Mark Dever on the Great Comission and Church Planting
Here is a short outline C.J. Mahaney put together of Mark Dever’s discussion on the Great Commission and Church Planting. It is a beautiful thing to see very wise men humbling themselves, learning from others, and sharing what they’ve learned. Here is what C.J. Mahaney had to say:
The message was dense in content and Mark’s rate of speech was, as it normally is, warp speed. I’m saying you cannot comprehend all this with a single listen. But you can try by downloading the message here.
I doubt a single listen will be sufficient.
And here are a few notes and an outline that may help you follow along:
The Great Commission and Church Planting (Matthew 28:16-20)
March 25, 2011
Plant Conference (Glen Mills, PA)
Introduction: “I want to pose six questions to help us think about the Great Commission and church planting.”
Question 1: How are we to fulfill the Great Commission? “A true church is marked by the right preaching of the Word of God, and the right administration of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and the preaching of the gospel. In the lives of those baptized and coming to the Lord’s Supper then a corporate witness begins to appear. A church is planted as people begin to see this group of people as followers of Jesus.”
Question 2: What is the big picture? “We find that the big picture in the Bible, from Israel to the redeemed in heaven, seem to show us a pattern of God wanting to be known as faithful and having community around him which knows him and praises him as one who is faithful and just and true.”
Question 3: What has God done? “So God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is involved in church planting far more profoundly than any person in this room will ever be involved in church planting—far more profoundly than the Apostle Paul was involved in church planting! The church is not something which in the most fundamental sense is a human idea or a human creation, but it is fundamentally God’s idea and God’s work. This is what he is about. God is a great church planter.”
Question 4: What did the apostles understand? “Friends, the sort of church-centered ministry where you go out and evangelize, but you do it specifically with the hope and trust and understanding that God intends to bring these Christians back together in local churches, is what this book of Acts is full of.…The New Testament shows the Great Commission being fulfilled by church planting.”
Question 5: What does that mean for us? “Here are eight practical exhortations and implications aimed at pastors of churches:”
- Focus your mission efforts on church planting.
- Consider who you are sending out.
- Consider what you have trained them to do.
- Consider how you are going to support them.
- Build into your church culture a desire to see the kingdom of God expand in your area and beyond.
- Encourage other evangelical church planters around you.
- Consider reclaiming existing churches.
- Pray for the spread of healthy churches.
Here are five things I want to build into the culture of our church:
- Personal evangelism
- A desire to strengthen other churches broadly
- A desire to encourage gospel growth in my own area
Question 6: What is our goal in fulfilling the Great Commission? “The glory of God in the church.”
Conclusion: “The local church is where the authority of Christ is exercised. The local church is where disciples are made and baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The local church is where Christians are taught to obey everything Jesus commanded us. To this end, Christ promised us his Spirit until he returns. And so we see that church planting is the normal business of the local church. The Great Commission is normally fulfilled through church planting.”
(found via Sovereign Grace Ministries)