Lessons for New Churches - 2nd Edition
20 Bible studies for teams preparing to plant new churches.
It would seem foolish to attempt to make a definitive list of those issues of theology and practice which must be considered in the planning phase of a new church and those which can be ignored. Gathered here, however, are some of the key issues; those which should be considered before planting due to their foundational place in ministry and those which can easily distract Christians from ministry if they are over-looked. At any rate, this is one perspective on a helpful way forward.
This Second Edition concludes with 3 additional studies on aspects of evangelism from 1 Corinthians, reflecting the central importance of declaring the good news of Jesus through the life of a new church.
Sample questions from this study guide:
1. Write a one sentence definition of “church.” Share your definition with someone sitting near you.
2. Someone for whose salvation you have been praying has just become a Christian. They ask you to help them find a church close to where they live. Over several weeks you visit a number of churches with your friend, attending Sunday services and other groups during the week.
– What are the signs you look for in identifying a healthy church?
– What would you be hoping to see in the leaders of these churches?
Read Ephesians 4:1 – 16
3. What does Paul say the characteristics of a mature church will be?
4. In three verses (4 – 6) Paul uses the word “one” seven times; three times referring to God. How does the unity of God as Trinity shape our unity as the church?
5. What do the leaders identified in verse 11 have in common?
6. In what ways do these leaders contribute to a healthy church?
7. After reading the Apostle Paul’s words here, what do you think will be the likely difficulties for those who try to live the Christian life without being members of a local church?
8. If you had to summarise the message of Ephesians 4:1 – 16 in one sentence, what would you say?
Read 1 Peter 5:1 – 11
9. What personal characteristics does the shepherd image convey for someone in pastoral leadership?
10. What happens when these characteristics are absent from leadership?
11. Why do you think Peter refers here to Christ’s sufferings and the fact that he was a witness to them?
12. How is the leadership of those who oversee a church to be different from the dominant patterns of secular leadership we see exercised in our society?
Click the button above to download all 20 studies as a PDF.