I believe that every Christian is a church planter, every home or meeting place is a church, and every church a training center. I understand that this is a whole new way of seeing Church. But, it is biblical and exactly what young people are embracing in nation after nation. If we see Church in this new way then we will be a part of a contagious movement regardless of our age. If we see church this way we will connect with many people who are disengaged with the old conventional church but still seeking an experience with Christ. If we can change the way we view things we will influence others and impact our community with the power of the Gospel.
This new way of seeing things increases involvement. After all, this means that you are a church planter. Well, at least you have the potential to be one. However, this will mean changing the way we view church and evangelism. Instead of bringing people to church so that we can the bring them to Christ, we will need to learn how to bring Christ to people where they live. People will meet with you in your home or at a local coffee shop much sooner than meeting you at the main door of your church building arriving in time for a Sunday worship experience. Think about it, why would someone want to come and sing songs to a God that they do not know and listen to a teaching from a book (the Bible) that they do not believe? But, they would come and have a coffee in your kitchen or at the local coffee shop in the mall to talk and share life with you. We must take Christ into people’s lives, and it must be in the context of relationships.
Think about it: We expect people to come to church in order to find Christ and be born again. However, the people of the world in our post-Christian society want nothing to do with the church. We are so obsessed with our own religious club (the church) that we actually identify those who do not have a relationship with Jesus as the unchurched. It is as though just joining us on Sundays for an hour and a half is enough to say that we are “in.” Salvation is not determined by your Sunday calendar or your smiling face in a church pictorial directory. We know that this is true doctrinally, but nonetheless we still divide the populace into the churched and the unchurched, as though all they need so as to be right is to come to our organization. Not wonder our message is so convoluted. We have lost sight of our prime directive and substituted creation of more people who are like us, rather than like Jesus, in its place.
If we see each believer as a church planter then we would be fulfilling Jesus’ command to “go into all the world.” We would go out and build relationships with non-believers and begin, in time, to share our Christian journey with others. People will come to Christ right there in familiar and comfortable places that are real and a vital part of their daily experience and their real world.
Then we would see churches meeting in restaurants, offices, homes, university campuses, high school facilities, and beaches. How about churches meeting in bars, coffeehouses, parks, and locker rooms. Yes, church would look different in each of these locations. But, all we need for “church” to happen is for Jesus to manifest His presence. He promised to do that when two or three gather in His Name and focus on Him. Instant church. And, the possibility of having a church within walking distance of every person living in your community, town, or city becomes a reality.
This would mean planting seeds of the Kingdom within existing relationships. Relationships that are real and are formed and flow in places where life happens. Is this not what Jesus did? He went where the people were and planted seeds of the Kingdom and the Gospel of the Kingdom. Out of these relationships He formed we see the church rising up and becoming a very powerful force in the then known world. In fact, it was life-changing and impacted all aspects of every day life. Is this not what Jesus wants for His Church still in our day and in this new season in which we find ourselves? Then the church would arise as “incarnation communities” in places where people would normally meet. Then we would have a living organism in every neighbourhood and on every street… and not some institutional organization on an occasional street corner. We would have life and not rules and regulations. We would have the Church that Jesus is building.
Every Christian a church planter, every home or meeting place a church, and every church a training center. Think about it!