What does church planting look like in the 21st century in the African context?  Is the goal to plant more churches or is to plant new kinds of churches?  We already know that church planting isn’t just about numbers – it’s about the deep renewal of the church and the development of new ways of being the church that are biblically rooted and contextually appropriate …. specially for the African context.

The why, how, where, when, what and who questions were discussed at an open workshop with more than 50 leading pastors from the central parts of Mozambique.  Everyone agreed as Steven Loots from Harvesters International concluded that he was a firm believer that we need to be planting new Christian communities of faith in all sorts of contexts and places.  He challenged leadership that the mental image we already have of church may be different and that other images will make us wonder how we define church. Leaders learnt:

  • Churches planted should reflect deeply and continually on the cultural context in which churches are planted;
  • Church planting that attempts to incarnate the gospel into areas and people groups beyond the reach of existing churches;
  • Planting that encourages creative engagement with diverse communities.

In conclusion everyone summarized their feelings that they are convinced that church planting in AFRICA and across the world  is crucial for the continuing mission of the church and the health of the Christian community.  Steven discussed amazingly practical ways of making church work in Africa.  His contagious spirit and love for God and his church infected us all immediately. Leaders left equipped to immediately transform their communities by planting churches and doing practical friendship evangelism …. things the western church has somewhat forgotten …. ouch!

Here are some highlights on the workshop held in Chimoio: 

Charlie 9 ready for take-off to Beira International Airport.  If fact …. yes it is already in a lift-off position …. lights on…. engine roaring …. and slowly but surely ascending. 
In spite of the bad weather … everyone arrived back safely at the Mucombeze National Aerodrome!
Looked like the pilot worked extremely hard … or the cockpit leaked.  From left to right:  Raymond Lombaard (Wheels for God), Dwight Lagore (C9 pilot) and Steven Loots (Harvesters International)
Visiting on the veranda in the bush – priceless in the African style.  Braaivleis and big stories!
Ray Lombaard teaching evangelism as part of the church planting workshop.
It rained a lot during the workshop – but it didn’t stop these boys from catching a quick bath outside.
Steven Loots sharing strategy with Joao Benjamim as interpreter.  Harversters International planted more than 16 000 churches in Malawi alone in the last couple of years.
Geography and Theology meeting each other.  Pastors are trained to map their areas of influence.
A happy and well equipped group of pastors ready to plant new churches.