WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THE CHURCH IN ZAMBIA
On my recent mission project in Zambia, I had the opportunity to train the leaders of five village churches within about 30 miles of the New Day Orphanage. They all gathered with me in a town called Namwala. It was in Namwala, some 12 years ago, where a LifeSpring team and I first did church planting and evangelism before members Wes and Laurie Wilcox helped begin the orphanage.
In working with these five small, village churches, and through preaching at one of these on a Sunday, I was reminded of the beauty of lay leadership, lay service, and lay involvement. Here are some of my takeaways:
- Worship is meant to be an authentic experience—not an event or a performance. It is best when it is participatory. Though we are a large church, I want increasingly to involve adults, students, and even children in our worship gatherings.
- Christ never intended for his Bride to become a Sunday spectator event. Christ commissioned the church to make disciples to the ends of the earth. He didn’t commission pastors or staff, but believers—all believers. The job of your church staff is to equip you, train you, and mobilize you to do the various works of the ministry—not to do it for you. (Ephesians 4)
- The church best grows larger by growing smaller. The core of the church must be small groups of various types—not a worship service of hundreds. LifeGroups, service teams, Life Classes, accountability groups, support groups, men’s groups, women’s groups, student groups, etc. That’s where true discipleship takes place.
- Personal relationship building with friends, relatives, work associates, neighbors, and service people is the primary biblical method for evangelism. Big events are great, but they only augment the primary strategy of reaching out to “one.” Who’s your one?
I’m glad that LifeSpring is increasingly becoming a missional church—but that requires each of us to put our hand to the plow and labor for the Master together. Let’s grow by becoming smaller in our approach. Let’s passionately reach one person at a time for Christ by becoming passionately intentional. Summer is a great time to do just that. Lost souls are everywhere. Join me in leveraging your influence and relationships to connect people with God and each other. The Church of Jesus Christ (that’s you) is the hope of the world!
Coming September 8
A Church-wide Sunday Series: The Seven Deadly Sins