“New Ways For New Days”

Having recently written a couple of posts on church planting movements, I thought that I would share the following message about “new ways” to reach people for Christ that I discovered on the web some time ago. The message is entitled “New Ways For New Days”.

The message was given by Dr. Winston Crawley, then Secretary for the Orient of the Foreign Mission Board (now the International Mission Board) of the Southern Baptist Convention. It was presented in 1957 to a gathering of approximately 60 SBC missionaries who were serving the LORD in East Asia.

While Crawley was speaking specifically about how to reach Asia for Christ, much of what he says about new approaches to ministry has real application to our ministries today. In particular, Dr. Crawley speaks about the start of small churches (i.e., house churches) that penetrate and saturate densely populated areas where land and buildings are expensive and funds are not available to pay seminary-trained, professional clergy.

Here are a couple of quotes from the message.

“Now there is something that disturbs me …. We have established a pattern. That pattern is to have a church building; buy a piece of land; put up a building; carry on a certain type of program in that building.”

“Now the question at this point is, will that approach do what needs to be done?”

” … we have to get outside these buildings, if we are to evangelize Asia. If we let ourselves be limited by the buildings and by their capacity, we cannot hope to have enough church buildings to hold one-tenth of the people we ought to reach with the gospel. It’s utterly impossible.”

“How subtle it is – this idea that everything centers in a building, and a seminary-trained leader, and unless you have those two, evangelism can’t go forward. I doubt that you will find that subtle idea in the New Testament. Some way, we must break loose from this pattern.”

“Make the home a center … of evangelism and Bible teaching and witness and fellowship and prayer, and then from time to time have central meetings.”

As we read this 52 year-old message, may the Lord speak to our hearts about what the true meaning and nature of the “church” is. And, may He also speak to us about how our philosophy of and approach to ministry needs to be adjusted in order to more rapidly penetrate, saturate and church our communities for Christ.

Read Winston Crawley’s message here.

Explore posts in the same categories: Church Planting, Missional Living, Neighborhoods, Simple Church

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