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A Church Planting Idea:

Reaping Godís Harvest - "The Triple-S Plan" 

Jesus has told us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel (Matthew 28:18 - 20) ... And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness, unto all nations ... and then shall the end come ... (Matthew 24:14). We believe this Gospel (good news of salvation) ... is today's present truth ... which is the message of the three angels of Revelation 14:6 - 12. We are living in a grand and awful time!  Jesus' Second Coming might be JUST AROUND THE CORNER!

Let us work for the Master ... soon, time will be no more!

Jesus is coming soon! Even so, come Lord Jesus!

The plan that Jesus left us for missions is the best plan ... still! Let us work with His plan ... and we certainly can't go wrong! Prayer is the key in evangelism / church - planting. Give yourself to prayer and fasting ... so God can do mighty works through you!

The Triple - S Plan presented above is one left us by Jesus ... we can tailor it to fit our peculiar situations ... as he leads!

Below is some information related to church-planting. These are taken from the Church Planting website (go to TAGnet home page and search for church planting): 

Building Castles       Apple Trees       Growing Past      Church Expansion     

Antioch             95 Theses






Building Castles for the Kingdom

by Ron Gladden

"Hey Tanya! Letís do something crazy. Letís make the biggest sand castle

this beach has ever seen!"

Our family was celebrating the 4 th of July by camping on the Oregon

coast. We were delighted that Tanya, a friend from Russia, could join us.

It was a perfect day. The sand was warm and clean. The waves were as

white as Julia Robertsí teeth. The sky looked as if God had spilled a giant bucket

of deep blue paint. We felt as though we had fallen into a postcard.

My daughter and her boyfriend were putting the finishing touches on a

pint-sized castle. We had all day with nothing to do, and a wild idea emerged:

create the biggest sandcastle the beach had ever seen.

"What do you mean?" Tanya asked.

"Watch this." Dragging my toe, I made a huge circle in the sand.

Concentric with the first, I moved out five feet or so and made a second, even

bigger, circle. "Hereís the deal," I announced. "Letís dig all the sand from

between the circles and throw it inside. Then weíll use whatís in the middle to

build a giant castle."

Tanya grinned incredulously. "We could never finish it. Itís too big. It would

take us two weeks to do all of that."

"We wonít do it alone."

"Who will help us?"

"Look at all these people on the beach. When they see us doing

something big, theyíll want to be part of it. Weíll have all the help we need."

She was visibly skeptical. "Do you think so?"

"I donít know. Letís try it and see."

We knelt down and started to dig. With nothing but our hands, we tossed

sand from the moat to the middle. The biggest castle, I said to myself, begins

with a single scoop.


Apple Trees and Churches

By Ron Gladden

(Printed in Mid-America Union Outlook, April, 1998)

The true fruit of an apple tree is not an apple but another apple tree. During the early decades of the

nineteenth century, John Chapman did a very strange thing. He traveled hundreds of miles on foot carrying apple seeds to virtually every village and hamlet from Butler, Pennsylvania to Decatur, Illinois. He was driven by an illogical passion to make the nutritious apple available to everyone in America.  Johnny Appleseed, as he came to be known, understood that carefully watering, tilling and fertilizing the tree in his own yard would not cause his dream to be realized. If apples were to be everywhere, apple trees must be everywhere. Similarly, the true fruit of a growing church is not just a new disciple of Jesus but another growing church. A huge potential for major church growth in North America lies untapped. A renaissance of church planting can bring it to pass.

Four reasons to plant churches

1. It is biblical. 

It is the New Testament way of spreading the gospel. In Acts 2, we read of the phenomenal multiplication of converts. By the time we get to Acts 16, the churches are multiplying. "So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily" (vs.5, NKJV). It didnít take long for the apostles to become convinced that church planting was the pivotal cog through which the power of God would be transferred into the world.

2. It is effective. 

"The single most effective evangelistic method under heaven," states C. Peter Wagner, "is planting new churches." A core group who sets out to start a new church possesses a steely resolution that is seldom seen in an established church. They are ready for action, for sacrifice, for a Christians versus lions rematch, if necessary. That focused vitality translates into fervent prayer and earnest effort for the lost. Which explains why new Adventist churches grow at ten times the rate of established churches.

3. It is necessary for denominational survival and growth. 

Every denomination that reports an increase in the total number of congregations reports an increase in members. Every denomination reporting a decrease in congregations reports a decrease in members. Many are shocked to realize that Adventist membership in the cities of America is the same today as it was twenty years ago. The only exceptions are the cities in which new churches have been planted during those twenty years. Like the human body, every church eventually plateaus. Its presence and impact are increased only by producing energetic offspring. A stunning statistic that illustrates the point: the average size of a five year old Southern Baptist church is 145 members. The average size of a 100 year old Southern Baptist church is 155 members. Since these numbers are similar in Adventism, it is natural to wonder, why does it take 95 years to add ten members?


