May 8, 2003, 7:29 am
Filed under: uncategorized

I’ve been reading The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church by Roland Allen this morning. It is really messing with me in a good way. It talks about how foolish we have been in our missions efforts, and the degree to which we’ve hindered the spread of the gospel and the Church by many of our misguided efforts at helping. It is also an indictment of how we do church at home. We have generationally taught “our people” that they are incapable of teaching themselves and others without the outside “help” of trained and qualified teachers. In some corners “trained and qualified” means seminary, in others, it simply refers to a significant number of theological books read, or at least a substantial number of years of faith. Whenever we hear of a spontaneous outbreak of the gospel among the untrained and unqualified, we rush to the scene in order to encourage them by infusing a trained and qualified teacher or several. But by doing so we kill the fire of the Spirit by making the untrained and unqualified dependent upon “us” to provide for their needs (never realizing that it was the Holy Spirit that was providing for their needs just fine before we arrived on the scene). I think “we” have meant well, but we have failed to realize the implications of our efforts.

There’s a lot more to chew on there. I’m gonna go keep reading now. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about this stuff later – in particular how this stuff impacts my own role as a church planter. Thanks to Todd Hunter for turning me on to this book via his blog. Oh, and if you’re interested in reading the book yourself, it’s available as a pdf file [here]


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