Church Planting Movements Are Consistent with the Teachings & Practices of the New Testament: A Response to Jackson Wu
AbstractIt has been argued that Church Planting Movements do not appear in the Bible, and therefore are unbiblical or extra-biblical. For some observers, this begs the question: What else in our contemporary expression of church is not in the Bible?The office of “pastor” (the word in its singular, as a church leader never appears in the Bible).The “church building” never appears in the Bible.The word “Trinity,” so central to theological orthodoxy, never appears in the Bible.The word “seminary” or even the notion of seminary never appears in the Bible.The contemporary expression of “church staff” never appears in the Bible.We could continue this list for pages, including such extra-biblical mainstays of contemporary church life as: indoor toilets, family life centers, children’s education buildings, baptistries, pulpits, pews, mission agencies, endowments, building committees, Vacation Bible School, committees in general, scholarships for seminary students, tenured seminary faculty, retirement funds, parsonages, etc., etc. If we extend the argument into today’s gospel proclamation arena, we would also have to denounce as unbiblical or extra-biblical: the use of microphones, radio, television, the Jesus Film, satellite gospel television, inoculations against diseases, hospitals, medical missions, etc., etc. Unless a polemicist is prepared to attack these extra-biblical aspects of contemporary church and mission life, then one must conclude that his decision to attack Church Planting Movements is arbitrary and myopic or, at best, inconsistent.Does that mean these aspects of contemporary church life, these extra-biblical roles, and institutions should be dismissed because they are not "grounded in Scripture"? I think not. They are all aimed at the core of what church is intended to be: a community committed to obediently following Christ, and by so doing, extending and expanding the life, ministry, teaching, and mission of Christ Himself.