Mission Planting

According to the most recent Wikipedia entry, the Church Planting Movement began in Jerusalem, shortly after Pentecost.  The Church spread from Judea to Samaria and beyond.  I am grateful for those who have spread Christianity because without them, the Church would not exist in my area and language and my life would not be full.

The Wikipedia entry continues.  "In a missiological context, church planting may be defined as 'initiating reproductive fellowships who reflect the kingdom of God in the world.'".

While I agree with the definition, I suggest that the term "Church Planting" may not be helpful.  We are not planting churches.

Instead, we are planting local congregations.  We are planting missions.  A mission is the outreach of Christ's Church, the entire body of redeemed, into a new local context.  It is a mission.  It is not a church.

There is only ONE Church.  It exists in many tribes, locations, languages, and contexts. 

So if you are going to plant a new mission of the Church, you might ask yourself, "What is it about the area, geography, language, people or context, that is not being served by another local congregation and why is a new congregation necessary?

Answering that question will help you in your understanding about why God is calling you.

It will also help  you to realize that you are not alone.  There are many, many other Christians who may not be a part of your mission who are, nonetheless, excited about the opportunity to bring Jesus to a knew culture.

It is for this reason that I do not consider myself to be a "Church Planter".  Instead, I consider myself to be a "Mission Planter".

Just to be clear, I am not at all against the Church Planting Movement and against using the term, "Church Planter".  I am not on a crusade to change that.  I simply want to point out that life became much easier when I realized that I was a Mission Planter of God's Bride, the Church in my local context. 

Not every local congregation meets the needs of every person.  That is why more congregations are needed.  If every church only spoke Latin, then the church would not be able to communicate Jesus' love to people who do not speak it.

 So do yourself a favor.  Don't call yourself a Church Planter.  It will leave an image in people's mind that the church is a local congregation or a church building.  Call yourself a Mission Planter.  And share God's love in your local context.  Your local context needs it.


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