The fundamental reason we work around the globe is to introduce people to Jesus, and to help them learn to walk with him. Paul Klawitter, the Director of Encompass’ Church Planting Network and an active church planter in France, illustrates the process:
“Imagine being led into a dark room. Someone flips on the lights, and you are surrounded by priceless treasures that can’t be bought. And then you’re invited to dinner with the owner of the house. That’s what we do as church planters, we introduce people to Jesus, give them his Word, teach them how beautiful it is, how rich it is – and show them the extraordinary life we can have with him.”
The work of church planting doesn't have an exclusive playbook, and so Encompass church planters must innovate to bring the gospel to life in their unique contexts. Crafting guilds in Dublin, language classes in Japan, music concerts in Poland – in the eyes of Encompass church planters, each is an important venue for bringing the Church together.
The Church Planting Network is a dynamic forum where church planters brainstorm, collaborate, and support each other in prayer. Through this vital exchange, its members have become a tightly-woven community, cheering for each others’ successes and offering support during seasons of challenge.
“We have to make sure that in the church, God and his Word are central. But from there, we must enrobe it, present it in a way that is understood in context,” Paul says. “If we want to reach different kinds of people in different places, we need different approaches.”
Innovation is exactly what the Church Planting Network inspires. This community of church planters inspires each other to use their interests, their skills, their talents, indeed whatever they have, to build God’s Church in creative ways across the globe.
CHURCH PLANTING RESOURCES:
1. Paul Hiebert "The Category Christian in the Mission Task" in Anthropological Reflections on Missiological Issues. Purchase Here
2. Andrew F. Walls "The American Dimension of the Missionary Movement" in The Missionary Movement in Christian History. Purchase Here
3. Sherwood Lingenfelter "Transferring or Transforming Culture?" in Transforming Culture: A Challenge for Christian Mission. Purchase Here
4. John D. Robb "Strategic Prayer" in PERSPECTIVES (on the World Christian Movement) Winter and Hawthorne editors. Purchase Here
5. "The Willowbank Report: Consultation on Gospel and Culture" by The Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. https://www.lausanne.org/content/lop/lop-2