by Paula S. (pseudonym)
Church planting is the fastest way to evangelize! I knew this for decades, but this evening I saw it with my own eyes.
IN MY MIND, THIS EVENING IS ALWAYS THERE, lingering as a never-ending encouragement in our work for the Lord. Can one sole night prove a statement that I knew so long in my mind?
Church planting is the fastest way to evangelize! I knew this for decades, but this evening I saw it with my own eyes. My husband and I have been missionaries for almost eighteen years, mainly in Eastern Europe. We were involved in many different mission projects, but the main ones were church planting and teaching. It has been so much fun to buy cows and other animals for families in poverty and rewarding to see the church buildings built or renovated, but again and again we have come back to one focus: namely, starting new churches.
I knew that our Lord Jesus’ essential call was to plant churches. I knew that the Apostle Paul’s strategy was to plant urban churches. I also knew that we needed to be true to the Great Commission. But it was on that evening in October in the rough, remote mountains of Lesotho that I saw with my heart. Not too long ago, the Lord threw open a whole new territory for us in which to minister.
That night, I looked at the children who were dancing before the Lord for two hours straight. It was hot and stuffy in the former bar, but nobody cared; this was their new church and Jesus was present.
After the worship, the service started. I will never forget the reverent silence and then the seriousness of the children’s prayer to their Father in heaven. Jesus was there. We closed our eyes and magnified his name. They prayed with a fervency I never witnessed before in my missionary life. The presence of the Holy Spirit was so tangible, I could barely stand. If only our Lord Jesus would take us all with him this evening.
It was getting late and the children were begging us to continue to pray, worship, and preach; they needed one more question answered, one more song to sing, one more dance for Jesus.
This new church plant was working as a powerful magnet to pull a multitude of children and a number of adults to our Lord and Savior. We had many disappointments in the eighteen years of missionary service, but this night wiped them all from my memory. Just to be there, in the wild mountains of Lesotho, to witness his presence in the exuberant joy and awesome reverence of the children that night was worth it all.
“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him” (John 4:23).
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EMQ, Vol. 52, No. 1. Copyright © 2016 Billy Graham Center for Evangelism. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from EMQ editors.