Dr. Christo de Wet (AFMIN, USA)
Spectacular growth of the church of Jesus Christ is occurring all over the world. Therefore church planters must duplicate themselves. If they do not have training, they will have a problem. 6 Million people come to Christ every year! In Rio de Janeiro 5 new evangelical churches are planted every week. Five hundred projects of Every Home for Christ, claim 500 churches are planted every month. Their goal is 300 000 house churches by AD 2000. The research of Missions 21 indicated that between 1985 and 1992, a total of 87 000 churches have been planted. He worked for more than 10 years in Africa. The quality of leadership is still lacking. All kinds of syncretisms inters the church, because of the lack of training.
Training does not refer to formal seminary training only. There is no Biblical foundation for that. Now there are programs available to help church planters to start with the end in mind. We need to be more user-friendly.
In Spain some persons started a jazz-band to plant churches. They are working in a secular society. They even perform in night clubs. Then they challenge them by witnessing that Jesus changed their lives! In Asia the barefoot doctors do evangelisation. The druglords allow them into that area. As they provide medicine, they share their happiness with them. This area was formally known as impenetrable. Another group enters areas as a disaster-area experts. Many of the unreached people groups live in disaster-stricken areas. They are trained to help them and also evangelize them. Where there is sudden change or disasters, people are more open to the gospel.
The biggest mistake we can make is to forget the spiritual-dynamic foundation of church planting. Church planting is direct all out war against the enemy of darkness. Be as sharp as can be. Be plugged into the Power-House. It is not optional. It is compulsory. It was very difficult to plant a church in Colorado Springs. It was a pastors graveyard. Then God dealt with Ted Haggard. He realized something was not right. God gave them glimpses of what was happening there: numerous devil worshipping were taking place. They prayed over the names of the telephone numbers - and cover the whole city - saturating the city with prayer. They received death threats and dead cats on their doorsteps. Ten years later the whole climate of Colorado Springs changed. Now there are 17 missionary headquarters in CS. The 10 guys grew to a vibrant 600 living members. We need God's visitation. We need to be men of God, be close to his heart. Seek God's guidance in our ministry.
Dr. de Wet was involved in researching the role of signs and wonders in church planting. He found that numerous churches followed where men and women trusted God for signs and wonders. Never stop trusting God for it. Let us get as sharp as we can be, and trust God.
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