David Watson presented a one-day web seminar on church planting movements. Notes and links to this webinar are below.
Many feel, as I do, that the movement toward simple/house churches has the potential of paving the way for the rapid multiplication of churches, by the hand of God, often referred to as church planting movements. This wonderful move of God has been referred to as “the spontaneous expansion of the Church… It asks for no elaborate organization, no large finances, no great numbers of paid missionaries (Roland Allen).” Yet such a move has the potential of seeing regions and nations transformed.
David Garrison, in his groundbreaking book on church planting movements, offers this hope for such a move of God in North America: “A surprising number of [North American] Christian leaders are adopting a radical new vision that looks surprisingly like other [church planting] movements that we’ve witnessed around the world.” Garrison closes his book with this encouragement:
It can’t happen here. This is what they said in Vietnam until they saw it in Cambodia. It’s what they said in Cambodia before they saw it in China. It’s what they said in Central America before they saw it in Bogota. It’s what they said in Sudan before they saw it in Ethiopia. Perhaps it’s what they are saying where you live.
Some Key Points from David Watson’s Webinar on Church Planting Movements
“Focus on the few to reach the many,” and “Go slow to go fast.” David’s experience on the mission field caused his organization to question his methods because, in his first few years on the field, he was not producing the numerical growth of other missionaries. However, David was systematically reaching and discipling a handful of believers who then began to reproduce themselves. Several years later the result was thousands of churches and reproducing disciples.
“Find the fight people to invest your life into.” David’s criterion in working with someone is whether or not they are going to invest in others.
“Let the lost lead Bible studies,” and “It’s about discovery not preaching or teaching.” David has experienced a great deal of success at showing pre-Christians how to do a discovery Bible study that lead them into a process of discipleship. “Disciple to conversion” rather than “convert to make disciples.”
“Buildings kill church planting.” Though David is not negative on the overall usefulness of “brick and mortar” churches, he merely reflects on the reality that when God is moving in reproducing disciples among a people group, nothing will slow this process down like building-type churches rather than simple-organic ones.
These sessions are filled with nuggets that are worthy of reflection: