I’ve been reflecting a lot about some of the conversations I’ve been having this week around how we (NC) can work with local church planting movements. But the lingering thing in my brain that I wanted to put out to our readership are questions. Questions that I think give a window into more of what Africa has to offer the Church around the globe… if they would hear it.
How is it that a church in Africa can start with a businessman telling his neighbors about Jesus, seeing that neighbors’ life changed from alcoholism, seeing a neighborhood won to Jesus… and out of nowhere, you have a massive movement? (For my South African friends), does that happen as insanely in the white community as it seems to in the various black communities? (For my American friends) Why is it that SO MUCH money is poured into one single church plant in the US with either the same or lesser impact? I asked Naitai how much it cost to run one church and he gave a well thought out response…
“Well it depends. Our larger church (about 250 members) has a building now and we employ the pastor full time. So just those costs really. The other ones, the pastors still work and they meet in the homes until they outgrow it. But it’s usually just those costs. (which depends on the location of the church).”
That’s way to simple right?
There’s two immediate thoughts I’m curious about. First: what role does the Holy Spirit play in our understanding of the Christian faith? Along with that, how does the Holy Spirit enact power in these situations (where people flock to Jesus as a result of a family moving into a neighborhood). And second, why do we gravitate towards massive/complex/complicated things that cost SO much money? Does that make us feel important and impressive? What’s the point of church planting again? What’s the point of church again? Prepare and send… prepare and send… prepare and send. What would change if our local church bodies had the mindset and leadership to effectively kick people out of their churches (and into the world) vs. figuring out ways to keep them sorted and comfortable?