Don't do it for them
Heard today: if workers go in and do what the local church should be doing, because the local church is “not big enough” to do it (e.g. an “infant church”), they will rob the church of the chance to grow its muscles.
Cross-cultural missionaries and workers need to walk a fine line between planting the church/being the church/doing the work of the church where it is not, and mobilizing the nearby church to do the work of planting.
“Should workers plant where there is no local church to plant” is a difficult subject. It implies not planting when there is no local church to do the planting work. I have debated both sides of this discussion. I remain unconvinced of either.
But I do think that, certainly, the worker should have a preference for the local church doing the planting work. If the local church refuses, I’m not sure the worker should not plant something new that would be willing.
But in all cases, the local worker should never do work that the local church can do and would be willing to do. In those instances, the worker needs to be in the background, encouraging, resourcing, connecting, catalyzing.
FYI. I am going to try posting one “Firestarter” item per day, earlier in the day–things I have noticed that deserve comment. I am experimenting with the thought of either (a) posting twice a day–Starters + the daily topic or (b) transitioning the Daily Topic to email only. The archive of Daily Topics and Weekly Roundups will be available in the Patron Dropbox Folder, and not lost. Starts (like this one) will be blog-only. This is an experiment. This May Not Work. -Ed.