Sunday morning I was able to speak to Cloud Springs Baptist after fellowshipping with them again (in and out) for a year. I wanted to talk about church planting since that was what we are going to do in Brazil. What better Scripture to use than the book of Acts that is a summary of the missions/church planting movement of the early church. The main ideas in Acts show how churches were planted in Acts.
Depending on the Bible professor, one receives different proposals as to the main theme of Acts. Some would say it is about missions or church planting, others say it is a book of prayer and still others say it is a biography of the Holy Spirit. Looking at all of those we know that church planting and missions exist because of the work of the Holy Spirit and the prayers of the saints.
We also see the participants of all that happened. The Apostles of course received the Holy Spirit, but it was not just them doing the work. They appointed deacons and the second requirement of those deacons was that they were full of the Holy Spirit. Notice the first martyr, Stephen, who was one of the first deacons, also did the work of preaching! And it was a good sermon too; probably because he was full of the Holy Spirit. The people of the church were full of the Holy Spirit and prayer and that is why the church spread so quickly.
Church planting is not just for missionaries or pastors; it is for the church. We are all to be planting churches. It is not just for a select few; it is for the entire church. For this reason we as individuals in the church need to filled with the Spirit and continuing in prayer. How this leads to church planting for you is up to the the Holy Spirit as He will be your guide. Maybe it is through local discipleship, maybe it is sending church planters, maybe it is planting another church close to you with a group from your church, and of course the most likely that God would have you do is come down with us in the Brazilian outback! But whoever you are, you have a part in church planting!