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Both church planting and church reformation/revitalization are necessary. The Apostle Paul was both a missionary church planter and a pastor. His character, faithfulness, and love are displayed and evidenced in all the letters he wrote to the churches. But, the letters to the Corinthians give us perspectives we find nowhere else. What he writes to the Corinthians is helpful as we think about church planting and church reformation. Consider listening to the sample of sermons we’ve selected from those Dr. Caldwell has exposited from the book of 1 Corinthians.

 

What's Wrong With Corinth?

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How The Gospel Is To Be Proclaimed

Christian Decision Making

Relational Exhortations

Lessons Of Love

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Church Plant or Church Reformation? Watch this episode on Vimeo

Church Plant or Church Reformation?

This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot discuss the topics of church planting and church reforming. While both actions share the same goal of a God-glorifying church being established where it does not exist, there are crucial differences. Both have pros and cons, and both will have their challenges and advantages. Church planting involves beginning a new church in an area that needs a healthy church. Church reformation or revitalization is the process of restoring healthy spiritual life to a declining or failing church. Dr. Caldwell has been involved in church planting and bringing reformation to an existing church body. Having participated in both of these, Dr. Philpot asks him to share some strengths and weaknesses of each approach.

Dr. Caldwell shares that the beauty of a church plant is that there is no need to overcome a long history of tradition. This is the opposite of bringing reform to an existing body of believers. A church with long-standing traditions is a challenge calling for a lot of patience as you deal with a settled congregation that has been in place for a long time. That congregation deserves respect because they have been around for some time. They have fought the battles and all the rest that explains their existence. But if their history has not been as biblically and spiritually healthy as it should be, bringing change can be like trying to turn a ship without a rudder. In this sense, church planting is easier.

A difficulty that church planting comes with is that they usually start out with a smaller group of people at the beginning. Additionally, there is usually a lack of facilities and land. Often there are financial difficulties as well. All of these things and more contribute to some instability. A church plant will not have a track record, so the community often doesn’t know anything about its witness since it's new. The advantages, though, are that there is no need to overcome history and tradition. The disadvantages are usually in the realm of finances, facilities, and longevity of testimony.

With reformation, there is the blessing of an established congregation. Usually, there are the facilities and the finances that make things easier. Difficulties that have to be overcome in this situation are belief systems, sometimes involving those that are not sound. This can go on for an extended amount of time, thus requiring great patience, prayer, and loving people well while guiding them through it until minds and hearts change.

Are there perhaps men that are better suited for one versus the other? Dr. Caldwell says maybe. He doesn’t necessarily think that every man is made for what he sees as 'missionary work' - church planting, that is. Not every man finds that his gift mix is made for that. But having said that, he says it’s also important to say that the principles for shepherding never change. Prayer, ministry of the Word, caring for souls and having a faithful character and track record are all part of being a pastor. These remain the same whether you are planting a church, seeking to reform/revitalize an existing church, or just entering a healthy church as its new pastor.

In his time as a pastor, Dr. Caldwell has seen some unhealthy trends pop up and come to pass in church planting and church revitalizing. Following are a few mistakes he sees taking place in these areas.

Church Planting Mistakes –

A guy going out on his own without the blessing of elders and a local church. He has no strength or support of a local church standing behind him and the work of church planting.

Having a mindset that the principles need to be different at the beginning then they will be down the road. Maybe tempted with an attractional view of growing an organization.

Starting a church with a group of people who are wounded. The focus tends to be not on what we are here to be but more on what we don’t want to be.

Reforming/Revitalizing Mistakes -

The number one mistake is moving too quickly. Everything does not need to change right away. Some issues may need to be addressed before taking the position and even before the man goes there. But still, time and space will be needed for the Lord to change hearts.

The pastor/shepherd coming in will need to build up trust points. Dr. Caldwell describes this as sort of like a bank account, making deposits for later withdrawals, having something that can be accessed later on. Not doing these things can cause resistance from those who don’t know you and could result in disruptions and upheavals in the work of ministry revitalization.

Dr. Caldwell shares that whether a man is involved in church planting or reforming a church, he should never use the situation or position as a stepping stone. The place a man is in should be the place that he remains until the Lord moves him.

Something needs to be said for the church members as well. Church members need to be prayerful, understanding, and supportive. They need to be aware that change may be needed and required for the health and flourishing of the church. A pastor should not be called to come and serve a local body of Christ if the congregation is not willing to allow that man to be an influence upon them. This will involve the philosophy of ministry and how biblical truth gets applied in the life of the congregation. We have to have our hearts and minds in the right place about these things. We want to allow our leaders to lead us, with the Lord's help, by being submissive church members (Hebrews 13:7 & 17)

Both church planting and church reformation/revitalization are necessary. The Apostle Paul was both a missionary church planter and a pastor. His character, faithfulness, and love are displayed and evidenced in all the letters he wrote to the churches. But, the letters to the Corinthians give us perspectives we find nowhere else. What he writes to the Corinthians is helpful as we think about church planting and church reformation. Consider listening to the sample of sermons we’ve selected from those Dr. Caldwell has exposited from the book of 1 Corinthians.

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net

The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo.  The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.

The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.

The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.

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Season 22 Credits

Produced by
Juan Carlos Claveria

Executive Producers
Joshua Philpot
David Anders

Hosted by
Joshua Philpot

Social Media Descriptions by
Michele Watson

Graphic Design
David Navejas

DP / EDITING / COLOR
JUAN CARLOS CLAVERIA

SPECIAL THANKS TO THE
FOUNDERS BAPTIST CHURCH
MEDIA TEAM VOLUNTEERS

Special Thanks to
El Centro Network

Music by
LynneMusic

Motion Graphics
The Media Stock

Set Decorator
Molly Atchison

Walking In Grace Produces The Straight Truth Podcast - The Best Christian Podcast On The Web

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