In a recent effort to activate individuals to more intentionally reach out and share the Gospel, a group in a local congregation launched a prayer walking initiative. Actually, it’s more than praying, and more that walking. The idea of cultivating a Prayer-Care-Share Lifestyle of organic outreach, is orienting and equipping followers of Jesus to be alert to the opportunities we have every day, wherever we happen to be, to connect with people, have conversations, establish rapport – that can lead to Jesus conversations.
Better Caught, Than Taught
When believers are properly trained with a few basic skills, especially those taught in Bible Storying or Orality Training, they can simply make eye contact, smile, greet people, and watch how the Holy Spirit often opens up opportunities to engage in gospel conversations. When it comes to sharing or communicating the love and message of Jesus, and making disciples, it’s better caught than taught. Observation, engagement, and participation is more effective in most cases than lectures, books, instructional manuals or sermons.
Normal Traffic Patterns
Those natural, spontaneous opportunities can happen regularly in our normal traffic patterns. We all live in a mission field, made up of our families, neighbors, co-workers or fellow students, and friends, as well as other connections we might have anywhere we encounter people.
Disciple Making and Church Planting Movements are increasingly topics of discussion among global mission leaders. Following are some important questions to consider:
- What does it take, and who is qualified to plant a church?
- What would a biblically based, culturally-relevant church look like in your community?
- What are the most important ingredients to begin a reproducing, multiplying church planting/disciple making movement?
I suggest that (based on Scripture, rather than modern church traditions) every follower of Jesus can and should be a disciple maker. Furthermore, properly understanding what a church exists for, that every follower of Jesus can be instrumental in simple, organic churches (groups of Jesus followers) being planted. In reality, we are not commanded to plant churches, but to plant the Seed of the Word of God, the Gospel. We are to communicate the Good News of Jesus to everyone and to make disciples of all people. I’d like to suggest that there are some simple, practical steps to get us on the journey of doing just that.
The 21st Century Church
Consider how the Gospel spread throughout the entire populated world in the First Century, before the invention of radio, television, the internet, or the printing press. Think about how God preserved the accuracy of His message (His Word) in predominantly Oral Cultures, before it became a written text. The more we understand about the Early Church, the better we can understand about what it will take to communicate the Good News of Jesus and make disciples among the least and last unreached people of the world. My friend Dr. Thom Wolf, a respected global missiologist, has said that the 21st Century Church may look a lot like the 1st Century Church.
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SOURCE: Assist News Service, Jerry Wiles