Saturday, March 7, 2015

Planting Presence Before We Plant Churches

The Early Church planted the presence of God before they planted churches.  In the Book of Acts, our original church planting manual, the birth of a local church came after the presence of God was released in a community through signs, wonders and miracles.  The by-product of that release was the birth of a local church.  Today, in some circles within the Church, we have lost this understanding.  Our efforts have been focused on developing well-groomed plans for church planting while somehow thinking this can be accomplished and sustained apart from on-going encounters with the supernatural God of heaven. We may have become too practical and measured in our desire to reach our cities.

We owe people a supernatural encounter with God. These encounters are not always practical or measured.  I wonder what would happen in our denominations and church planting movements if before we created well-crafted models of ministry we instead rediscovered the power and value of these God-encounters as a biblical key to unlock a city?  Cities locked in unbelief would be turned upside down if cancer were healed.  What would happen if lame people walked out of our hospitals or if a word of knowledge released in a corporate boardroom was able to create a new technology? 

All of these breakthroughs would come as the result of a God-encounter, not our best laid plans. Those gathering around to witness these manifestations would then want to know more about the supernatural God they just witnessed.  The by-product of that kind of an encounter would be a shared hunger that would find its expression in what we call a church plant. This is a healthy Kingdom progression where the product is always placed before the by-product.

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