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Church planting 10: Strategy

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These are notes from a simple introductory course on Church Planting. The majority of the course notes presented here are based upon J. D. Payne’s Planting Apostolic Churches.

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Church planting 10: Strategy

  1. 1. #10 STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT
  2. 2. STRATEGY 1 A PLAN OF ACTION DESIGNED TO ACHIEVE A LONG-TERM OR OVERALL AIM
  3. 3. 2 THE ART OF PLANNING AND DIRECTING OVERALL MILITARY OPERATIONS AND MOVEMENTS IN A WAR OR BATTLE
  4. 4. “You’ve just got to be faithful to the Lord. When we get to the field, we’ll just be faithful and the Lord will plant his church.”
  5. 5. This is an extremely important statement for any missionary team. Do you agree?
  6. 6. “You’ve just got to be faithful to the Lord. When we get to the field, we’ll just be faithful and the Lord will plant his church.”
  7. 7. Without faithfulness to the Lord all is pointless—after all apart from him we can do nothing, Jn 15:5.
  8. 8. But, is there a danger of saying we shall be faithful and using that as an excuse for not making any plans?
  9. 9. God wants faithfulness—but he also wants wisdom, discernment and knowledge (gained over the centuries) to be used in planting new churches. JD Payne says this:
  10. 10. “To enter the field without a strategy is to plan for failure.
  11. 11. And of course, if there is no plan, there is no accountability: if things do not work out on the field, we can just tell ourselves that God must not have wanted to work among these people at this time—after all, we were faithful.
  12. 12. Faithfulness without a strategy is foolishness."
  13. 13. Whenever we plan to go on a journey we have a plan so that we might get to our destination. A strategy for a CP team takes them through the steps we outlined earlier:
  14. 14. 1. Sharing the Gospel 2. Making Disciples 3. Establishing a small group 4. Planting a Church 5. Appointing Elders
  15. 15. IT IS GOOD STEWARDSHIP OF PEOPLE AND RESOURCES TO MAKE A STRATEGY. IT HELPS US TO KNOW WHAT SHOULD BE DONE IN THE WORK.
  16. 16. Payne and Terry say this about the strategy; “It is a prayerfully discerned, Spirit-guided process of preparation, development…
  17. 17. …implementation and evaluation of the necessary steps involved for church planting. It describes what the team believes the Lord would have them accomplish.”
  18. 18. RESTART
  19. 19. 1. PRAYERFULLY DISCERNED
  20. 20. Prayer is the vital part of every stage of church planting—and even more important in developing a strategy. Consider, Isa 55:8,9,
  21. 21. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. 9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
  22. 22. Prov 16:9, 26:12, The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. …Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
  23. 23. Any CP team needs to walk closely with the Lord and seek his vision and his way to accomplish it. Fasting and prayer should be a regular part of the CP team routine.
  24. 24. 2. SPIRIT GUIDED
  25. 25. He reveals the mind of God, 1 Cor 2:11… For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
  26. 26. 1 Cor 6:19, Our body is meant to be continually led by the Holy Spirit… Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?
  27. 27. With Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch and Paul and Silas going to Philippi, neither were part of their original strategy, but the Spirit of God opened up the way, Acts 8:29, 16:6-10
  28. 28. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word inAsia. 7 And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.
  29. 29. 8 So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
  30. 30. STRATEGY IS ABOUT KEEPING IN STEP WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT.
  31. 31. Be careful to make sure your relationship with Holy Spirit, individually and as a CP team, is good. Ephesians 4:30, 1 Thess 5:19,
  32. 32. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption…Do not quench the Spirit.
  33. 33. STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION IS A VERY SPIRITUAL WORK.
  34. 34. 3. PROCESS
  35. 35. Payne uses a church Multiplication Cycle to describe the full process of Church Planting:
  36. 36. The process involves a number of phases:
  37. 37. ◆ Preparation Prepare as a team: do we know each other, do we know the people group we are going to work amongst, (geography, demographics, culture, history, politics, languages)?
  38. 38. ◆ Preparation Prepare as a team: do we know each other, do we know the people group we are going to work amongst, (geography, demographics, culture, history, politics, languages)? demographics | statistical data relating to the population and particular groups within it:
  39. 39. ◆ Preparation Prepare as a team: do we know each other, do we know the people group we are going to work amongst, (geography, demographics, culture, history, politics, languages)?
  40. 40. ◆ Development What are the steps that will need to be taken to go through each stage of development? Some will be small, some large.
  41. 41. ◆ Implementation A strategy has to be lived out in the field. It will be revised as time goes on and experience and insight is gained. A slight change in the way things are done can produce large results.
  42. 42. ◆ Implementation A strategy has to be lived out in the field. It will be revised as time goes on and experience and insight is gained. A slight change in the way things are done can produce large results. implementation | the process of putting a decision or plan into effect;
  43. 43. ◆ Implementation A strategy has to be lived out in the field. It will be revised as time goes on and experience and insight is gained. A slight change in the way things are done can produce large results.
  44. 44. ◆ Re-evaluation From the start to the end the team must regularly look at their strategy and look to see what adjustments need to be made.
  45. 45. Ask: How are we progressing as a CP team? Are we using the resources well? Is the strategy helping us to accomplish the vision we have?
  46. 46. You need to: - Ask good questions - Respond in a positive way (not defensively) - Apply wise application steps
  47. 47. Payne offers these questions to help in evaluating your strategy development: ◆ What is the vision of the CP team? ◆ What are the strengths and limitations of the CP team?
  48. 48. ◆ Is the team working with the vision, or have you lost track of it?
  49. 49. ◆What are your goals? Divide them up into short term (<1 year), medium term (1-3 years) and long term (3+ years), and see how you are accomplishing them. What goals (in each section) do you need to accomplish before your vision is achieved?
  50. 50. ◆ What methods are you using to get to your goal, are they biblically appropriate? Could future generations repeat them? ◆ Are you prepared to make changes so that the vision can be achieved?
  51. 51. ◆ How are you going to re-evaluate your strategy? Will you do this regularly and aggressively? ◆ How is the CP team held accountable to the “sending” organisation?
  52. 52. SUMMARY
  53. 53. A good strategy is vital if we want to be good stewards.
  54. 54. A strategy might be developed before arrival but we must be willing to change it when we are in the church planting location.
  55. 55. The Philippian church shows Paul changing strategy twice, Acts 16:5-16:
  56. 56. - At first he planned to go to Asia but HS said no 16:6 - Then he planned to go to Bithynia but HS did not allow that, 16:7
  57. 57. - Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia calling to them and concluded God was sending them there 16:9-10.
  58. 58. - The team started looking around the city and found a place of prayer where they shared the Gospel with some women 16: 13-14
  59. 59. - Note that the first believer was a woman, not the man Paul had seen in his dream .
  60. 60. STRATEGY IS IMPORTANT— HOLD YOUR STRATEGY LOOSELY—RE-EVALUATE AND ADJUST REGULARLY…
  61. 61. —BE PREPARED FOR THINGS NOT TO GO AS YOU PLANNED —BE READY TO FOLLOW NEW LEADING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
  62. 62. THE END

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