Growing Past the Temptation to Quit

~ by Steve Sjogren

A wise veteran pastor told me recently, "After living through 60 years of

life I am convinced the most difficult job in the world is church planting."

I agree with this leader. On more than once I've told my wife, Janie,

"There has to be a more lucrative way to be miserable.: I've done a number

of things for a living, and planting certainly has been the most difficult. A

couple of years into our plant in Cincinnati, during a particularly low

point, I told my wife, "Surely there are must be more lucrative ways to be

miserable in life than this!"

It's only natural that with this high level of stress, there will be great

turnover. I don't have scientific proof, but my guess is the number one

reason church plants don't succeed is because the senior leader quits.

Several times in my first few years of planting, I actually did quit, at least

for a day or two.

1. Tend your inner garden.

Amazing intensity can mount up in our hearts as we do the rugged work of

church planting. Release that in the form of intercessory prayer. For me,

this prayer isn't so much a grocery list of intercessory prayer though I do

keep a prayer list in my journal. I tell the Lord what he already knows. I

bring to him the specific issues that are pressing in on me.

You do have an inner garden. The only question is what shape is from the

poem, "How does your garden grow?"

2. Pray deep prayers.

When Paul spoke of his groanings too deep for words -those inner prayers

uttered by the Holy Spirit -- I believe he was refering to the the praying he

did to release the intensity that rested upon him.

3. Read Scripture.

For years I've told my church, "Five chapters a day keeps the pastor

away." Without a routine, I would find it impossible to get my five

chapters in a day. For the past few years I've done more devotional

listening to scripture than I've read. I purchased the Bible on audio cd and

find it a very pleasant listen. Often I end up listening to more than my five


4. Write Scripture.

I've heard it said, "Girls keep a diary; boys write in their journals."

Wordsmithing aside, the past few years I have been enriched in my times

with God as I have done less reading of scripture and more writing out of

scripture into my journal. It's simple. I write out complete verses, chapters


Church Expansion in Early Adventism

A Plan to Return

(by Ron Gladden)

Thigh-slapping joy reigned on Mt. Hope Avenue! Here's why.

It was Spring, 1852. Hiram Edson had just sold his farm and loaned the money

to James White. James hailed a train and hurried to the big city of New York. A

few hours later, with almost-obnoxious enthusiasm, Brother White traded the

farm money for a printing press. The Washington hand press, as it was known,

required the substantial sum of $652.93, which included delivery to the print

shop on Mt. Hope Avenue in Rochester, New York.

Peek through the dusty windows and enjoy the scene. Admirers press together,

hoping for a close-up view of the new machine. Smiles brighten every face.

Expressions of delight fill every nook and cranny of the wood-floored room. This

is the first printing press they have ever owned. How much more quickly will the

message of the Sabbath now be spread! Pay respect while the jubilant pioneers

bow their heads and dedicate the press to the Lord.

Uriah Smith recollects the details. "The instruments we had to use were a

bradawl, a straight edge, and a penknife. Brother Loughborough, with the awl,

would perforate the backs for stitching; the sisters would stitch them; and then

I, with the straightedge and penknife, would trim the rough edges on the top,

front and bottom. We blistered our hands in operation, and often the tracts in

form were not half so true and square as the doctrines they taught."1

The little hand press was held in the name of James White. There was no

conference Bible house or agency for distributing literature. Nothing to bind the

believers together for service. Organized churches? None. Conferences? Didn't

exist. No legal entity of any kind was in place for holding church property. There

was no church government to guide and nourish the young movement in its

quest to blanket the world with the three angels' messages. And to add

embarrassment to confusion, we didn't even have a name!

Should We Organize?

The saints who comprised the Advent movement were enthusiastic. Focused.

Determined. But not organized. A.W. Spalding describes the decade following the

disappointment as "a time of chaos in Adventist circles."2 "Couldn't we


1 James Nix, Memorable Dates from Our Adventist Past, p. 29

2 Origin and History, vol. 1, p. 291

Business Meeting -- Antioch Style

by Ron Gladden

(Printed in Mid-America Union Outlook, February, 1998)

Most business meetings are about as

exciting as driving across the Kansas-Nebraska

border. (Sound like your latest

meeting?) This one, however, reeks with

energy and hope.

