Thursday, August 21, 2008
According to the author, none of the usual reasons for planting a church is sufficient in itself: obedience to the Great Commission; conducting evangelism more effectively; communicating more relevantly; conducting research and development in new church styles; establishing bases to reach more people; reaching future generations; and impacting existing churches. The only real reason worth starting a church is to achieve transformation in the lives of people and communities. So the dreaming should start not with the church, but with the people outside the church.
Chapter 8 encourages us to start with the society, not the church, and to think like a community developer. We need to know what is going on in the society in the domains of economics, agriculture, education, medicine/science/technology, communication, arts/entertainment, governance/justice and family. Churches emerge when the gospel intersects these domains and people begin to follow Christ.
National evangelist Michael Willingham is continuing to receive more attention as his ministry reaches internationally. Evangelist Willingham is a revivalist of many years. He left a long and successful pastoral and translocal ministry to follow his passion for an evangelistic ministry that spans denominations, and now continents.
In late 2005 and early 2006 God began to deal with his heart with a Missionary/Evangelism call for the churches in America. He sincerely felt that God was desiring to send a revival of awakening, refreshing and encouragement to the church in America. He felt that God desired to use our gifts/calling to further this call to awakening.
In March of 2006 he resigned the church he was serving in Louisville, Kentucky and began this walk of faith. God has rewarded in many ways with wonderful outpourings of the Holy Spirit. People are being healed, both physically and emotionally; saved, delivered, encouraged and baptized in the Holy Spirit. Evangelist Willingham desires to be an instrument in the hand of God as He reaches out to the people of our world. He recently stated, "God is releasing His love, grace and mercy in some awesome ways and we want to share His Good News everywhere we go."
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