Chapter 3
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Overcoming obstacles

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To motivate your church to plant a daughter church we have seen that we need to impart vision. We can use various methods to persuasively present the importance of church planting. But even before you begin taking these practical steps, you may detect resistance. These hindrances could be general conditions in the church like immaturity. There may also be specific individuals who are resistant.

Try to anticipate these hindrances and have a convincing reply prepared. When an obstacle catches you by surprise, try to give a constructive response. Some of the actions discussed in Chapter 2 may be useful. Ask the Lord to show you other possible actions to deal with a particular obstacle.

As we have helped churches to plant daughter churches in the Philippines, we've noticed that there are some common hindrances. They are listed below along with some actions you might use. By doing this, we can use these encounters to actually gain support for church planting.

If there is lack of vision among church leaders …

• Find someone with vision and arrange for him or her to talk with your leaders.

• Take your leaders to visit a ministry that's aggressively planting churches.

• Point out to them that if it was not for church planting, your church would not be in existence now.

• Show statistics and maps about unchurched barangays in your area.

• Pray for your leaders.

• Use some of the ideas from Chapter 1.

Add some of your own ideas after the bullets below.

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If the church lacks compassion for the lost …

• Bring in those who are ministering with compassion to speak in your church.

• Begin praying for the lost from the pulpit and in prayer meetings.

• Teach the members to pray for the lost in their personal prayer time.

• Take with you as many members as possible to observe the ministries of those who are reaching out with compassion.

• Preach on related topics.

• When the Lord does raise up people of compassion, have them give exhortations from the pulpit. Encourage them to talk to individuals.

• Fast and pray for the church.

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If there are spiritual hindrances such as arrogance, greed, laziness or selfishness (as seen in Ezekiel 16:49) …

• Fast and pray.

• Pray for the opposite, such as humility, generosity, diligence and self-denial.

• Preach and teach on these topics.

• After much prayer, confront individuals, as the Lord leads.

• Minister personally to those who are creating the hindrances. Help them to repent, as needed.

• Provide the ministry of deliverance, if necessary.

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If no one knows what to do to plant a church …

• Take potential church planting team members out to observe experienced church planters.

• Invite experienced church planters to go with your team to help them begin. Request them to check on the church plant from time to time to make sure things are on target.

• Send potential team members to church planting seminars.

• Finish reading this book and have your leaders read it.

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If some say, "We already have plenty of churches" …

• Make a list of the unchurched barangays in your area.

• Point out that even in barangays which already have churches more churches are often needed. Remember our basic guideline: at least one church is needed for every 1,000 people. More churches are needed if there are more than 1,000 people per church.

• Point out that different types of churches are needed for different kinds of people.

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If you have no workers …

• Obey Jesus' command and pray for workers (Mt. 9:38). Pray for this at every possible opportunity.

• Brainstorm and list the different types of people in your church that could become church planters. Some possibilities are:

Φ Fruitful cell group leaders

Φ Those effective in evangelism

Φ Good organizers and leaders

Φ Members who have started a business

Φ Members who are critical of the church (maybe they have good ideas for a new church!)

Φ A convert who is the siga of the barangay

Φ A positive thinker

Φ Professionals who have often transferred to new places

Φ Those who have volunteered to become missionaries at a missions conference (marami)

Φ Students in your church who believe God is calling them to the ministry

Φ Someone with lots of ideas

Add your own ideas. There are many more possibilities!

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• List the names of individuals who belong to the above categories. Pray for them, then talk to them about the possibility of becoming church planters.

• Form church planting teams made up of church members who have jobs. (Lay members can plant churches on weekends! Our church has planted several daughter churches in this way.)

• Conduct an evangelism training course. Combine it with on-the-job training (OJT), which will be part of a church planting project.

• Teach all your church workers to multiply themselves by training others to do their ministries. This will mobilize the inactive, and free those now involved in ministries to become available to help in church planting. Training workers in this way is a key to rapid church multiplication

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If you lack money to plant a church …

• Make a church planting budget. Estimate your costs, then trim the budget.

• In addition to using fulltime paid professional church planters, use bivocational church planters (those who plant a church while maintaining their jobs). Also use church planting teams composed of lay church members. This will save a gigantic amount of money, and open up the possibility for many more church plants. Utilizing bivocational church planters and lay church planting teams is a key to rapid church multiplication.

• Target unchurched barangays right in your own town, rather than targeting far away provinces. This will save a lot on pamasahe.

• Use inexpensive New Testaments from The Bible League and conduct Outreach Bible Studies (OBSes) right out of the Bible. This is much cheaper than using Bible study materials.1

• Find free tracts. They are available.

• Contact organizations that help financially with church planting projects. (See chapter 9, "Where To Get the Money.")

