[featured_image]My colleague David White who serves with OC International in the Philippines has planted churches and trains and coaches church planters. Several years ago he wrote a great book on church planting –
Your Church Can Multiply – that identifies the following Ten Proven Steps for Planting Healthy Churches:
1. Motivate Your Church
2. Mobilize a Team
3. Set a Goal and Write Plans
4. Confirm the Target Barangay
5. Make Contacts
6. Start Outreach Bible Studies (OBS)

7. Nurture the New Believers
8. Form a Fellowship
9. Continue Nurture and Outreach
10. Formally Organize the New Church
One of the things I love about this approach in the Philippines is that the focus is not on starting worship services. The focus is on mobilizing believers to reach a particular neighborhood, making contacts and starting Bible studies. As people in the neighborhood come to faith in Christ, then they nurture them in the faith and begin to form a fellowshipping community.

There is much that can be learned from church planting efforts in the Philippines that can be applied in the United States. Many are starting to discover the reality that the U.S. is a mission field and we need to adopt missiological principles and strategies for reaching the unreached people groups here in America.

Dave challenges church planters and church planting teams to meet as many people as they can once they’ve determined their target barangay. He notes, “A church plant with only a few contacts will probably produce a week church. Making many contacts will get the church off to a strong start.” (p 174)

Then he lists 85 Possible Methods for connecting with people in the target community. As you read the list, consider what ideas are triggered in your thinking…

  1. Contacts gained through your community survey.
  2. Webs of relationships – relatives? neighbors? friends?
  3. House-to-house visitation and witnessing
  4. Evangelistic prayer visitation – ask people if there is anything for which they’d like you to pray
  5. Evangelistic Christmas caroling
  6. Beauty parlor, barber shop
  7. House blessings
  8. Healing – pray for those you meet who are sick to be healed
  9. Hospital visitation – pray for people to be healed
  10. Concerts
  11. Film showing
  12. Relief work, feeding the hungry
  13. Distributing used clothing
  14. PTA
  15. Dinner fellowship – invite neighbors for dinner
  16. Business contacts
  17. Daily Vacation Bible School (DVBS)
  18. Evangelistic crusades
  19. Rehab center
  20. Bible distribution
  21. Secular seminars
  22. Beauty tips
  23. Parties – birthday, anniversaries
  24. Sports evangelism
  25. Camping trips
  26. Homeowners Associations
  27. Street cleaning
  28. Aerobics ministry
  29. Art competition
  30. Chess
  31. Service clubs
  32. Book sharing
  33. Free art lessons
  34. Music and drama
  35. Puppet shows
  36. Counseling
  37. Support groups
  38. Sharing testimonies
  39. Fliers
  40. Picnics
  41. Street corner evangelism
  42. Community development
  43. Car washes
  44. Welcome parties
  45. Boating

And 40 more…

Several of the ideas that Dave included were culturally specific to the Philippines. How could you discover culturally specific ways to reach the people groups in your community?

Today’s Missional Challenge

Write your own list of 85 possible methods of connecting with people in your neighborhood for the purpose of building relational bridges for the gospel. Then, select five ideas that you will implement this week!

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