which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:20
*Can our potential church planters on the field today say, "for we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard," or will they simply state, "that which we have heard?"
...Many times all that is passed on to the hopeful church planters is nothing more than that which we heard from trainers and teachers that could never share with us what they had done, only what they had also heard. We did not see from those who trained us and those we train many times also don't see church planting from us, they just hear it.
Why is it important for desirous church planters to see church planting as well as hear it?
I will go back to my belief that we are expert church planners and not as expert at church planting. We do have all the latest data on our people groups and the latest methods, books and are up to date with the most current and popular church planters but still fail to see new works happen. We have supplanted the "t" in planters with an extra "n" and are now the planners instead of the planters.
If the ones we are teaching never see it, how are they to do it?
Hearing is never enough! ...It is important for them to see church planting because they will know that what we teach...has validity and a foundation. It is not based on theories that might or might not work as they go out to try and test them out. We will share from personal experiences and most of all share how those experiences either helped or hindered our personal church planting efforts...
Jesus' training of the 12 was never just words. More was learned by them from seeing and many times never a word was spoken but the experience of being there while Jesus carried out His ministry was what was able to sustain the disciples through their own time of implementing the ministry that they had seen and heard. I like the order in which these two words appear, notice that "seen," comes first and then "heard." So many times we are heard far more than we are seen doing in our ministries and training. Don't train from what others taught you but rather with the nationals at your side carry out the planting so that they and you will continue to learn as you do.
Have they learned from us that which they need to do and say by seeing and hearing us or has it simply been an oral trickle down of knowledge without foundations, theories without practice and dreams based on pressure to create a CPM at any cost? ...It is scary to go out and do it, therefore it is far easier to teach it, but Jesus taught by doing and saying. We can do no less!
*--adapted from an article written by Manuel Sosa (and inspired from, "The Training of the Twelve", by A. B. Bruce)