European perspective on urban church planting.berlin oct2011

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European perspective on urban church planting.berlin oct2011

  1. 1. A EuropeanPerspectiveonUrbanChurch Planting Stefan Paas VU University, Amsterdam
  2. 2. Why do we plant churches in Europe?“It has always been myambition to preach the gospel whereChrist was notknown,sothat I wouldnotbe building onsomeoneelse’s foundation”Paul, in Romans 15:20
  3. 3. ChurchGrowthMovement Theology: “The chief and irreplacablepurpose of mission is churchgrowth” – Donald A. McGavran, UnderstandingChurchGrowth, p. 22 Practice: A lack of churchgrowth is causedby a lack of supply Strategy: Therefore, we shouldcontinually plant newchurches
  4. 4. “Only the creation of multitudes of new,vitalcongregations (eitherwithinor withoutthe state denominations) willreconvert themyriads of EuropeanChristo-pagans.Muchthoughtshouldbegiven to this”Donald A. McGavran, UnderstandingChurchGrowth, p. 191
  5. 5. Is growth the purpose of mission? (testingtheology)Church planting = a methodology? “The single most effectiveevangelisticmethodologyunderheaven is planting newchurches. Itappliesmonculturally and cross culturally (…) Rememberthissimplefact: It’s easierto have babiesthan to raise the dead!” Peter C. Wagner, Church Planting for a GreaterHarvest, p. 11, 25
  6. 6. Is growth the purpose of mission?does God want the world to becomeone big church? ‘everykneeshallbow’?Biblical images of the church: a minoritypeople • pilgrim people: “ourcitizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20) • resident aliens: “I urgeyou, as foreigners and exiles…” (1 Peter 2:11) •salt: “you are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13)
  7. 7. Why is there a church?witness not ‘howmany’, but ‘what kind’?growth is notourmission; growth is important to doourmission “The church’sgrowth is a penultimate goal of itsmission. Butthisgrowth is to bemeasured, notsimplyby the number of people entering into the church’sfellowship, butespeciallybytheirparticipation in the bringingabout of a new order, in establishing a community of love, in strugglingforjustice and peace as ananticipation of the ultimaterevelation of God’skingdom. When we think of churchgrowth in these terms, the wholethingbecomes a revolutionary, powerfuladventure”. Orlando Costas, The Integrity of Mission, p. 56-57
  8. 8. Is there a lack of supply? (testingpractice) sometimestrue generallynottrue religiousmarkettheoryvs.secularization ‘back to normal’? • Earlychurch • Luther and Calvin • Wichern and Kuyperpaganism
  9. 9. Ecclesiology (What is the church, and what is itfor?) priestlycommunities accept ourminoritysituation • ourweaknesscreatesopenings • between USA and Indonesia… • the way of the cross Mission • Jeremiah 29:7: “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carriedyouintoexile. Pray to the LORD forit, becauseifitprospers, youtoowillprosper”. • community in exile • ‘micro-resistance’
  10. 10. Some concrete ideas Models of missionarycontextualization‘Come and see’ Dimensions of ‘Go and proclaim’ (Re)creation of the church worldEmbodiedworship Leitourgia Liberatingpatterns Freedomvs.slaveryHospitality Koinonia Peace-making Peacevs. conflictMutual care Diakonia Service / justice Justicevs.injusticePublic proclamation Kerygma Evangelism Truthvs. lies

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