Thursday, January 22, 2015

Timothy Church

In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul writes, "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others". Do you see the process? Paul encourages Timothy to teach what Paul taught him to reliable people who will in turn teach others  - 4 generations!

I recently heard about the concept of a "Timothy Church" - one in which that same idea of generational growth (and therefore multiplication) is part of its DNA. It could also be called a training church, but that suggests we will be sitting in a classroom discussing Church Planting theory. Far from it - in a Timothy Church we learn how to plant multiplying churches by being a multiplying church. We don't talk about what a multiplying church might look like, we model it. So what will we do?

Initially we learn some vital skills - how to connect with people in our neighbourhood - those we know well and those we don't know at all. We learn how to identify "people and homes of peace" - God-prepared people, and how to share the Gospel with them. We learn how to train others in these same skills, and how to gather new believers into new churches.

As we meet as a Timothy Church, we learn by experiencing what someone recently called "Missional liturgy" - which includes worship, a time of mutual care and accountability, inductive Bible Study, practising what we have learned, then goal setting and prayer - a formula which has proven to be effective in aiding multiplying church planting movements across the world. I anticipate we will meet fortnightly, with the alternate week being spent out in the harvest. 

So what are we trying to achieve? Imagine six of us gathering as Timothy Church, and after a few weeks we have each planted a church in the homes of people we meet - six new churches. A couple of months later each of those churches has in turn planted a new church, and one has planted two - 13 new churches. In addition between us we have started a couple more Timothy churches, which plant six more churches - we are up to 25 now! Over time the multiplication DNA continues to be passed on - some people leave Auckland and move to other parts of the country or overseas, where they plant churches. Our vision for New Zealand is 2020 new churches planted by 2020 - and it has to start somewhere!

We will gather on Wednesday evenings - come any time after 5pm for food, then we'll dive into the serious stuff at 7pm. First one is on 18th February, then 4th March, 18th March, 1st April etc. If you have any questions, ask away. But don't come to just have a look - only come if you genuinely feel called to church plant, and to equip others to do the same.