What is the right motivation for planting a church? Neil Cole considers this very question in a recent post on his Cole-Slaw blog:
….we must get back to seeing church as a fruit of evangelism not the other way around. The Bible never commanded us to plant a church or even instructed us in church planting. The gospel (the good news of the intimate reality, redemption and rule of Jesus daily) is the seed we plant, not a church. If we sow the gospel much, we will reap many more disciples and a whole lot more churches will be started as well.
Of course we must also shift to a more holistic understanding of the gospel and the kingdom of God than we have had. Simply throwing out a lot of tracts or shouting at people on a megaphone is not likely to reap spiritual disciples or churches. Jesus brought the kingdom with him to the people who needed it most in a very incarnational and transformational manner. That is what He instructed us to be about.Stop planting churches, start planting Jesus. Don’t build churches, that is not your job or mine. Jesus said, “I will build my church.” What He told us to do is to “Preach the gospel,” and make disciples (or followers) of Jesus. To risk being cliche: the horse must come before the cart. The seed must come before the tree, and the fruit will follow. Plant Jesus, and let him start the churches. Frankly, He is better at it than we are anyway.
Read the full article here.