Summary: Whatever the reasons for the growth of the church we must learn how the Spirit of God may use us more effectively to start new churches in seeing that the kingdom of God grows qualitatively (In spiritual fruits, worship, service, maturity, and fellowship)
Church Planting - How To Inform and Motivate People About Starting New Churches!
Text - Acts 1:8, 16:10-40
Statement of Problem - What do we need to know, believe, and practice in order to start a new church?
Introduction - Throughout Nigeria new churches are springing up every week. The Evangelical Churches of West Africa estimate that the Lord is allowing them to start an average of two new churches every week. While ECWA’s roots for church planting go back to 1904 when the first church was started in Patigi, today ECWA can thank the Lord that there are nearly 2,500 churches and another 500 preaching points throughout Nigeria.
Some of these churches reflect qualitative and quantitative growth of their denomination. Other churches are just growing due to divisions between members, competition between rival groups, or some men’s desires to build their own kingdoms here on earth.
Whatever the reasons for the growth of the church we must learn how the Spirit of God may use us more effectively to start new churches in seeing that the kingdom of God grows qualitatively (In spiritual fruits, worship, service, maturity, and fellowship) as well as quantitatively (Numbers of churches, converts, members, and new areas reached for the gospel).
Example - Abdou Traore was a Muslim sorcerer who lived in a small village in Burkina Faso. As a Muslim Abdo knew the secrets involved in sorcery. He possessed names of five evil spirits, each written in Arabic on special individual papers. One day Abdo took his valuable papers, tore them to pieces, dug a hole with a hoe and buried all those fragments.
Only three days before he had felt God calling him to follow the ``Jesus road.’’ He had listened to a cassette tape giving the testimony of an ex-Muslim leader who had experienced salvation in Jesus Christ. He now felt called of God to preach the gospel.
After hearing about Abdou’s newly acquired power, the chief sorceress in Burkina Faso invited him to preach to her people the Samoghos. Even though the missionaries advised Abdou that the evil woman was planning to kill Abdou, he went in the name of Jesus Christ. Abdo did not know Makoura was the most powerful person in the region, nor was he afraid to go meet her.
On the way, Abdou’s bicycle burst into flames, consuming the steel with the evangelist barely escaping with his life. The evil spirits of the wicked sorceress were trying to kill Abdou before he reached Samogho village.
On arrival, Makoura exclaimed, ``What are you doing here? you are supposed to be dead.’’
Abdou answered, ``You invited me, and I’ve come with the power of Jesus.’’ Abdou was invited to share this source of power with Makoura. The evil woman thought if she learned the secret of his power she could use it for her own wicked purposes. Instead, Makoura got news that her evil spirit which normally took on the form of a snake had been sighted dead in the bush. On Makoura’s arrival the snake’s corpse accused her of giving it an assignment that was too difficult to do. Makoura lost control of herself and became a mad woman. She confessed to all the wrong that she had done in killing 300 people. Soon Makoura was sent to a village where she stayed with her first born son who had become a Pastor.
Together with other Samogho people, the mother became a Christian through the teaching of her won and the witness of the power of the Holy Spirit through the encounters with Abdou’s powerful Jesus Christ! (EMQ - Jan, 87)
In the same way, millions of people are trapped in their fears, beliefs in spirits, and lost in their sins because people have not confronted them with the wonderful liberating power of Jesus Christ. The best witness to people are the lifestyles of their Christian neighbors living the power of Jesus Christ out before them. The planting of churches in every people groups area will greatly help people throughout Nigeria to see, hear, and believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord!
Statement of Problem - What do we need to know, believe, and practice in order that more new churches are started in our areas?
I. Be Sure You are Being Led and Called by God (Acts 16:10-40)
A. Paul received a vision from God saying ``Come over to Macedonia and help us.’’
B. Paul prayed, asked others to pray, and went in faith.
C Paul prepared himself by walking with God
D. Paul prepared himself by seeing that he was a man equipped with every good work by studying the word of God. (II Tim. 3:16,17)
Example - One man knew the scriptures so well that he could tell anyone the main themes to any book, chapter, or paragraph in the Bible. The leaders of the church soon asked this man to teach an adult Sunday School class thinking that he had a lot to offer the people in the church. However, after several weeks of teaching an adult class, nearly all the people refused to attend the man’s class. When the Pastor visited several of the members who had sat in on the man’s Sunday school class he asked them, why they had stopped coming to the man’s class. One member said;