(Almost) 10 things to know about church planting before you go

We asked, “What’s one thing you wish you knew about church planting before you got there?” Here are some things OMF missionaries confessed…

 

You need humility, curiosity, and to admit you don’t actually know anything about church planting

“I wish I had known that I don’t actually know anything about church planting…Although my knowledge and experiences in my home country have some value, the cold hard truth is very little of it is directly applicable to the context in which I am working. I wish I had known (and accepted) that I needed the humility and curiosity to begin a new journey of learning about ministry, in general, and church planting, in particular.” Steve, Japan

 

There’s both shame and honour in churches wherever they are

“One thing we wish we knew about church planting before we got here is that it can be a place where people can face both shameful and honourable events together as a community.” Jason & Hiwin, Taiwan

 

Get ready to learn from others’ insights

“We are always amazed at how God’s word changes the way people think and live. We learn so much from our Taiwanese friends with a young faith and their insights into the Bible.” Aaron & Amy, Taiwan

 

Your training and experience might go out the window…and patience is vital

“I wish I knew how little of my experience and training would be relevant in such a different context! Also, everything always takes a LOT longer than anticipated.” Simon & Ange, Cambodia

 

There’s more than one way to plant a church

“I wish I knew about the different definitions and models of church planting to gain insights and learn from others’ experiences and perspectives.” Vivian, Taiwan.

 

Work alongside local people if you can and invest deeply in your local community

“If at all possible, it is best to work alongside a local Christian, who is willing to patiently help you use your language and relate the gospel to the culture in relevant ways. Be prepared to invest a lot of time in the community you are ministering to and particularly seeking authentic relationship, showing that the people are not merely a part of our agenda, but that we value them for who they are. In this way we not only share the message of Christ, but model Christ through our lives.” Bruce & Trish, Thailand

 

There are no shortcuts to effective ministry

“We wish we knew how hard it would be to learn a new language and culture and how long it would take to be effective in ministry.  Being able to communicate in the heart language of the people is vital to effective ministry and there are no shortcuts.” Pete & Jane, East Asia

 

Teamwork (however hard it is) is such an effective way to start churches

“I think did not realise before starting on church planting that it is all about teams.  Working well together as a team is hard, but it is such an effective way of starting churches.” Greg, Japanese Diaspora Returnee Ministries

 

The secret is in John 13:34-35 (and it comes from Jesus)

“The “secret” to church planting is given to us in John 13:34-35: When we learn to love our fellow Christians as Christ has loved us, people will see what a disciple of Jesus really looks like. But learning to love like this is so hard. It can only come from an overflow of the love we have received from Jesus.” Andrew & Joanna, Japan

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