People keep talking about an ORGANIC CHURCH MOVEMENT. Most mistakenly think these organic movements start easily and spread like wildfire with little or no forethought or effort. Like any church planting movement, though, the apparent ease of growth is very, very deceptive.
George Patterson, Galen Currah, and the People of Yes movement have been studying organic church movements for decades after helping them begin firsthand in various mission locations.
Like trying to plant a garden in asphalt, organic church movements or church planting movements grown better in certain soils. If any person or church would like to spark an organic church movement, it pays to know how to identify likely soils in which to operate. In the video and article below, 9 ways to discern the most likely fields for producing a ripe harvest are identified.
The video was produced especially for existing churches that have plateaued or are in decline or simply growing at a slower rate. It’s goal is to help them produce daughter and granddaughter house churches that are highly interactive (aka “organic”), seeking to fulfill the “one another commands” of the New Testament, where witness is spontaneous, and where people who would never feel comfortable at the mother church could find a church home.
The article is used courtesy “People of Yes” a church planting movement incubator project of George Patterson et al.
This first of nine activities of churches that lay a second track, describes nine social groups that usually show little receptivity to the Good News about Jesus, and another nine that often prove receptive.
(-) Social groups that usually prove unresponsive to the Good News about Jesus Christ.
(+) Social groups that often prove responsive to the Good News about Jesus Christ.
(-) Christians who are willing to form a cell or home group.
Some imagine they could start cells with believers and multiply them. This seldom happens, for believers seeking fellowship usually have little evangelistic urge or opportunity.
(+) Non-Christians who will open their home.
This is what Jesus instructed the Twelve and the 72 to do. Most non-believers have many unbelieving friends and relatives whom they will invite to learn about Jesus.
(-) Middle or upper class
These people sense less need of help from God. Many who have material means and social status, when they count the cost of following Jesus, choose not to do so.
(+) Poor or working folk
The poor are often willing to let God help them, and will be pleased when Jesus answers their prayers. They are also less likely to suffer much loss for becoming followers of Jesus.
(-) The satisfied and comfortable
Rich or poor, many folk sense no need for more than what they currently enjoy. Some will waste your time discussing religion or spirituality, fitting Jesus into their own beliefs.
(+) Inquirers and seekers
There are others whom God has been preparing to receive his Good News, even while preparing your church members to welcome them, to answer their questions.
(-) Evangelized populations
Where the Good News is widely known and there are unbelieving ‘Chirstians,’ there are more spiritually blinded folk who hold anti-Christian feelings and philosophies.
(+) Neglected populations
The power of God often appears strongest where the need is greatest. In un-evangelised regions, one meets both more hostility and more receptivity, at the same time.
(-) Comfortable and peaceful zones
Where folk have few needs, they have little interest in finding God. Remarkably, most Christian workers often reside in more comfortable towns where they are needed less.
(+) Destitute and disaster zones
Where believers meet material and practical needs of populations at risk, treating all equally, showing no favouritism, many of those at risk respond to God’s mercy.
(-) Individualist cultures
Evangelism that seeks only to persuade individuals usually fails to win others. Therefore, church planting moves very slowly and depends on entertainment methods.
(+) Family-oriented cultures
Most church multiplication happens among whole households. Members discuss the Good News, choose together to trust in Christ, and become a new house church.
(-) Modernists and rationalists
Western nations have come through two hundred years of incessant propaganda touting naturalism, evolutionism, scientism and rationalism, darkening minds to spiritual reality.
(+) The post-modern and millennials
Messages about God, a risen Intercessor, power over evil, loving communities and spiritual gifts make sense to those who value personal spirituality.
(-) The socially marginal
Almost every new evangelistic effort and church plant will attract a few individuals whose character or personality repels others.
(+) Those in family and friendship networks
The Good News normally flows easily within social networks, amongst friends, relatives, neighbors or coworkers. These also make strong churches that reproduce within networks.
(-) The culturally distant
It can take years to learn the language, gestures, cultural cues and social etiquette that are required to communicate the Good News clearly and to train church planters.
(+) The culturally near
Those church members who share the same culture, or a similar culture, with a local community, can communicate in meaningful ways that do not offend needlessly.
Reprinted courtesy of www.peopleofyes.com