"The blessing of mission is ours while the burden of mission is God’s." - Jonathan Dodson
As a follower of Jesus Christ, a trained pastor, and a guy who works (and plans to continue working)a "regular"* job, the idea of church planting has long intrigued me. To say it has intrigued me is really a huge understatement, as I've been training and thinking and praying for years about planting a church or being part of a church plant.
I've recently shifted in my thinking about church planting and Gospel ministry, as I've dialogued with friends and perused the pages of various books and blogs on the subject. Now I'm thinking and praying more about Gospel planting - and actively joining others in doing so. What I mean by Gospel planting is to spread (or sow) the good news of Jesus and his kingdom wherever I go. That includes spreading the good news to myself and especially within my own home.
For me, I think it's more than semantics to shift from the language of "church planting" to "Gosepl planting". It's been a fundamental shift in my own thinking and heart. I don't think it's wrong for others to use the language of church planting, but I've personally found it helpful to rightly acknowledge the burden of planting churches rests squarely on the shoulders and in the hands of Jesus himself. Did he not say "I will build my church"?** It places the blessing of joining God in his mission -of sowing the good news of Jesus Christ with his followers. Can we in any way carry the burden of Jesus' mission? Certainly! To the degree that we understand that he carries the bulk of the burden; to the degree that we sense this burden to be a blessing; to the degree that we understand that Jesus' yoke is easy and his burden is light.***
Here's the ol' bottom line: we, his followers, don't have to "make things happen". We simply get to follow Jesus and join him in his Great Mission. We can focus on "being the church" rather than "doing church".
So, come along and join me in exploring what it means to Gospel plant - what it means to sow seeds of the good news of Jesus and his kingdom. We'll look at different resources, ideas and ways to plant the Gospel in our communities and in our spheres of influence.
*I don't plan to be a vocational pastor. I am grateful for the opportunity to work a "regular job" like most of you.
**That's a rhetorical question. He did say that.