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Summary: Barriers to planting and Growing Churches in cross-cultural communities with 38 case studies

BARRIERS AND BRIDGES FOR PLANTING AND GROWING CHURCHES

Barriers

1. Tribal, Religious, Ethnic Prejudices

2. Other Political, Religious, or Ancestral Allegiances

3. Differences in world view

a. (Experiences, Realities, and Nature of God and His creation.

b. Truth (Its nature, origin, and its interpretation)

c. Beliefs (Who, What, Why, and How they should be expressed)

d. Values - What is of most worth, desirability, and utility

e. Practices - What are the customary normal actions that give respectability

f. Emotions - What are the ways that are most sanctioned and of whom

3. Lack of knowledge of God, Christ, Man’s condition in sin, grace, and faith

4. Resistance from traditional religions

5. Resistance from local authorities

6. Resistance from carnality of Christians

7. Resistance from Islam

8. Resistance from cults and occults

9. Resistance from the evil powers of the world, flesh, and the devil

10. Man’s natural resistance to change

11. Relationships that may appear to be threatened

12. Culturally accepted beliefs and views

13. Cultural Distances between the missionary and the people group

14. Geographical and ethnic barriers

15. Theological misunderstandings

16. Lack of goals for church planting and church growth

17. Unawareness of the implications of the truth for eternity and the consequences of sin and disobedience.

18. Credibility, and trust of the messengers and their message

19. Lack of training in church planting, evangelism, and church growth

20. Poor character of the missionary

Bridges

1. The word of God that accomplishes the will of God through His Spirit

2. Prayer for the convicting, enabling, and guiding ministry of His Spirit

3. Research of the people’s customs, culture, and world view

4. Developing trust, rapport, and love for the people and their felt, perceived and real needs

5. Study the history of the people’s culture, history, and traditional views of God

6. Emphasizing essentials about God, Christ, The Holy Spirit, Sin, Heaven, Hell, Man’s Condition, Grace, Faith

7. Giving respect, honor, and consideration to the local authorities

8. Pointing out the cause and effect relationships between the needs of the people and Christ’s ability to satisfy them and solve their problems

9. Showing the gaps between the realities of the people’s experiences and the ideals of scripture

10. Refusing to condemn a cultural practices, but allowing the Spirit to bring conviction of real sin not just differences of opinions

11. Balancing your concerns between the people, the processes of presenting the gospel, and the product of starting and growing a church

12. Learning lessons of culture, language, and customs from the people as a means of showing love and trust for the people

13. Directing, equipping, and praying for gifted people to serve as full-time church planters who can work through seed families

14. Encourage church members to take on particular daughter church planting projects with their offerings and prayers

15. Use theological students during their long vacations as well as during the weekends to show evangelistic films and start new churches in cooperation with local church authorities

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