionary, they will most likely not listen to him and they for sure will not help him. Many missionaries limit their work because of their attitude towards the people. Here are a few ways to help avoid missionary racism and grow trust in the people with whom the missionary works.

  1. Love them.

Love is an ACTION. You can say you love them, but until you step in and get your hands dirty with them, they will not believe it.

  1. Pray for them.

Talking to God about them and on their behalf will change your attitude towards them.

  1. Enrich them spiritually.

Teach them the Bible. Teach them to love their spouse and children. Teach them to think, to work, to be a good Christian, and to have a walk with God.

  1. Realize that you may never be the “great missionary,” but you can help them be a great people for God.

Your whole life is about giving, helping and loving. Spend and be spent. Yes, you will be used, and others may hurt you. But if it helps them, then it is good. Don’t do anything to get or receive “thank you’s” because they may not give them. Do it because you love the Lord and you love the people. This is who you are and what you do!

Ideas for Church Plants

Ideas for Church Plants

Show and tell your people what all ministerial positions look like — be specific about what an usher, musicians, teacher, etc., should do and how they should act.

Put a tract rack/stand on the street in front of the church where people can pick up information for free.

Place church signs everywhere possible — on building, upright stands on the sidewalk, banners over the street, etc.

Put a speaker outside with native speaker inviting others to come in, maybe some good music or announcements.

Pray God to work. Sounds cliche, but James 4:2 tells us that we have not because we ask not. Do you really believe God can work? Do you want God to do a big work? If you do believe it, then it’s time to ask God, which will result in living expectantly.

Preach and talk about what you want and expect. Would people know you believe and want to see servants of Christ raised up? Remember that nothing is dynamic unless it’s specific, meaning it cannot impact and change people unless you are specific in your preaching and teaching.

Preach messages that are simple and clear.

Get everyone a job, an opportunity to be plugged in. Don’t let hardly anyone in the pulpit, but get a paper and write down all ministries that people can be involved in (i.e.: give out bulletins, ushers, welcome committee, evangelism, line up chairs, sound system, kids ministries, play instrument, serve coffee/tea to all, etc.).

Make an order of the service

Carry tracts with you everywhere you go and encourage others to do the same.

Find out what it would cost to get on the radio, get in the newspaper or put ads on the buses, taxis, street posts, street banners over roads, etc. Get the word out that there is a church that preaches the gospel and wants to help people in your area.

Have a giant sign on your church building, whether someone paints or you purchase it. Using an electrical, lit-up sign if possible so that people can see it at night.

Make sure you have a webpage for the church.

Use Facebook or other popular apps is (like WeChat, WhatsApp, etc.) to promote your church and activities. People use Facebook in other countries more than in the US.

Have Bibles available in church for visitors or for those who don’t have one.

Give out Bibles for free to people who come to three consecutive services (or whatever number of services you think works best).

Pay someone to drive with a big speaker of recording that talks about your church. Although not everywhere, many countries have people that sale fruit or other products by driving around with a big speaker… so use the same idea.

Talk about what a church is and work to organize it.

Have people at the church doors to receive any guests, to give out something, to answer any questions and to point them inside.

Have a personal business card and give it out wherever you go. People will begin to know you as the pastor or Bible teacher.

Send everyone home with something from the church — bulletin, preaching notes, calendar or something. Remember that if they hang up something or carry around something with the church’s name on it, it’s good and free publicity.

Give out gifts to every visitor — pen, mug, tract, candy, magnet or something with the church’s name on it.

Have challenges in church where people can get a gift. For example:

  • Bring a visitor and get a free T-shirt
  • Come so many services and get a Bible
  • Memorize a Bible verse and get a free coffee mug.
  • Pass out so many tracts during the week and get free pen with church’s name on it.
  • Take notes in church 5x and get a free notebook with church’s name on it.
  • Read Bible through and get a sweatshirt or light jacket.

Have a small bookstore (maybe only a small table in the corner) with a few nicer Bibles and books that you know will help people.

Decorate the church with Bible verses on walls, in halls and anywhere possible. Remember, it’s God’s Word that changes lives and we want to get it into their hearts, memories and lives.

Use offering envelopes and put them in a rack or little case hung on the wall. Even if you prefer not to use envelopes, the idea of people seeing others pick them up to give makes a big statement and is a reference when you talk about giving. It also helps divide up where the giving goes (tithe, construction, missions, etc.) and lets people know both the need, the importance and organization of giving.

Put up a map of your city with a verse under it and a saying of how it’s your responsibility to tell the area about Jesus.

Preparing for Furlough

Preparing for Furlough

Furlough is an important time in a missionary’s life. It can be viewed as an annoying hiccup in ministry and therefore ignored, but furlough can be a great thing for the missionary, their family, and their ministry. Allow me to give a few of the “preparations” needed to make furlough a good time instead of a dreaded time.

1. Vehicle.

If you don’t have one Stateside, you can rent one through a missionary service such as Righteous Rides or Baptist Missionary Transportation Ministry (BMTM). You can buy one and have family keep it while you’re gone so that you can use it on your next furlough or you can purchase a cheap one that you can turn around and sell when you leave.

2. Housing. 

You can go online to search and rent one before you ever arrive back to the US. Your home church may have a mission’s house or another church in the area may have a mission’s house that you could use.

Cautions to consider:

  1. It’s good to see family, but it is best to live in a place where you can be around people that will help, teach, challenge and prepare you for the next level of ministry.
  2. It’s best not to stay at family or friend’s houses unless you have your own entrance, kitchen, and bathroom. You need your privacy. Sharing a kitchen or bathroom is ok for few days or a week, but afterward, it is very likely to cause problems.

