Get ready for some stuff thats so simple and relatively uncomplicated that it might just blow your mind!
Floyd McClung offers five simple steps for planting. As we build the Kingdom we need simple and biblical strategies for doing that all emcompassing task of making disciples of all nations. Here is what he suggests:
1) Pray. This is not just a five minute “Lord, we fancy doing this, will you bless us?” thing. This is specific prayer, warfare prayer even. This is praying up a storm for the lost…tying up the strongman to get ready to plunder his ‘treasure.’ We pray as we walk, we pray fervently, all through the night and at ‘all times.’ We pray for God to send us divine appointments, people with whom we can say, yes, thank you God for placing me on that persons path. Pray for the community, ask God for his heart for it. Pray for effective means of discipling and building the Kingdom. Pray that you’ll find the ‘people of peace’ Jesus referered to and that you can start building with them. Pray.
2) Meet. This is a MASSIVE plea for Christians everywhere to get out of the church, away from all the stuff and get out amongs people. Remember, you’ve prayed earnestly that God will give you divine appointments…now we have to put that into action and go where God leads. Get out of the cloisters, debunk from the barracks, go AWOL from the band practice and maybe even step away from over indulging in ‘fellowship.’ Fellowship happens better when we’re engaging in God’s plans anyway!
Build your relationships with people, your oikos (as the bible calls it…literally, your household). Build this stuff expectantly. I can already hear the screams of ‘oh, thats so un-authentic…you can’t make friends just to make them potential Christians.’ Well, if you have a problem with that, take it up with Jesus. He had no problem with this stuff AT ALL.
As an Army, a great way to do this stuff is through serving. Here in Torry, although we are going ‘under the fence’ in lots of ways we are also stepping up in simply meeting the needs of people. We can be a literal help to people, it brings us into relationship. Understand, we help them whether or not we ever even get round to mentioning God, but we build relationship with them through serving them from a heart of love.
3) Make. Yeah, make disciples. Invest in people. Notice in Matthew 28 we’re told to make disciples of all nations…well, the evangelism process is part of discipleship. We notice well that none of Jesus’ disciples that he called were asked to accept him as Lord and Saviour before they could follow him. It certainly was part of it later on though, and lets not miss that out. But lets focus on making, investing, and speaking into peoples lives that we meet.
We become like a person introducing a friend to our Friend. One begger telling another where to find bread. All that stuff.
Floyd points out that Jesus gave us 7 ‘discipleship’ commandments, and when ther right time comes, we introduce this stuff:
1. repent and believe
2. be baptized with the Holy Spirit
6. gather with others
7. make disciples of all nations (build this in early as part of their DNA like someone helpfully did to me….it doesn’t leave you, you know!)
Oh…and remind them that there is a cost to following Jesus.
4) Gather. Yeah, get people together. Pull the ones together who are seeking spiritually, those who are open. This is the beginning of things. Again, don’t necessarily wait for them to ‘say the prayer’ or somesuch thing. Food is a great way to do it…people love to eat together. And get this, Jesus said that where two or three are gathered in his name, he’s there. This is Jesus’ bare minimum for ‘church’…two or three. From that minute, you’re on your way. It begins with gathering, although you’ll feed into that as you go.
An example is our youth ward/cell/group/gathering. They’re not Christian young folk. But we’ve gathered them, they are interested, and the discipleship process has begun.
5) Multiply. Resist every temptation to contain your gathered group. Set if free. Build in the concepts of expansion right from the beginning. Train people up as you go, give away leadership bit by bit…all part of the discipleship process. Develop people step by step. Then, like Paul, you’ll be able to move on quickly to start afresh!
OK, so along the way there are going to be issues and complications….sure, thats life. But keeping those five in mind just give you pointers for planting your outpost in your living room or you gathering at the cafe or the pub/restaurant. Get stuck in, fight like a warrior and lets get the job done.
Try it…its probably dynamite!