Sunday, October 19

Lessons Learned Overseas

The following comes from David Watson's TouchPoint blog describing lessons he has learned overseas as a church planter.

1. Effective church planting teams spend 3-6 hours per day in prayer.

2. Training is continuous. Leaders are constantly reproducing more leaders, and disciples are constantly reproducing disciples.

3. Do extensive planning, but expect God to show up and do the unexpected.

4. Be flexible in order to take advantage of the unexpected.

5. Young Christians and young leaders are encouraged to lead and reproduce new Christians and leaders from day one.

6. Ownership of the work is in local hands, never in the church planters' hands.

7. There are no founding pastors. Church planters are church planters. They raise up and train local leaders who become the pastors of the the churches.

8. Family-based and group-based evangelism through Guided Discovery Bible Studies.

9. Every new Believers is trained as if he or she will be the next leader of a movement. People self-select out of training. We often see people become leaders who would have been overlooked with any selective training process.

10. Discipleship is about teaching to obey through word and deed. High accountability in close community is foundational.

11. Failure happens. Start over. Failure happens. Start over. ...

12. Church planting starts with ministry that leads to appropriate evangelism.

I can identify with many of these same observations from our own ministry in Ecuador. Every one of the above points merit an entire article in its own right. The one that catches my attention the most though is #1 where effective church planting teams spend 3-6 hours/day in prayer. That is convicting, but certainly true.

How about you? Which of these points caught your attention?

Thanks to Expectation Blog for being the one to point out this article for me.


Ray Short said...

Guy - the one that absolutely blows me away is #1. I pray, specifically for the work I'm doing here, but 3-6 hours...that's amazing.


Michelle Ann said...

Wow... 3 to 6 hours in prayer? That really is surprising! So often we focus on the hands on ministry and overlook the power of prayer in the lives of those we meet and have been given the opportunity to minister to. I'm convicted! Lord, make us a people who PRAY...
Thanks for this,

GuyMuse said...

Ray and Michelle,

Thanks for stopping by. Yes, #1 blows me away too. I truly believe we try to do too much in the power of the flesh, and as a consequence reap the results that we get.

Michelle, are things still a "go" for the Ecuador trip? Hope you will be able to make some good contacts with people there. Wish we could be there during the time you are planning on going down. Maybe next time!

Darrell said...

Without a doubt #11 is the one I can relate to more then any other.

GuyMuse said...


Yeah, #11 is a real one for us too!

Camel Rider said...

wow...number 1

This stands out to me because it implies a passion for the Lord.....which is the foundation for our work. I recently asked our team to share what the Lord was teaching them in their personal walk....nothing about work....and 2 out of 14 shared something.

A passion for Him must proceed a passion for the church or else we find ourselves in idolatry.

GuyMuse said...

Camel Rider,

I think all of us are agreeing on #1, but how many of us are anywhere close to this kind of walk with the Lord?

Camel Rider said...

I wish I was....I definitely struggle with maintaining my walk with the Lord. I also struggle with spending more time on my work, than I do the most vital of all my relationships.
Good stuff Guy.

Kevin, Somewhere in South America said...

I appreciate your post, Guy. I have tried to emphasize to my seminary students the reality of all you said, especially #1. I was guest professor at anothe seminary last week and told them the same thing--if you want to plant churches and win hundreds to Christ, you will start on your knees. that is the main lesson we should take from those awakenings that we have dubbed "church planting movements."

GuyMuse said...


"Starting on our knees" is what most of us believe in our heads, but few of us really practice it in our lives. I too have noted that the priority of prayer has always accompanied the great movements of God throughout history. Why is it so hard to learn this lesson?