A Vision for Planting
I believe that the Church, as the Body of Christ, is the hope of the world (Eph 2:11; 4:4). I have a Biblical 1) purpose, 2) mission, 3) plan and 4) model to bring hope to the people God calls us to serve.
A Great Commission Church (Mt. 28:19-20)
*Evangelistically Motivated (As you go make disciples, baptizing them)
*Discipleship Oriented (teaching them to obey all things)
A Worshiping Fellowship (Acts 2:42)
*Apostle's Doctrine and Prayer (Worshiping in Spirit and Truth)
*Fellowship and Breaking of Bread (Fellowshipping in Unity of Faith)
Training Ambassador's For Christ (Eph 4:11-13)
*Divinely Commissioned Work (He Himself gave some… pastor-teachers)
*Equipping the Ambassadors (for the work of ministry)
Communicate the Full Council of God (Acts 20:27, 2 Co. 5:14-21)
*Create Contagious Passion for Christ (2 Co. 5:14-15, 21)
*Instill Courageous Passion for the Lost (2 Co. 5:20)
*Establish a Cyclical Pattern of Discipleship (2 Co. 5:16-19)
God has laid on my heart a picture of how to fulfill the purpose, mission and plan illustrated above. Fundamentally, I believe the twin epistles of Paul to Timothy lay out a very clear and practical model for my pastoral ministry. From these I draw my own ministry philosophy, my Biblical Mandate. Afterward, I will explain how I hope to put my mandate into practice.
The Timothy Model (The Biblical Mandate)
Prepare Leaders Carefully select spiritual leaders for the church on the basis of their giftedness, godliness, and virtue (I Ti. 3:1-13). Using great care and seeing they are both mature and proven (I Ti. 5:22).
Teach and Disciple Teach and preach principles of true godliness, to create discerning people (I Ti. 5:24-6:6). Portray the best model I can in my conduct and character (I Ti. 4:12), passing on apostolic truth in order to reproduce myself in faithful disciples (2 Ti. 2:2).
Preach and Evangelize Boldly command and teach the truth of God's word (I Ti. 4:12), through preaching to exhort, rebuke and reprove with great patience and instruction (2 Ti. 4:1, 2), understanding that Scripture is the basis and content of all legitimate ministry (2 Ti. 3:16-17). Do the work of an evangelist (2 Ti. 4:5), constantly praying for the lost and teaching the leaders of the church to do the same (I Ti. 2:1-8).
The Timothy Practice (The Mandate in Action)
Step one: Partner: Begin to build trust relationships with people in the community. Through evangelism and/or networking, establish a core of disciples to partner with me in the vision. Men and women, who are committed to evangelism and have their hearts broken for the community in which we live, to join me in praying and seeking God's direction in reaching the lost. Immediate goal of developing a small group of likeminded individuals to begin the project.
Step two: Prepare: Meet with these partners for practical training and encouragement, establishing basic doctrinal mission (as expressed above) regular times of prayer and concrete evangelistic objectives. (Grid out the community and strategize a campaign to proclaim God's love and truth to every household. Plan servant evangelism projects, gain practical tips on 'how to' appropriately and relevantly share the content of the faith etc.). Leaders for future ministry roles begin to be identified. Immediate- short term goal.
Step three: Practice: Capitalize on trust relationships. Evangelize the community; advertise our passion to unchurched Christians. Incorporating or reincorporating these two groups into reproducing units (ie. The prepare groups. Preferably under leaders who completed the first cycle). From this point, leaders who have been identified are discipled for their roles in corporate worship, evangelism leadership, etc. Short term goal.
Step four: Praise: As soon as sufficient numbers are available and a place can be arranged, gather to worship together in a corporate group; recognizing the principle that missions exist, because worship doesn't. (Prepare and practice groups continuing to operate). Leaders identified and trained, participate in worship and assume responsibility for aspects of prepare and practice group ministries. Medium-short term goal.
Step five: Produce: Successfully harvest a renewable crop of cyclical disciples who participate in praise worship, train and pray in prepare and serve in practice groups. We want to see ongoing new births and baptisms as a fundamental component of our existence. Medium term goal.
Step six: Plant: After being established as a body and establishing healthy growth and discipleship patterns, we need to move beyond our "Jerusalem" to our region… and the ends of the earth. Having met the goal of a healthy worshipping organism, being matured and nourished together, we want to reproduce ourselves corporately, as the leadership did personally, and see other Great Commission Churches planted, cooperating in local and foreign missions. This is a key component of our Great Commission purpose to be emphasized from day one. Long term goal.