I recently worked with a group of leaders who planted a church in a main city and have worked hard to see the lost won to Jesus. They have had their ups and downs and seen people come and go. Several times disgruntled leaders took a sizable group out with them when they left and rebuilding was once again necessary. But they are such soul winners that they have a Sunday assembly of just about 500 people at the present time.
Their leadership is dedicated to soul winning and seeing people saved, discipled, equipped and released into ministry so that others can come to know the Lord. They are single-focused. When you sit with them they talk about Jesus and the lost. When you drive somewhere with them they talk about Jesus and the lost. When you pray with them the topic is Jesus and the lost. At meal time the topic is Jesus and the lost. It is an amazing group.
They are so convinced that Jesus is Lord and the only way to Heaven that they have dedicated their lives to sharing this good news. They plan their lives around this vision and passion. They have planted 11 other churches in their region since they began 12 years ago. People have been trained and then moved out to these cities and towns. There they have found work, built relationships, and began to see people saved. A small house church was formed and more people were won to the Lord and so a public worship service was begun and a new church birthed. Some have their own buildings (most badly in need of repair still) and some rent facilities. In North American terms they are very inadequate and often cold and sometimes dangerous. But, it does not bother them as they love the Lord and are seeing the lost saved weekly. There is much to celebrate and still much to do.
I worked in the mother church and 4 of the 11 “church plants” and I was seriously impressed with each and every church and leader I worked with and came to know. I am amazed at their willingness to sacrifice to see others come to know the Lord. Being trained, moving to another location, resettling their families, having two jobs when the church is starting, working with inadequate facilities, fighting the governmental structures, and simply doing what needs to be done … I was and am impressed.
Oh, did I mention that they have also planted 2 other churches in neighboring countries learning the language and doing whatever else is needed to be done. And they have plans to move three couples into those countries this year to begin three more church plants … with plans to expand next into Turkey and then to the ends of the earth.
It is refreshing to know these men and women and to be a part of what they are doing and their plans to see the whole world come to know Jesus. As a leader in a network of churches where few are being saved and new church plants are almost nil (1 in the last 10 years) I wondered what they have that we don’t. It did not take more than a few hours with them to discover the answer.