3. Raise Support.

It is best to call 3–4 months before you leave the field to begin filling your calendar. If you do not need to raise support, don’t worry about visiting new churches, but if you need more support, it is best to book meetings and get your calendar full. If you wait to call until you arrive back Stateside, you will likely not get any meetings booked right away. Most pastors book a minimum of 3–4 months out.

If you are raising money for land, buildings, or a project, it may be better to visit already-supporting churches. If you are trying to raise your support, it is best to book new churches.

4. Growth While on Furlough.

Marriage – go to a marriage retreat and read a minimum of one marriage book.

Ministry – read books, go see other missionaries and people who can help you. Set up times to meet one on one with your mentor and experienced people who can help you.

Family – plan some getaway times and fun things for everyone to do together.

5. Your Children. 

If possible, you can put your children in a school. If you are going to homeschool, get the curriculum needed and everything prepared for their education while on furlough.

Allow your kids to get involved in the children’s program or youth program at the church you will be based from. Maybe look for some sports programs or activities that your kids can be involved in as to enjoy their time in the US and take advantage of things that they will not be able to do or learn on the field.

6. Start Preparing Ministry (leaders and church)

Six months before your departure, you should map out your exit by writing down how many Sundays and midweek services you have before you leave. Make a plan so that the national leadership is 100% taken over everything before you ever leave the field.

Furlough is a very good and needed thing for your ministry. Missionaries typically do not like it for fear of the ministry falling apart, but this is a very needed test and lesson for the ministry on the field. Preparing the people and churches for your departure will help the transition (your leaving) go smoothly. Plan times that you will be late to church so that they will learn to start without you being present. Plan to be gone for entire services. Plan to be present but not do anything. Meet with the pastor(s) and help him have a schedule of what he will be preaching. Give the leaders tools for studying, preaching, teaching and leading ministries. By preparing the people and ministries, your departure can go smoothly instead of abruptly.

7. Health. 

Schedule any doctor or dental appointments needed for you or for your children. Whether just check-ups or concerns, go ahead and try to set up appointments before you leave the field.

8. Preaching and Teaching.

Prepare several messages you can use while on furlough. Since you are a veteran, it is very likely that you will be asked to preach more than one message at the same church so make sure you have several messages ready.

9. Personal or Promotional Material. 

Prepare and order prayer cards and a display so that they will be shipped and waiting for you when you arrive back Stateside. If you are not a graphic designer, you can pay one of the many who are good in this area.

You may want to record good video footage to make or have made a presentation you can send to and update all your supporting churches.

10. Plan a minimum of one good family vacation.

As you travel around to churches, look for opportunities to take the family to visit national and historic sites, but also plan to set aside some time for a fun family vacation that the kids will remember for the rest of their lives.

Furlough is an important time in a missionary’s life. It can be viewed as an annoying hiccup in ministry and therefore ignored, but furlough can be a great thing for the missionary, their family, and their ministry. Allow me to give a few of the “preparations” needed to make furlough a good time instead of a dreaded time.

Lessons To The Next Generation Of Leaders

Lessons To The Next Generation Of Leaders

Moses died and God chose Joshua to lead the children of Israel. He then instructed him on what he would need to live out this new responsibility. 

Today in 2020, we face a vast problem. We are lacking in young spiritual leaders to take the charge of the church and the Great Commission. Our nation holds thousands of churches who are either struggling to survive or are closing their doors permanently. On a more grave note, this earth holds billions of hell-bound souls, most of which have little hope of ever hearing Christ and His gospel.  

The real issue isn’t the church, for it is triumphant under Christ as long as it obeys the Bible. 

It isn’t God, for He is powerful as He has always been. 

It isn’t sinners, for we are sinful as we’ve always been. 

The issue is the lack of young spiritual leadership.

This generation needs to say, ‘’Evangelizing the world is my responsibility and I will go. Edifying the church is my responsibility and I will lead.’’

If we indeed receive these workers, they, like Joshua, will need a charge. What does this charge look like?

KNOW THAT GOD IS THE SAME GOD

There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Joshua 1:5

Young person, you need to know that God is no lesser a God to you than He was for the last generation. He is God supreme! He has not changed. 

Why not dream big and trust God? Decide that God wants to do mighty things through you.

BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS

Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:6-7, 9

Strength and courage are traits that our generation has mismanaged! The world says that these traits are nothing more than toxic masculinity. But God didn’t seem to think so.

The words ”to be strong” mean ”to have the ability to stand up under stress and problems.” If you want to lead in the next generation, you need to continue through the tough stuff! 

This life is FULL of trails. When the health issue comes, be strong. When the pandemic happens, be strong. When someone does you wrong, be strong, and continue on. 

Then there is this matter of courage. This word means ‘’strength amidst danger.’’ We are in a Spiritual battle, and there are many dangers. Some are seen and many are unseen. You will not make it without the courage to decide that you will face these dangers.

LOVE GOD’S WORD

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Joshua 1:7-8

For you to be a next-generation spiritual leader, you will need knowledge, love, memorization, and preaching of the Bible. If you will be a leader, you must be willing to learn and apply the Word of God to your life. 

Let’s be a people of the book.

In conclusion: We need Spiritual leaders! Why not you? You can love the Bible. You can have strength and courage. BECAUSE OUR GOD IS YOUR GOD! Now the only thing we lack is your surrender! Will you be a spiritual leader for the next generation?