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March 2023 New Horizons

A Seed Must Die to Bear Fruit

 

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A Seed Must Die to Bear Fruit

No Congregation an Island

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A Seed Must Die to Bear Fruit

Rev. Lacy Andrews has served the Presbytery of the Southeast as its regional home missionary since 2002. A number of years ago, he was talking with a friend about the church-planting model that sometimes operates under the name “Church Growth Movement.” Those who use the method set their focus on “seeker sensitive” worship and believe that unbelievers’ interests should take a prominent place in arranging services of worship. Andrews and his friend did not endorse this approach. But in the conversation, his friend asked a penetrating question that has remained with Andrews ever since: “When will they [those who promote the seeker sensitive approach] ever tell their people that they have to die?” At a recent meeting of regional home missionaries, Andrews presented an insightful and convicting talk about mission work culture, drawn from John 12:20–26 and Matthew 20:1–16. To gain the most from this article, consult the biblical texts and their contexts along the way. Whether or not you ... Read more

No Congregation an Island

Congregations in our denomination are fortified by both the connectedness of regional churches and the cooperation of individual churches within the regional church. That is the beauty of our local, regional, and denominational structure—it creates a framework of relationships dependent on and supportive of each other. That interdependent framework is on full display the first week of November each year, when regional home missionaries and presbytery representatives from across the country gather for the Committee on Home Missions Regional Church Extension Conference (ReChEx). The conference is designed to give participants time to review the work of home missions in each presbytery, study biblical principles related to the establishment of new churches, and submit requests for the support of mission works. When regional home missionaries and others gather, something of the work of God seems to flavor nearly every conversation. There’s a feedback loop of praise, rejoicing in the Lord, and mutual ... Read more

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