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  • Writer's pictureW. Austin Gardner

How to plant an indigenous church 7

The people must be taught and trained to the point that they can make decisions, follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit and call their pastors. They will not be able to do so until they learn the basic principles from the word of God and how to apply them. Train up a church in the way it should go, and when it is indigenous, it will not depart from it.

The indigenous church is also self-supporting. That means that the church must mature to the point that they can pay all of their bills and support their pastor. For this reason, you must begin to teach them to tithe and give from day one.

The missionary must not do their giving because he feels sorry for their poverty. Much of their poverty is because they do not know God's word and have not learned to tithe and give. They must be taught precisely what God says about that. The church must learn to pay its pastor, and it must have a pastor. Many missionaries who were never full-time pastors and have never started a church in the States do not seem to understand the pastor's plight.

If the missionary is to live of the gospel, the pastor is to live of the gospel. Having the people learn how to tithe in no way hurts them. If God's word is accurate for the missionary, it is valid for the national. If tithing works in the United States, it will work overseas. It calls for much sacrifice and faith, but they will never learn what it means to serve God without that.

The missionary must teach the church members the importance of the work of God and, therefore, of the man of God. The office of the pastor must be magnified. The church members must be taught that their pastor is to live of the gospel. We must also be careful to explain all from the word of God.

Often the missionary sees the full-time pastor as something of our culture that will never work in a foreign country. Consider a few thoughts from the scriptures and also everyone's favorite argument for the working pastor.

I Corinthians 9 finds that Paul the apostle was not making the churches pay his way, but Peter--Cephas not only was a burden to the churches but carried his wife with him.

Paul wants to know if only he and Barnabas do not have the right to be full-time preachers because he implies the rest are not "working."

The verse says that the Lord ordained that they live of the gospel should live of the gospel. That leaves the believer without the option of doing what he wants. The word "ordained" means; "command, appoint, ordain, set in order, give order, to arrange, prescribe." (Strong's)

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