“The work should be self-supporting, self-governing and self-propagating from the start. No one can be healthy and strong while leaning on another, and the habit once started, is hard to break. Churches have become weak and indolent rather than aggressive and powerful as a result of foreign support. The vision of evangelism and its responsibility has been lost, and the outcome, in many cases, has been most disastrous.”
Oswald J. Smith, The Challenge of Missions, page 133
These words seem very radical, but if they are compared to the model of Paul in Acts 20:34 and 2 Thessalonians 3:7-9, we see that they have a biblical foundation. There is no indication in the Early Church, as recorded by Luke in Acts, that new church plants were supported financially by Antioch (the sending church) or Jerusalem (where the church started) except in a time of famine. It is good to ask ourselves; ‘what will increase the spontaneous expansion of the gospel and church planting?’ I suggest that a return to Scripture and a Pauline model led by the Holy Spirit is critically essential.