Why Plant Churches?
Does your windscreen fog up? Do you ever struggle to see the essentials and end up wasting time on lesser things?
We partner with a team in a limited-access country that is steeped in Buddhism. One of our team members is an indigenous missionary from an ethnic group that is 90% Christian. He spent more than ten years going from village to village among least-reached people groups, preaching the Gospel and leading people to Christ. Yet he missed the most important task! And after more than ten years, there was no visible fruit from his ministry!
Why? He had no clear vision of making disciples and raising up churches.
But now he works with a church planting team. After much prayer and pushing on different doors, they have focused on one village in a small least-reached people group. They built trust by helping the people with their biggest immediate problem – a lack of water. Together they built a reservoir, and after months of working together, as well as praying together for personal needs, people have begun to believe in Jesus and follow him.
They meet together discreetly to worship and to learn how to live together as followers of Jesus in a hostile world. A church is growing in this small ethnic group where until last year, no one even knew Jesus’ name.
Jesus didn’t just send us out to preach the Gospel; he also sent us to make disciples.
As people obey Jesus, they come together to worship and love one another – because that is what he commands his followers to do. If we make real disciples, we will inevitably plant churches!
In missions, as in so many areas of our lives, our windscreen can get fogged up. We can do nice programmes in reached nations and in nice churches; we can do nice seminars on all kinds of nice subjects; we can do outreaches where people pray to become Christians; we can feed the poor and care for orphans – all very nice things to do!
But our mandate is to make disciples in all the nations. And the best measure we have of whether we are really making disciples is this: is our ministry resulting in groups of believers coming together to follow Jesus? Are we planting churches that go on to plant more churches?
Pray for World Outreach International missionaries all over the world who are seeking to reach least-reached people groups with the Gospel. Pray that the Lord would help us not to be distracted by the many good things we can do and fail to do the most important thing, to make disciples and raise up churches!
Jo and Jenny’s passion is to help a new generation of young people, many sons and daughters, to make disciples of unreached ethnic groups.
Jo and Jenny live in Osaka, Japan.