Look around the room. All you can

see is people. Old-timers, new Christians,

seekers, children, women, men -- they are

everywhere. Balanced on three-legged

stools, squeezed shoulder to shoulder on the

floor, counter-weighted on weak-kneed

tables -- every nook of the house is bulging

with bodies.

"Hey look! Here comes Rufus!"

"Push together, everyone. Make

room for one more!"

Eager faces focus on six men who

describe a thrilling vision. Barnabas,

Simeon, Lucius, Manaen, John Mark and

Saul are in positive agreement. Just last

night, the Holy Spirit directly said, Set

apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the

work to which I have called them (Acts

13.2; NASB). Impromptu discussion groups

break out everywhere. Animated gestures

and voices create temporary chaos.

Lucius lifts his hand and motions for

silence. "Brothers and sisters, we are

convinced that God is calling these men to

leave us here in Antioch and to become

missionaries to the vast, unreached people

groups of Asia Minor. Millions of souls are

in darkness. They do not know that the God

of heaven has provided for their salvation

through His only Son Jesus Christ. They

continue in their godless practices and

beliefs. How can we ignore the lostness of

so many people?"

"Brother Lucius, I agree that the lost

out there matter to God," Zachariah affirms.

"But dare we ignore the needs of our own

church? We hardly have enough men to

provide the widows with their daily needs.

Antioch has thousands of lost people right

here. If we divide ourselves, wonít we

weaken our impact on this city?"

Marcus concurs. "Iím concerned

too. I agree with Zachariah. Wouldnít it be

wiser to wait? I wouldnít think of arguing

with the Holy Spiritís call, but maybe He

meant at a better time, when our own

church is stronger."

"Remember, beloved, what our Lord

Jesus told us." When Simeon speaks,

everyone pays attention. "His very last

appeal was Go and make disciples of all

nations. We have fasted and prayed. The

will of God is clear. He says to go now."

Narcissus accepted Christ through

the teaching of Barnabas. "Are you sure

weíre sending the right men?" she begs. "I

mean, no one teaches the Word with more

clarity than Barnabas. And Saul! Saul is the

best preacher anywhere. He can stand toe to

toe with the Jewish leaders better than any

of the rest of us. Have we considered the

implications of these strategic leaders both

leaving us at one time?" Other recent

converts repeat the question in their own


Lucius again lifts his hand and the

room falls silent. "Men, women, young

folk, listen. We cannot all stay here in

Antioch. Someone must go. Yes, losing

Barnabas and Saul is quite a sacrifice. From

a human standpoint it will be tough. Yet we

know that God is faithful. He has called and

He will provide. Let us put aside our fears

and unite behind this great vision, knowing

that the message of the crucified and risen


95 Theses of Church Planting 

Apologies to Martin Luther

(Compiled by Ron Gladden)

1. Christianity has always expanded through the multiplication of churches.

2. The apostles believed the multiplication of churches to be the pivotal cog

through which the power of God would be transferred into the world.

3. To remove church planting from the New Testament would delete virtually

all Scripture that emerged after Jesusí great commission in Matthew 28.

4. The gospel commission assumes aggressive, continuous and

spontaneous church planting.

5. Church planting is not a fad; itís a mandate.

6. Radical love for the lost drives us to plant new churches.

7. Church planting focuses our vision on the future rather than on the past.

8. The only way to predict the future is to create it through the planting of

new churches.

9. We can only hope to reach Americaís growing population through the

aggressive planting of new churches.

10. The true fruit of an apple tree is not another apple, but another apple tree.

11. Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the

apples in a seed.

12. The function of an apple is twofold: to provide nourishment today for one

person, and to provide for the nourishment of thousands in generations to


13. Signing up for church planting is signing up for sacrifice.

14. Church planters become experts in how to handle hardship.

15. The word Ďpassioní means to suffer. If you want to plant a church but you

arenít willing to suffer, itís not your passion.

16. Church planters learn how hard it is to plant a church the way deer learn

about deer-hunting season Ė they get shot.

17. Church planters never ask, "Is it easy?" They instead ask, "Is it Godís


18. Church planting requires an extra measure of faith in Godís sovereignty.

19. Church planters necessarily pray without ceasing.

20. Church planting attracts people with big hearts for the lost.

21. Church planting also attracts dysfunctional Christians.

22. Many lost people long to find God; new churches make it easier for them

to do so.

23. Lost people can tell when they are genuinely loved. Planting a church for

them is undeniable evidence.

24. Upon all who believe, God has placed the burden of raising up churches.

25. Church planting is not optional for Adventist Christians; itís our calling.

26. Not every individual is called to plant churches, but everyone is called to

pray and encourage those who do.



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