Church Planters Travel Light
We were able to disembark early from the cruise ship if we hauled off our own luggage. Not a big deal. My wife had a purse and a carry-on case. I had a small backpack, a carry-on, and a mid-sized suitcase. Our departure wasn’t too bad. It just involved a little wrestling with the cases, which at times went in a direction all their own. As we zigged and zagged through the exit line, I was intrigued by a couple ahead of us. They each simply carried backpacks; they were traveling light, agile, and unencumbered by bulky bags. I wonder if they were church planters.
There is something in Scripture about traveling light that church planters get better than the rest of us.
When Jesus sent out his disciples he said, “Proclaim… the kingdom of heaven has come near. Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts—no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you” (Matthew 10: 7-13).
As we read this passage in its context, we see that the mission of the disciples was quite direct; i.e., “Proclaim the kingdom… Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give” (Matthew 10:7). And the way that they were to travel while on this mission was quite basic; i.e., “Do not get any gold… no bag… or extra shirt…or sandals… or a staff” (Matthew 10: 9-14).
So, off they go… preaching, healing, saving, and extending grace. They travel light, ministering together without the baggage that we carry in church work today.
In many ways, the message and ministry of these first disciples may be closer to what we see church planters doing today than what we see in organized churches and established ministries. Some have pointed out that church planters are characterized by the basics:
- Obedience to a call;
- Faith-driven vision;
- Competency in disciple-making, people-gathering, communication, evangelism, and organization;
- Spiritual maturity (see end of blog for references).
Church Leadership Center focuses on church planter competencies such as those that are above. We are especially interested in critical areas that are not typically addressed by others. And, we provide training in ways that enable church planters, even while being trained, to travel lightly. Our primary areas of focus are:
- Bi-vocational pastors,
- Developmental disability populations,
- Immigrant populations,
- Next generation groups,
- Funding resources.
The CLC approach to training is geared to those who travel lightly. Courses generally meet every other week, five times per course. While our training requires high levels of participation and commitment, we are not trying to duplicate college or graduate level education. Many of these courses meet for fourteen weeks, three hours per week. Our design deals with the essentials that help participants meet established competencies using adult education practices. For more information check out our web site, leave us a message, or give us a call.
See resources provided by Christian Reformed Church in North America
See characteristics provided by Reformed Church in America:
12 Characteristics of a Church Planter by John Wimber
Leave a Comment