St. Patrick’s Day and Church Planting
A FEW YEARS AGO, I read about the life and ministry of St. Patrick in a book called The Celtic Way of Evangelism.
At the age of 16, Patrick was taken off the shores of England as a slave and then sold to someone in Ireland. It was while in Ireland, his heart was open to the reality of God. Upon his escape from slavery, he returned to his homeland and it was there he pursued the ministry and became a priest. At the age of 48, he felt God’s tug on his heart to return to Ireland with the gospel. Even though he had been enslaved as a young man in Ireland, God gave him a deep love and burden for the people of that country.
You know what they say. The rest is history. He returned to Ireland and God used him in an amazing way. As a result of his ministry, over 700 churches were planted in Ireland and the gospel spread throughout Western Europe as a result.
It was from this book that I was exposed to the principle of “Belong – Believe – Become.”
No matter who you are or where you come from, we want you to know that you BELONG
If you hang out long enough with us, you will BELIEVE because you will see Jesus in us.
Once you believe, God will clean up your life and you will start to BECOME more like him.
This was the ministry style of Patrick. Through the love of Christ, he created an environment of belonging that allowed the message of the gospel to sink in and be heard. This has marked my mind and heart as I think of doing ministry here at WEFC and in New England.
When Patrick came to Ireland it was uncivilized, tribal and pagan. But through planting churches, God changed their lives and their culture. If God can do that in a pagan culture like Ireland, he can surely do that in “a post-Christian-unreached people group” like New England.
It has long been established that planting churches is the best method of evangelism. And furthermore, in New England, we are far from being saturated with churches. Research shows that even if every church in America were healthy and growing, the present number of churches could not adequately evangelize America. In fact, the current increase in churches is only a quarter of what we need to keep up with population growth.
To whatever degree you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, allow it to be an opportunity to pray for more churches to be planted in New England.
- Pray for Steve & Olivia Durgin and Dave & Jo Rucquoi, our church planting residents. Pray for effective training and for God’s leading in their lives.
- Pray for Pastor Mike as he trains our church planting residents.
- Pray that God would use WEFC to plant more churches in CT and New England.
- Pray for other groups in our area who are actively planting churches in the region.
- Pray for 700 more churches to be planted throughout New England.
God did it before. Why not again?
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