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Church planting Simple Church

What is sequentialism and why does it prevent multiplication?

David Garrison, in his book "Church Planting Movements" (which I thoroughly recommend) talks about the deadly sins of church planting.  One of these is sequentialism.  So what is this, and why is it so "deadly"? Sequentialism is the idea that things have to be done in order.  First we do this, then we do that.… Read More

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Church planting Simple Church

7 benefits of citizenship in the Kingdom

In the last post I looked at what it means for us to be citizens of a kingdom.  We are there to serve the King and do his bidding.  But we serve a loving and merciful King!  Recently I did an extensive study through the NT to see what the good news of the Kingdom… Read More

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Church planting Simple Church

The Santa Claus Gospel

This is a continuation of the series, "Ways to see more harvest." Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom.  What do we preach?   I often think that we preach a Santa Claus gospel. We portray God to those who don't yet know him as some kind of divine genie who is there to give us… Read More

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Church planting Simple Church

A wonderful example of the power of listening to someone’s story

A couple of posts ago, I talked about the power of story telling and of listening to others' stories. Dan Hubbell emailed me with this wonderful example from one of his trips.  Enjoy it!  But also learn from it. When we were in China on one of our early missions about seven years ago, we were equipping… Read More

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Church planting Simple Church

Core competencies: Recognizing a ripe harvest field

What makes a ripe harvest field? Many of us are living in comfortable suburban homes, and we assume that our neighborhoods will make a great harvest field. But we may be trying to reap a harvest in the wrong places.  Jesus gave some indication of what makes a ripe harvest. For example, he said: "The… Read More

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Church planting Simple Church

Core competencies: Story telling

A couple of the core competencies that I mentioned in the last post have provoked some comment. So this post will look at the first of these: telling stories. One of my favorite quotes comes from Austrian philosopher Ivan Illich. When asked whether he would change society by revolution or reformation, he answered, "Neither of… Read More

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Church planting Simple Church

Ways to see more harvest: 6 core skills

I am no fisherman (in the natural, that is)! On the few occasions when I have tried fishing, I have never caught anything. In fact, I vividly remember one occasion when Tony and I were taken fishing by some friends on a shrimping boat in Canada. It was a spectacular setting, mountains in the background,… Read More

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Church planting Simple Church

Ways to see more harvest: a paradigm shift

For years, we have invited people to come to church.  Successful evangelism has consisted of persuading our friends and family to join us at church.  We have run special and exciting meetings with professional bands and gifted speakers.  Even many of our simple/house churches have had this same mindset; invite someone to church, and pray… Read More

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Church planting Simple Church

Becoming a commercial fisherman (part two)

 Continuing the topic of church planting: I immediately went through the Gospels looking at every reference to fishing. There were several. Even though in Mongolia, I did not have a concordance, it became apparent that several different methods of fishing were described. Sometimes the disciples threw or cast their nets into the water (e.g. Matthew… Read More