Pastor Mitchell will give the keynote address from:
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
He recalls a time he use to take his young disciples to the old garment district of LA to buy suits. On one of those trips they visited a church with two large auditoriums that would seat 3000 and 2500 people. They began talking with the janitor who was vividly describing the heady days of revival in that place. But, no more when asked what the attendance was now, he said sadly “25 or 30”.
“The Spirit of Propagation”
If you are going to propagate the church you must:
1) produce indigenous workers
First Jesus chose 12, later 70. The Jewish model was the rabbinical school. The new method was “follow Me”. Our familiar text says: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations. We see this in:
Acts 11:25-26 Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. 26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
In Titus 1:5 we see the need for leaders being fulfilled by Paul. Making indigenous workers in the harvest field is our goal.
2) The church must become a launching base with personnel and resources.
You need people willing to leave and people willing to send. This church will have established prayer, fasting , support, financing, exampleship and a ongoing challenge to launch out. This launching church is spiritually received and maintained. Romans 10 gives a great overview of our fellowship:
14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
"How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!"
Fellowship means partnering together. In 2 Cor 8:4 we are “implored” to be in fellowship. A launching church takes on financial responsibilities to send out and partner with other churches as in Phil 4:15-16. These are long term commitments for the launching church and their is a responsibility for the launched church to maintain fellowship with the launching church. Paul returned to Antioch and gave reports. An indigenous church is different from an autonomous church.
3) Finding a self sustaining model
The church must reproduce itself. “You became followers of the church of God”. Self supporting ministries is the goal for each church. 1 Tim mentions “pastors who rule” are worthy of “double honor”. For this to be a self sustaining model there must be an effort for the planted church to become indigenous after the planting church’s investment. Otherwise, it is like mistletoe sucking the life out of a tree. From 1 Cor 9:7-10,14 we have an admonition to support a pastor. In order for this self sustaining model to succeed the church must become indigenous and begin to reproduce itself through making disciples.
2 Cor 8:1-3 calls for people to be freely willing to give to the preaching of the gospel.
This week has been a warning for Pastor Mitchell. The issue is self interest. God can give you a right spirit.