Brian G. Weed, Missionary in Nicaragua
As a new missionary years ago, I assumed the word “missionary” was synonymous with “church planter”; but not necessarily. I have found that people associate the word missionary with many different ministry types, compassion or humanitarian works. While compassion ministries are important (Jesus healed the sick, fed the hungry and loved on the poor), there is something much greater. We see that Jesus’ main focus is the local church. He launched a church planting revolution. So, to all new missionaries… before you start a feeding center, sports ministry, hospital, English courses or any other compassion ministry (of which we have all of these), START A CHURCH! Your church plants and leadership can administrate and oversee the compassion ministries.
Jesus left a church planting plan for us to follow so we can continue what He started. We are to go, evangelize, baptize and disciple others. In doing this, there are some key STEPS we can’t skip or forget. In fact, these steps are so important they can be considered non-negotiables for a church planter. To be an effective church planter follow these Steps:
1. Seek Holiness: Personal holiness should be a BIG DEAL. 1 Peter 1:15-16 tells us to be holy. This means we need to work on being pure, to have integrity of character and to be free from sin. The Bible says that if we truly abide in Christ, we will stop the repeated sinning and start righteous living. Make it a point to work on your personal holiness daily.
2. Work Hard: We can all quote Colossians 3:23-24 “ And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord”. There is a key word that we tend to jump over, “HEARTILY”. This word means to “work with all the heart; with zeal; actively; and vigorously”. In other words, work hard, put in the hours, sweat, and go to bed tired. Ask yourself if you are working “heartily”. Let’s GET TO WORK!
3. Train Leaders: II Timothy 2:2 tells us to teach and mentor others so they can in turn do the same. We need to constantly be pouring our life into others. Commit to train those around you, raise them up, exhort and mentor them. Be a part of making them greater than yourself. Give them responsibilities and ministries and let them lead. Do this over and over again.
4. Don’t Stray: As you work on your ministry programs and events, keep in mind that you need more than just nifty ideas or cool sermon titles. Always go back and ask yourself before you implement something new if it will bring Honor to God and continue the plan He has laid out for us to follow.
To be effective church planters follow these simple steps and continue the Church Planting revolution Jesus started 2000 years ago. Now, GET TO IT!