We are not called to plant churches, but to make disciples.
Ralph Moore once said, “If you plant churches, discipleship may or may not happen. Yet if you devote yourself to making disciples, churches will inevitably be planted.”
Much of what the church growth movement teaches leaders to do isn’t found in the book of Acts, and conversely, most leaders at the helms of America’s largest churches still can’t do much of what we read about Acts either. How many leaders of large churches can you think of who are making disciples and evangelizing their community outside of the pulpit? The issue is clear. What we mean by church planting, and what it meant to the first century missionaries are very different.
Eckhard Schnabel quotes Ferdinand Hahn “The early church was a missionary church. The proclamation, the teaching, all activities of the early Christians had a missionary dimension. The fact that it is not possible to find a defined concept of ‘missions’ in the New Testament does not alter the fact that early Christianity was controlled by the missionary task in their entire existence and in all the activities.”
Over the last thirty years, many influential church leaders and church planters in America have adopted various models for reaching unchurched people. An ‘attractional’ model will seek to attract people to a local church. Younger leaders may advocate a more ‘missional’ approach, in which believers live and work among unchurched people and intentionally seek to serve like Christ. While each of these approaches have merit, something is still missing, something even more fundamental to the mission of the church: discipleship. Today’s webinar with Bobby Harrington and Jim Putman will walk you through five key ‘shifts’ that churches must make to refocus on the biblical mission of discipleship. These intentional changes will attract the world and empower your church members to be salt and light in their communities.
If you missed the webinar on this day, you can check out the conversation between Jim Putman and Bobby Harrington below.