Should those planting churches overseas expect their work to unfold rapidly? That’s a question posed and answered by Mr. Clark.
- ‘Missionaries often start their journey into ministry with high expectations. Chief among them is a hope for fruit from their labors. However, it doesn’t take long for some to realize their dreams may not instantly translate into reality. Cultural differences shock the system. Language learning is slow and can frustrate a family. Team dynamics may erode. Early in the process, any sort of positive results might feel distant and unattainable.’
- ‘While the desire for God’s Word and his kingdom to advance is a good one (2 Thess. 3:1), we must be careful about burdening missionaries with unrealistic expectations. Current methodologies in missions such as Church Planting Movements (CPM) or Disciple Making Movements (DMM) are right to seek the expansive and exponential spread of the gospel. But strategies promoting rapid growth are sometimes built on faulty assumptions that create unhealthy expectations.’
- ‘However, it would be wrong to assume this is the standard. In fact, to do so tends toward chronological snobbery—as if the only reason for slow growth in the past was a lack of urgency or poor methodology. It also fails to reckon with the numerous instances in church history where expectations for rapid growth led to evangelistic manipulation and theological error.’
Read more here