Strategic Church-planting & Prayer
Strategic Church-Planting is opposed to Spontaneous Church-Planting. These two have to be held hand in hand.
In every aspect of the ministry, there is that which is planned and there is that which is spontaneous. Some books, like our book, “The Shepherd and the Flock,” came out spontaneously. Other books were planned and written. “Waiting on the Lord in Prayer” is the fruit of twelve years of walking with God. I spent forty-two days waiting on the Lord two years before it was written. If you wait for things to happen spontaneously, your work will control you. You must decide that you want a church here or there. I have a hundred and fifty books which I plan to write, established since 1987. That is strategic. Other books have come spontaneously. Some churches are planted through church-planting (evangelism) strategy. Others are planted spontaneously. Even in relationships, some people just come into your life like that. Others, you go for them, because you need them. Some come and you take them, but for others, you go for them. If you are not looking for people, you are not yet a leader.
The leader is people-oriented with the goal in view. In church-planting, the person must choose between short term victories and long term victories. There are some places where, if you move into, results will be produced, but they will be short term results. When I came back home in 1975, I naturally would have gone to Bamenda and started the work there. I knew no French to stay in Yaounde. I could have gone back to Bamenda where I could preach in English, but I did not. Are you making choices with gains of 100 Frs. or you are making long term choices with gains of a million Frs.? It is amazing how much missionaries are oriented by their children. Their decisions were based on how suitable they were for their children or relatives. While I was in Spain in 1989, about twenty missionaries came from all over Spain and we ministered to them. Many of them had gone to where they went because of their children. My host abandoned the mission field and went back home because the children had to attend the university. Vision, special guidance by God and great needs govern missionaries. Other factors are evil.
CT STUDD was not moved by his wife nor by education. He was uniquely moved by a desire to give Christ to those who were hungry for Him. He was moved by the perishing souls of men. All who are moved by other things are traitors. “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters - yes, even his own life - he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26). He came to the Congo, thereby making as if he were a hater of his wife and children. Because of that, World Evangelization Crusade was born. And it is in about eighty countries today. His wife was in no position of health to go. Many people in Britain told him not to go. Many people told him not to put asunder what God had put together. But he went. They were distorting the Scriptures which say, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart...”
When a man forsakes God’s best because of his children, he has given them over to the Enemy. If you go to plant churches on persons:
- etc, or on comfort,
food tastes and other things that you may decide, you have betrayed the cause. You should expect a traitor’s reward. If you choose the time of going to the mission field according to Personal factors, not according to God’s own will, you are an enemy of the gospel and you should expect the blessings that God pours on His enemies. I mean every word that I am saying. To sacrifice God’s best on the altar of personal interest and expect God’s mighty move is self-deception at its highest. The man who told the Lord, “Lord, let me go and bury my father,” was told, “Let the dead bury their dead.” What personal considerations are postponing action and distorting direction? When any other love, whatever it is, takes primary consideration, recovery is not possible along that path. May this be forever established in our hearts.
The call of Abram and the going forth of Abram have elements from which we can never run away. The first Word of God to Abram was, “Leave.” He had to leave his country, his people and his father’s house. Nobody has ever gone until he left. Many people have left physically, but their hearts are still there. Without leaving, he could not go. After leaving. God then said, “Go.” Many people go without having left. Leave and then go. What have you left in the dept of your heart? To Abraham God said, “Take your son and go and sacrifice him.” “Take, Go, Sacrifice.” This time, it was not just ‘Go,’ but there was ‘take.’ May no one leave without having left, nor leave without having taken. Offer your only son. Maybe Abraham thought he had two sons. God, however, said he had one. He was given three days to think over it so that it should not be passing emotionalism.
You must leave and go. What must you take along? What must be taken along must be taken along and sacrificed. After you compromise God’s call, you will lose socially, materially, financially, spiritually, etc. Compromising is losing all. God sometimes gives the second chance. Most people who miss their first chance also miss their second chance. If you already missed God’s call and are handling the second one, take your mad head and put it on your shoulders! You are already a loser! You may think there are other opportunities, but you are on the last one.
- Is God calling you to forsake something for the second time?
- Is God calling you to forsake some sin for the second time?
- Is God calling you to forsake a certain habit for the second time?
- Is God calling you to forsake a certain interest for the second ime?
It may be the third call. You may be standing at the fatal crossing!