TO: Partners in PA Church Planting
RE: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, But Is This Only the Beginning?!
Attached is a picture of the Valley Cities’ church of Christ—our brothers and sisters in Christ. May the Lord be praised!
Arthur Barry (evangelist) has a vision of the Valley Cities’ congregation planting another congregation in Towanda, PA (the county seat of Bradford County, PA with population of 2900 people) and he is not asking our permission!! Why? It is because Jesus has already given, not only His permission, but His mandate (cp. Matt.28:18-20). May the Lord be praised!! If that dream comes to fruition, it would cause us to think of the Valley Cities’ church as germinal—a church that plants churches that will, in turn, plant other churches!! Let us get church properties and church buildings out of our minds and center our attention on souls. Those churches can meet in fire halls, libraries, homes, or in hundreds of different locations. For someone to insist, “Well, the community will not respect or pay attention to a group meeting in a fire hall,” let us consider that the earlier church (very accustomed to synagogues, idol temples, etc.) grew relationally without church buildings for the first 200 or more years of Christianity!
Alan Hirsch offers the following illustration: If you cut a tentacle off an octopus, did you know it can grow another tentacle? If you cut an arm off a starfish, did you know it can grow another arm? But, did you know that the arm you cut off the starfish can grow an entirely new starfish as well!? Why?? Because every part of a starfish has all the DNA to reproduce another starfish!!
Is that why the reproduction process of modern day Christians has come to a near halt? Is it because we believe the professional preachers are the only ones who can reproduce themselves? Every Christian has the essential spiritual DNA to produce another Christian. Every congregation of the Lord’s church has all the essential spiritual DNA to reproduce germinal congregations that can reproduce themselves over and over again.
When you look at the attached picture, may we be challenged that this can be only the beginning.
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