In the next four blogs, I want to introduce you to the four key elements in Paul’s strategy of church planting that is still effective today.
Paul’s evangelizing consisted of preaching a pure gospel: “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2), “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). Paul’s supreme subject was the Cross along with repentance and faith alone, not philosophy or psychology or some program attempting to be relevant or tolerant to the culture. There was always an air of expectation pervading his preaching (Acts 26:27). His message stood alone. If people rejected him, like Christ (Luke 9:5), he shook the dust off his feet and moved on to find more receptive hearts where God was at work (Acts 13:51). If we continue to preach the gospel where God is not at work, we degrade the glorious gospel to the level of merely educating people’s intellect.
Another aspect of Paul’s evangelizing was not to preach the gospel to every person in a particular area by himself. Today we send out individuals and teams that try to personally reach as many individuals in an area as possible by sharing the gospel. By neglecting to use Paul’s strategy of starting churches that are capable of spreading the gospel, we are severely limited in what a single person or team can do. Paul’s goal was to establish reproducing churches that displayed the life of Christ in strategic areas (Acts 11:26). Such churches exist today, but are we utilizing them in our evangelistic strategies? It was from these churches located in key centers of intellectual and commercial activity that the gospel spread in every direction (1 Thessalonians 1:6-8).
(Tim Bunn, God’s Plan for His Church, page 17)
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