Don't do it for them

January 1, 0001

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 notplanting 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.