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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Todd White - Make Disciples of All Nations and Creating a New Church From The Ground Up

 

Creating a New Church From The Ground Up

  • Author Duane Marchi

When you are creating a new church from scratch, it's important to have a plan and to be consistent. A church is not about having a building; it's about having people with whom to come and share your beliefs, preferably in a regular setting. (Continued below....)

Todd White was a drug addict and atheist for 22 years. In 2004 he was radically and miraculously set free when a gun fired at him and he should have died but instead heard God speak to his heart, “I took that bullet for you, now are you ready to live for me?”


(...Continued.....)These are the thoughts from one who has been researching what it will take to start a New Church and how best it can be created. The intent is to get you thinking about Bible Study as a means to not only start a New Church but also how to expand an existing one.

Most of the early Churches started this way as there were no formal Church buildings in which to meet and hold services and that the teachers, disciples and other ministers were being persecuted in those early years.

PLAN AHEAD:

Have a vision for what you'd like to see happen in your group:

AFFINITY: What people hold in common has a way of attracting and bonding them together in a group. "Affinity" can motivate some people to join a group who would have otherwise not been interested in participating.

SHORT DURATION / HIGH FREQUENCY: Groups that launch with a shorter duration (4-6 weeks) and meet uninterrupted every week have a much greater chance of sticking together after their first season than those who don't. This combination of meeting logistics works well in the American culture. Furthermore, the weekly meeting frequency accelerates relationship-building and actually creates more time for people to get to know each other. This is because groups that meet bi-weekly or monthly find themselves allocating more time for members to "catch-up" before they can build off their previous group experience.

PICTORIAL PROMOTIONS:

When informing other about your new group, help people to construct mental pictures of what they can anticipate by "advertising" everything you just planned (affinity, vision, food, and childcare). The more questions you can answer up-front, the better. This also helps them to invite friends to join them who may not have any prior church or small-group experience.

"What is the single most important thing to bear in mind when leading small groups?"

1 answer is this:

"The key principle to keep in mind is that smaller groups offer a completely different means of 'doing church' compared to a congregational setting." Now, of course, both formats are needed. It's not either/or, but both/and. The point is that when we meet in small groups we should exploit the advantages they offer to the fullest. What is different between the two ways?

  1. We do them in a completely differently way. The style presented in a congregational meeting is mainly that those present are spectators. Whereas, the emphasis in a small group is that everyone gets to become a participator. This can best be summed up in the New Testament recurring phrase "one another". Every believer present is a recipient of the grace of God and therefore has something to share with the rest of the group. The body edifies itself in love (Eph.4:16).

  2. We also do things in groups which do not happen in a congregational setting. For example, discipleship. Small groups are the ideal setting for making disciples.

The New Testament clearly recognizes the need for both. In the book of Acts we often come across the two formats of church life in terms such as "in the temple" and "from house to house" (e.g. Acts 2:46&47; 5:42; 20:20). This is just part of the information needed for creating a new church from scratch. Please keep an eye out for the other article discussing the other ways.


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