Missionary Church Plant Basics 02 - Innovative or Faithful
A short article about how both innovation and faithfulness are necessary, but if we must choose one or the other, ALWAYS go with being FAITHFUL; simply put the call of Christ's servant is always to faithfulness before innovativeness... In other words, the Lord's servant doesn't need to be an inventor of new things; he needs to be a follower, imitator, copier, even reformer, but not an innovator.
John McArthur says it well in Table Talk magazine from May 2017:
"Paul's charge to Timothy is carefully focused. He doesn't tell Timothy to be innovative. He doesn't encourage him to adapt his style to the fads and fashions of secular culture. He doesn't employ words life fresh, original, or imaginative, the verbal glue that binds so many twenty-first-century church-growth strategies together.
In fact, Paul gives Timothy practically the opposite mandate. It is a clear, narrowly defined directive. Timothy is to guard the deposit of truth he has received (1 Tim. 6:20; 2 Tim. 1:14) and pass it on, unmodified and unadulterated, to the next generation. Being an effective disciple-maker is not about being chic or creative. It's about faithfully guarding "the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3) and accurately transmitting it to another generation."
Practical Missions Cohort was birthed on the idea that what we have learned and received we are not to keep to ourselves but rather we are to teach it to others by involving God's people and equipping the saints to fruitful missions work. In our case, we are passing on not only the sound teaching of the Gospel in Scripture but the unique and increasingly less known task of Missionary (apostolic-style) Church Planting.
The temptation in our day is to be cool, trendy, and super-innovative, yet the task of the missionary is none of the that; it is faithfulness to the timeless message and method of Jesus Christ.
In the spirit of innovation not a few gospel ministers have gone astray from simple and sound church practices. We see this when church membership doesn't exist, for example, and as a consequence neither does church discipline... We see this every time being relevant in order to reach more for Christ has led to reaching more, yes, but with an altered gospel message based on prosperity and health; actually leading them not to Christ nor salvation but to a distorted understanding of God and salvation...
Innovation is helpful only when it doesn't drift away from the timeless method and message of Christ and His gospel as taught by the Lord Himself and evidenced in Acts of the Apostles. We welcome you with open arms to join in on what God is doing in Italy!
To God be the glory.