***Church Planting and the Mission of God*** This is an older post by Ed Stetzer but it is insightful. “None of our churches should be a cul-de-sac on the Great Commission highway.” This quote means a lot to me in light of a vision I had early in my ministry, nearly 10 years ago. It was a dream of a river that flowed from earth upward toward Heaven, crowded with people who were swept up in the flow. Those in the flow were reaching to others who were on the bank and pulling them into the river. Of course, many refused to get in. Occasionally there would be pools to the side where people exited the flow and seemed to just be basking in the water that had gathered, not making progress in the journey toward Heaven. That is the picture I got in my head after reading the quote, and that is what I want my church planting efforts to result in.
The statistic presented in the post is interesting- a church movement that wants to grow by conversion needs to plant churches at a rate of at least 3% annually. I want to find out more about the rate of planting in my own movement, the United Pentecostal Church International, though I feel like we are planting at a much higher rate than this. The specifier in his statistic is that this is growth by conversion that he is talking about. Ed refers to the fact that “church starting” can occur by people getting mad, leaving their church, and starting another church. This is not Kingdom growth, and not the kind of growth that any movement I know of wants to see happening. So let’s pray for conversions in 2014.
***2014 National CPF Conference and Training Seminar*** This is an excellent event sponsored by Chrisitian Prisoner Fellowship, a ministry of the United Pentecostal Church International. The advanced training offered here will not only enhance your effectiveness as a professional or volunteer prison chaplain, but will connect you to a premier organization that is bringing liberty to those who are bound. I encourage you to check it out along with the rest of the website for CPF.
Shared by @UPCIORG