These Fruitful practices 12 suggestions are not standard practices or a strategy to dictate the manner in which a network of churches must be planted, yet the following Practices have proven Fruitful in many mission efforts that have resulted in the initiation of church planting movements.
FP 3: Form relationships with groups of non-christians in public settings. Relationships formed in disparate locations exposures one to language and culture variations.
A corollary: the depth of relationships with the people often determines the depth and breadth of contexualization of the message.
A major barrier to the gospel’s advance among unreached peoples is the perception that Christianity and the church are foreign – that one can’t at the same time be both a member of his or her ethnic group and a Christian. Many are convinced that to become a Christian is to reject one’s heritage.
FP 4: Learn and use the mother-tongue as the primary medium of communication and mother-tongue scriptures as the primary means of instruction.
PF 5: Study culture, through observation and dialog, looking for psyco-social-emotional needs that God has placed in the people. These will become bridges for the introduction of God’s redemptive message.
FP 6: Study culture looking for customs, behaviors, and relationships in which the Gospel can be embodied in a culturally authentic manner. Similarities and contrasts with revealed truth, redemptive analogies, parables, myths, even current events and vocabulary entomology become conduits that aid clear communication of Gospel.
FP 7: Formulate a contextualized Gospel message in the light of what has been learned from the study of the contemporary culture. Although there is one Gospel, different aspects of the Gospel are more meaningful to people depending upon their worldviews.
Converting individuals, or groups from the target ethnic group, does not automatically result in the planting of churches.
FP 8: As the first converts come to faith, they should become the dominant partners in the dialog and decision making concerning all aspects of church life, including what form the new congregations should take and where new churches are to be planted.
FP 9: After the first couple of churches are planted, subsequent plants should take place close to the mother churches so they can regularly nurture them.
FP 10: The congregational life and worship should be contextualized. That is, they should use culturally appropriate music, postures, and symbols. They should have functional substitutes for prominent cultural practices that are not scripturally acceptable in their entirety. They should also serve needs of the greater community.
FP 11: The Church Planter should help the new congregation to discover the gifts and acquire the proficiencies that will enable them to function and grow in the Lord, independent of the Church Planter.
FP 12: Leadership Training in a new church planting benefits greatly from a ‘leadership by extension’ or ‘apprenticeship’ format.
See my article defining key church planting terms: Unreached People Groups, Last Frontier People Groups, Bibleless People Groups and Scripture Use…Some Definitions