• Claim Philippians 4:19.

• Challenge the reluctant to trust God to provide for His church as it does what it is supposed to do—reproduce!

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If the pioneers of your church didn't teach you about planting daughter churches …

• Use some of the ideas from the section on "Lack of vision among church leaders" (pp. 36-37).

• The pioneers may not have taught the members about planting a daughter church. However, these pioneers obviously believed in church planting. They planted your church!

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If some say, "We need to develop the maturity of our members first …"

• Ask, "When will our members be mature enough?"

• Point out that planting a church may be the best way to help members become mature! (See Chapter 1, pp. 10-12.)

• In a worship service, ask all parents to raise their hands if they were "mature enough" to be good parents when they had their first baby. Probably very few will raise their hands. They matured as parents "on the job" once they had their babies.

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If the church is already loaded with many other activities …

• Ask the church leaders: "In an ideal church, what percentage of its resources (time and money) should be used within the church, and what percentage should be used for outreach? Compare your church to this ideal.

• Ask God if he would like to rearrange your church's use of its resources. Take time to listen to Him.

• Identify overlapping programs in the church. Could any be eliminated or combined?

• Identify programs in which few participate, but which eat up a lot of personnel. Could these be trimmed back or allowed to die a natural death?

• Remind others that "The most effective evangelistic method under heaven is church planting."

• Identify those not yet involved in any ministry who could join the church planting team.

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What are some other hindrances you might face? There are many other hindrances not listed here. How will you deal with these? Be prepared!

We know God wants your church to reproduce! Let's trust that He will give you wisdom to deal with any hindrances you might encounter!

In our ten steps in church planting, Step One is to motivate your church. But don't think that when you go on to Step Two motivating is over! Beware! It takes the average person just one month to lose the vision.2 Yes, we need to impart vision to our church to get it started. Then we also need to continue regularly with practical steps to keep the vision alive.

Practical steps need to be taken to impart and nurture vision. Hindrances require a response. The key person in all of this is definitely the pastor. The pastor is the key to church growth. The pastor is also the key to motivating a church to plant a daughter church.

If you would like your church to plant a daughter church, and your pastor equally shares this vision, you are well on your way! He will naturally play the key role in motivating your church. It's very likely that your church will reproduce!

If your pastor is not 100% committed to planting a daughter church, it's going to be really tough. The project could begin. But if the heart of the pastor isn't in it, the potential mother church probably won't give the support that the church plant needs. Many church plants like these die quickly. Sayang. Babies really need the full support of their parents! Pray for your pastor. Be patient. Encourage him. Work with him. Don't work around him. You will be glad in the long run.

If you're a pastor and this is your vision, the chances are great that your church will plant a daughter church! You can train and mobilize your members to do it. They will follow your vision. They may need some modeling of ministry skills from you, or some other experienced person. They will definitely need care and guidance. Fortunately, they can do most of the work.

If you're a pastor and this has not been your vision in the past, now is a great time to start! If you have only recently come to realize the importance of church planting, you can now adopt this as a value of your own! You can choose to make this a part of your ministry. As you do, and as you proceed with wisdom, it's likely your congregation will follow you. Churches usually develop a heart like their pastor's.

In September 1988, Pastor Jose Loyola attended a DAWN 2000 seminar in Lucena City. His church was 32 years old and only had six daughter churches. As the seminar proceeded he became more and more embarrassed about this. At the same time, he also became motivated! He carried a vision for church multiplication back to his church. In the next eleven years they planted 48 more churches! A pastor with new vision made the difference!

With the pastor's vision imparted and the church motivated, you are now ready to mobilize your church planting team.

Action planning and discussion

1. List the names of a few pastors you know who are 100% committed to planting a daughter church. How many of these succeeded (given enough time)?

2. List the names of a few pastors you know who are not 100% committed to planting a daughter church. How many of these churches planted a daughter church?

3. Does your pastor have a strong vision for church multiplication? What can you do to help him?

The main thing to do now

q Identify any hindrances you are facing in motivating your church to plant a daughter church. What actions can you take? You can use the chart below.

Hindrance Actions Check

 

Overview of Step Two

You could plant a church on your own. Many have done this. But there are many big benefits to be gained from using a church planting team.

Some leaders of church planting projects find it hard to mobilize a team. This is a big warning signal! Mobilizing a team is gathering people—like planting a church. If someone is unable to gather a team of believers, it will probably be even harder for him to gather unbelievers to form a church! The guidelines given in Chapter 4 should help you to recruit a team who will remain committed.

But it's not enough just to recruit a team. The team leader needs to provide for the development of the team members. We'll cover this in Chapter 5.

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This page was last updated on 15 July 2013.