By Chad Spriggs
From its inception, the Church has been God’s means to spread the gospel, inviting a broken world into a family of healing and a home with the Father.
If we take the time, each of us can recount stories of men and women who’ve invested in our lives.
Steve took the time to point me to Jesus. Frankie taught me to love the Father. Kevin encouraged me to trust the Bible. [epq-quote align=”align-right”]My spiritual development was cultivated by the calloused hands of the saints that have gone before me. Their callouses are now mine. Their faithful efforts are now multiplying.[/epq-quote]
Bob convinced me to develop trusted relationships with other followers of Christ. Dave introduced me to taking the church to the lost. I could go on and on.
The church has given me life in Jesus Christ and taught me how to lead others to do the same.
My spiritual development was cultivated by the calloused hands of the saints that have gone before me. Their callouses are now mine. Their faithful efforts are now multiplying.
These men ultimately prepared me to lead a church and encourage other pastors to cultivate environments of multiplication.
Here are five things that help till the soil of Kingdom expansion.
1. Cast a Vision (Acts 2:17).
Vision should leak out of everything a church says and does. Any church’s vision should ultimately point back to God’s ultimate purpose.
God desires people to enjoy Him and express His greatness. The process of casting vision invovles prayerfully forming a mental image to show God’s direction, plan, and guidance.
Vision casting is vital because it provides a church with a sense of God’s direction for a specific time, place, and reason.
2. Prioritize Making Disciples that Make Disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).
God wants all people to become disciples and followers of Christ. The only work if the church makes disciples and equips those disciples to make new disciples.
Discipleship is the process by which people grow in their understanding of God’s Word, equipped by the Holy Spirit to overcome the pressures and trials of life and become more like Christ in the process.
3. Encourage Steps of Faith (Hebrews 11).
Faith comes from God and is revealed through a life of obedience to the Word of God. Steps of faith should mark every stage of a believer’s life.
These steps encourage life in Christ and death to self.
4. Develop Networks (Acts 16).
We’re better together. This applies to people, and even more directly, to churches.
Every church has a unique strength and resources. Combining these strengths and resources will give the lost a better expression of the gospel.
This has the potential to reveal God’s plan for a city or region.
5. Plant Churches (Acts).
When the church focuses on casting God’s vision, making disciples, encouraging steps of faith, and developing networks, churches will be planted.
The reach of individuals and churches will reach beyond their abilities, and the need for a new work will arise.
Planting churches should be as natural as starting a new Sunday School class or small group.
CHAD SPRIGGS is the husband of Deanna, a father, and church planting catalyst for the North American Mission Board, serving Northern New Mexico.