“There is no command in the Bible to go into all the world and plant churches”
Great reminders from J.D. Payne. Read the whole article here. A few excerpts of note:
Then why is there so much talk about church planting if there is no scriptural mandate?
The Church is to make disciples of all nations (literally, “peoples,” not nation-states). The best way to fulfill this mandate of evangelizing, baptizing, and teaching obedience is through the planting of contextualized churches among the various people groups and population segments of the world.
Biblical church planting is evangelism that results in new churches. But, churches can be planted with little to no evangelism being done.
But it’s not about church planting…it is out of a disciple making movement that churches are birthed (e.g., Acts 13-14).
Unfortunately, most church planters in North America are more involved in gathering together long-term Kingdom citizens than doing evangelism that results in new churches.
Today, we plant the church first, and then (hopefully) lead the church to do evangelism.
But planting churches is cool! It is cool to quickly start a worship gathering with high quality music and preaching. It is cool to quickly develop church programs for kids, families, outreach, missions, etc.
But it’s not about planting churches.
Our mandate is about evangelism, baptisms, and teaching those new believers how to be the local church in their context. It is about teaching those new believers how to gather for worship. It is about teaching those new believers how to preach, how to pastor, how to lead children, families. It is about teaching those new believers how to do missions. There is not much that others can see, feel, and hear in the early days of a church recently birthed from the harvest. . .
Planting churches is cool. . . making disciples from out of the harvest that will become local churches is not.
But it’s not about planting churches, is it?