Trouble Shooting For Church Planters And Pastoral Trainers


Common Complications



Evangelism fails to bring people to Christ or to reach entire families.

Workers lack power for evangelism, or they merely invite people to meetings.

Enlist intercessors and discuss how to reach friends and relatives.

Pray boldly for healing in the Name of Jesus.

Proclaim the good news as the apostles did, relating the deathandlife giving resurrection of Jesus.

Expatriate workers fail to bond properly with the people and their culture, spending time mainly with each other.

Seek workers who bond with the people and their culture, and focus on a specific community.

Live among the people; let them meet your deepest social needs.

Learn to speak a language without a painful accent.

Expatriate workers mobilize fewnationals for task groups.

Form task groups with nationals or workerswho love the culture.

Aim not for permanent teams but temporary task groups with a task focus.

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.

Workers extract new believers from family and friends, overdoing the personal (private) aspect of faith.

Seek ‘children of peace’ in a community, work with their contacts.

Start with heads of families.

See seekers as God does, part of a social unit, not isolated individuals.

New believersfall back.

Call seekers to repent, not simply to make decisions.

Baptize repentant believers without undue delay.

Help new believers showlove to family and friends in useful ways.

Churches or cells fail to multiply.

Leaders only encourage work that they control, or fail to arrange for churches or cells to multiply.

Model servant leadership for new leaders, outside of classrooms.

Train and install new leaders more rapidly, as Paul did, help new leaders focus on neglected people nearby.

Methods or equipment are too costly or high-tech.

Limitequipmentandmethods to what all potential workers in a ‘2 Timothy 2:2 training chain’ can easily obtain or grasp.

Workers lack focus on a specific, cohesive society.

Let the gospel flow where the Holy Spirit leads it Don’t cancel a culture by forcing it to blend with another culture in a congregation.

Leaders fear that baddoctrineand practices will result if churches multiply.

Clarify: heresy usually comes from old, stagnant churches, not new ones.Train new leaders as Paul did, and relax.

Remind workers that where the apostles made disciples,churches or urban cells resulted and reproduced. Teach obedience, not fear.

Common Complications



Legalistic policies deter new leaders from obeying Jesus’ commands.

Leaders attribute more authority to humanorganization than to Christ, and impose restrictive requirements for baptism and Communion.

Make disciples as Jesus said, teaching to obey His commands in love, before all else. Base all ministries on Jesus’ commands.

Discern between three levels of authority:

1) New Testament commands (simply obey them).

2) Apostles’ actions not commanded (do them only if helpful; don’t make them into laws, as the apostles did not do so).

3) Human traditions (Most are good.Bad ones impede obedience.)

Discern between the essential purpose of commands and the various external forms that their practice can take.

Often legalistic policies come from using materials because they are free or on hand, rather than using materials that geared to obedience and multiplication.

Students fail to carry out fieldwork or studies.

Trainers trainimmature folk.

Enroll only leaders that qualify biblically as ‘elders’.

Too manycoached at once.

Gather no more than you can listen to, and help plan.

Plans are too ambitious or impractical.

Planfieldworkthat students can realistically do and agree to, noting specific people and places as you record their plans.

Accountability is weak.

Review work done. Give recognition for good work, note needs.

Students read poorly.

See if students need inexpensive reading glasses.

Students study what is currently irrelevant.

Assign specific, currently relevant sections in books.

Funding stifles initiative.

Leaders serve only if paid.

Halt subsidies that create dependency on outside aid

Teach New Testament stewardship

Stop paying salaries to undedicated workers

Bible translation is slow or poor.

Translation is hard to read.

See jit 2b 20 Let Bible translation foster a movement and
jit 5c 84 Writing for translation.

Translation drags.

Communicate more with translators, encourage them, and testmaterialssoon.

Textbooks that deal with current needs are hard to get.

Trainers cannot get a study when a trainee or church needs it.

Set up deposits of studies within reach of all trainers

Inspect quantities of materials on hand regularly to replace low stocks

Use training materials that include a menu that makes finding studies easy

Books are too costly or too big to carry around to read conveniently.

Download Paul-Timothy studies freely: These are small, pocket size studies Do not bind them in larger volumes simply for the convenience of printers or secretaries.

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