Planting Churches Cross-Culturally
Planting Churches Cross-Culturally was a fantastic book to read, and it has very practical advice on how we can start churches in different cultures. It gives a crystal clear outline of how Paul started churches and how that applies to our ministries today.
First of all, this book stressed the importance of church planting. It says, So intimate is the relationship between gospel proclamation and church planting that they cannot be divorced without doing violence to the mission of the church. This book makes it very clear that if you are a missionary, you should be planting churches. There is not anything else as important as starting churches. I believe that this is very true. Many missionaries are not starting churches and instead are focusing more on humanitarian work. Although this is not a bad thing, the most important work of a missionary is starting churches.
Secondly, we should be focusing on reaching strategic places in our ministries. “Paul gave priority to establishing churches in strategically located cities. All cities are by no means the same, but in general, they do present the greatest potential and possibilities for planting churches. This is due to (1) openness to change, (2) the concentration of resources, and (3) the potential for significant contact with surrounding communities.” I think that this is very important. If we want to impact the country, we will need to go to the central places in the country. We are going to need to go to a place where people are coming to and is growing! From those strategic locations, we can send out workers to reach the surrounding areas.
Finally, this book talks about what kind of people we should look to reach and how we should do that. It talks about our initial objective, “1. To gain as much understanding and goodwill of the local citizens 2. To reach unchurched Christians and invite them into the church fellowship 3. To reach “prepared people” (those who might be favorably disposed toward the Gospel) 4. To get as wide a hearing as possible. This means that we should learn about the culture and become part of it. Then we should invite the people around us to church so that they will hear the Gospel. We should look for interested people, spend our time with them, and share the Gospel with them.
This blog is part of my book review series. If you would like to read my blog on the best books for missionaries, you can click here.