The Church You Leave Behind
Definition of a “church” by Radius International
What do we mean by the goal of “planting a church among an unreached language group?” The answer to that question is a complex one, but a crucially important one. The church left behind will be the ongoing message-bearing people who will carry the responsibility for making disciples throughout their entire people group, and beyond!
- Believers from a cross-section of the community. A group that encompasses men, women, young, and old who have individually understood their sins have been forgiven based solely on what Christ accomplished on the cross. The church is made up of an understanding driven/Christ confessing group of people. Believers…Acts 2:38-41, 11:25,26, I Cor. 12:12-13, Eph. 1:13, I Thess. 1:9, Not just a family… Acts 6:1, 9:31, 13:1, Rom. 2:1,17, I Cor. 1:10-12
- Tangible spiritual life. There is genuine fruit of spiritual life. The various gifts that allow for fellowship, forgiveness, sharing of means, sharing of their faith and discipling of new believers all happen among them at a level that is unique to these Christ followers. These are not culturally driven habits but responses to being the people of God. Acts 2:42-44, Rom.12:1-2, I Cor. 12:7, II Cor. 8:1-4, Gal. 5:22-24 I Thess. 1:7,8 Titus 2:1-8 I Pet. 1:13-16, I Jn. 2:5,6
- New biblical identity. The Christ-following community has a growing awareness and allegiance to their oneness in Christ. That awareness is allowing them to see their relationship to other Christ followers as eclipsing their previous religious, clan, political, or even family relationships. Lk. 8:19-21 14:25-26, Acts 2:42-45, I Cor. 3:1-9 12:25-26, Eph. 2:14-17, I Pet. 2:9,10
- Testimony to the community. Those outside the community of faith (non-believers) have some sense of the difference between them and those who make up the church. The church has an identity. Those churches existing in hostile situations have a valid understanding of the costliness, and where needed, a preparedness to endure the cost of being known as Christ followers. 15:18-21, 16:1-4, Acts 5:12-14, I Thess. 1:6-8, II Tim. 3:12, I Pet 4:4
- Submission to God’s Word. The Word of God is seen as solely authoritative in matters of faith, life, marriage, culture and other areas that it speaks to. 1:6-9 Col 3:16, I Thess. 2:13, II Tim 3:16,17 Heb. 4:12, I Pet 1:23, Rev 22:18,19.
- Teaching of God’s Word. The teaching of Gods’ Word is regular and central to their times of corporate life, prayer, worship, and an awareness and practice of Christian ordinances are observed corporately. Acts 8:12,36 16:33; Luke 22:14-22, I Cor. 14:29-33, Col. 1:28 II Tim. 4:1,2
- Recognized leadership. Recognized leaders who shepherd, teach, encourage, protect, rebuke, and when needed, take the lead in Church discipline. Acts 6:2-4 14:23 20:28, I Tim 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9 Heb. 13:7,17, I Peter 5:1-4.