A few months ago it fell on me to give the rebuttal case to church planting movement strategy. I prepped a list of my top objections and presented them even though I am personally not on board with these critiques. The entire conference was captured on video and will soon be made available on the Pioneers website.
Jerry Trousdale, author of Miraculous Movements: How Hundreds of Thousands of Muslims Are Falling in Love with Jesus, was on hand to give the main presentations. He and I will be videotaping a follow-up session on these objections.
Here’s the list if you are interested:
- Too much emphasis on methodology – do we believe in the Holy Spirit anymore? This is a “silver bullet” approach that replaces the importance of why we do things with the how.
- Teaching and preaching is paramount in scripture and overlooked in this strategy. Person of Peace is not common but preaching is, why the imbalance?
- Unbelievers should not lead Discovery Bible Studies. If you are of the Reformed camp this is particularly important.
- You raise expectations that will later on be smashed by the realities of frontier missionary work.
- This is only happening in a few select places and there are 3,000+ unengaged UPGs, let along all the 7,000+ UPGs that have yet to be reached. Anybody could plant churches in these few places: Ethiopia, Siera Leone, N. India, and China (among the Han).
- There is little contextualization in a method that is to be used in many people groups with little modification.
- You are creating an environment in which heresy will multiply.
- The numbers are suspect at best, downright lies at worst.
- Church definitions are very loose.
- The examples are cherry picked and only focus on the “last few years” when in fact, these UPGs have a long, long history of missionary suffering and contribution. Why don’t we also focus on this longer time frame?
- This focuses on the “easy” places in terms of receptivity. It is a “going where God is working” approach when the need is to go to the spiritual deserts of the world.
- Why the emphasis on speed: what’s the big deal about going fast? Should going deep be a more strategic approach?
- This is no more than a fad (typically accompanied by a statement like, “I have been in missions a long time…”).
Keep in mind that there are good rebuttals to these rebuttals!