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  • Writer's pictureW. Austin Gardner

How to plant an indigenous church 8

God's men are to be taken care of financially by the people that they serve. Truth doesn't change when you cross a country's boundaries. In Matthew 10:8-10, we see that the workman was worthy of his meat. They were not to provide for themselves but to allow the people they ministered to take care of them.

In Galatians 6:6, We find that those who receive the ministry become partners to share the ministry.

In I Timothy 5:17-18, we see that the spiritual leader that does a good job is worthy of double honor. God's people were never to stop the laborer from being taken care of.

Paul recognized that God's people had done well when they met his needs through their offering Philippians 4:14

The first comment almost everyone makes is that even though Paul preached that the preacher should live of the gospel, he did not practice it. However, you will find a verse below where he realized that he had been wrong. If the missionary does everything for them and is not careful to make them carry all the responsibility they can, he will damage the work of God. The result will be considered inferior to what it is. They will also feel inferior to other churches. Paul did make tents, but here he says to the church where he made tents: "Forgive me the wrong of not being a burden to you."

Paul failed the church, making them inferior because he was not a burden to them II Corinthians 12:13

The preacher, pastor, or worker must learn to sacrifice and pay whatever price necessary to do the work of gospel lest he be a hireling. While the worker is willing to suffer, the people must take the responsibility of caring for their pastor. Please remember to be careful when you teach the national about living by faith. Be careful not to make him a hireling nor to teach him to lust after what others have.

Every Christian worker must learn to be content with what God gives them. They must learn to abound and suffer need. Philippians 4:11-12

All must learn that we only need the minimums to be content they are obeying Scripture I Timothy 6:8

If the missionary has taught them to be self-governing and then self-supporting, they can then reach the status of a real indigenous church when they reach out and start another local church, telling them how to do the work. They have learned and can now do the job. The missionaries' job is to start a church that can start churches. Therefore he must teach and prepare them for a great work. Until they know how to make decisions and seek God's face, they will not teach others to do so. Until they can support their pastor, pay the church's expenses, and give to missions, they will not be able to reach out and do it in another place. We have not reached indigenous status until we fulfill the great commission and go into the whole world. Many churches in the United States have not indeed reached the point of even doing this. However, we must consider that if we are ever to evangelize a country with the gospel, the nationals will have to do it, and to do so, they will have to have the tools to do so. That means they will have to have an indigenous church that can and is doing the work of winning, baptizing, and training people to do the job. The goal is that without the missionary or the United States or outside help, one day, the national church will begin another national or international church using its own money and its personnel.

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