TROUBLE SHOOTING CHECKLIST FOR CHURCH PLANTERS
Problem: Evangelism fails to bring people to Christ or to reach families.
Cause #1: Workers lack power for evangelism.
· Enlist serious intercessors and share the vision.
· Pray for healing of the people with childlike faith.
· Proclaim the Good News as the apostles did, relating the death AND life giving resurrection of Jesus.
Cause #2: Workers extract converts from family and friends, overdoing the personal (private) aspect of faith.
· Find a ‘son of peace’ in a community; work with his contacts—Luke 10.
· Start with heads of families--Acts 16:31.
· See seekers as the Lord does, as part of a social unit.
Cause #2: Expatriate workers fail to bond properly with the people and their culture, spending time mainly with each other.
· Live among the people; let them meet your deepest social needs.
· Learn the language without a painful accent.
· Commit to go and simply do what Jesus says, not for a limited term (avoid having teams with only short-term workers).
Cause #3: Expatriate workers mobilize few nationals for task groups.
· Form task groups mainly with nationals or culturally close persons.
· Aim not for permanent teams but temporary task groups with a task focus.
Cause #4: Worship style or evangelistic methods do not fit the culture.
· Nationals write and lead music in their style, avoiding Western performance.
· Celebrate the Lord’s Supper regularly.
· Deal with a seeker’s family and social network, and not as an isolated individual.
Cause #6: Converts fall back.
· Call seekers to repent, not simply to make decisions.
· Baptize repentant believers without undue delay.
· Help converts love family and friends in useful ways.
Problem: Church or cell multiplication lags.
Cause #1: Leaders encourage work only if they control it, failing to plan for granddaughter churches or cells.
· Model servant leadership for new leaders, outside of classrooms.
· Train and install new leaders faster—at least as quickly as Paul did in Acts 14.
Cause #2: Methods or equipment are too costly, high-tech or too Western.
· Limit equipment and methods to those that workers in a ‘2 Timothy 2:2 training chain’ can easily attain.
Cause #3: Workers lack focus on a specific, cohesive society.
· Let the gospel flow where the Holy Spirit leads it. Do not kill a culture by forcing it to mix with another culture within one congregation.
Cause #4: Leaders fear that false doctrine or bad practices will creep in if congregations multiply rapidly.
· Clarify what history shows: heresy comes from old, stagnant congregations, not new ones. Simply train new leaders in the biblical way and relax.
· Remind workers that where the apostles made disciples, congregations grew and reproduced. Teach obedience, not fear!
Problem: Men’s policies deter new leaders from obeying Jesus’ commands.
Cause: Leaders attribute more authority to human organization than to the Lord Jesus Christ, including for rules for baptism and Communion.
· Make disciples as Jesus said, teaching to obey His commands in love, before all else. Base ministries on His commands, discerning between New Testament commands, mere apostolic practices that were not commanded and human traditions.
· Discern between essential purpose of commands and the various external forms that their practice can entail.
Problem: Students fail to carry out field-work or studies.
Cause #1: Trainers enroll immature pupils.
· Enroll only leaders that qualify biblically as ‘elders.’
Cause #2: Too many attend sessions.
· Gather no more than you can listen to and help plan.
Cause #3: Plans are too much or impractical.
· Plan fieldwork that students can realistically do and agree to, noting specific people and places as you record their plans.
Cause #4: Accountability is weak.
· Review work done. Give recognition for good work, note current needs.
Cause #5: Assignments do not fit current needs and opportunities.
· Use a list of optional activities and studies, such as the Menus of Paul-Timothy studies, T&M® or Shepherd’s Storybook, to select activities that fit current needs.
Cause #6: Students find it hard to read.
· See if students need inexpensive reading glasses.
Cause #7: Students work through books in a linear way, not as they need them.
· Use the Study Options listed under each Activity in the Student Activity Guide to select books that fit current needs and opportunities.
Cause #8: Books are too costly or too big to carry around to read conveniently.
· Reproduce books in their small size, as T&M recommends.
· Do not bind books in larger volumes simply for the convenience of printers or secretaries.
Problem: Western funding stifles initiative.
Cause: Leaders work only if paid.
Halt subsidies that create dependency on foreign subsidy. Be firm.
Teach Christian stewardship.
Problem: Translation gives problems.
Cause #1: Translation is hard to read.
Cure: Review translation guidelines in T&M Translator’s Manual.
Cause #2: Translation drags.
Communicate with translators, encourage them, and test books soon; if the problem continues seek another translator.
Problem: Books are unavailable.
Cause: Trainers cannot get a book when a particular need calls for it.
· Set up book deposits within reach of all Trainers.
· Count the numbers of books on hand regularly to replace low stocks.