Spontaneous Expansion


The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church

Allen's Spontaneous Expansion of the Church and the Causes that Hinder It is an essential companion volume to his Missionary Methods. The primary argument in Allen's work is that the Spirit would quite naturally lead men to work for the advancement of the gospel in such a way that the subsequent result would be new local churches. It is this 'spontaneous expansion' that we see as characteristic of the early Church, as well as Churches in countries antagonistic towards the gospel. Allen goes on to diagnose the current reality (which is anything but 'spontaneous expansion') as a result of fear. Our fear of the uncontrolled move of the Spirit of Jesus is what causes us to rely upon organizational principles to do what can only be done by the saint who is surrendered over to the Power of God.


steven hamilton said...

how do we engage others with their pre-programmed methodologies? have we lost our way?

Steven Schenk said...

I think we have stopped walking the way, but we haven't exactly lost it.

For me, I had all of the pieces present. I grew up in church, knew the scriptures, had experiences with the Spirit, had a measure of self-discipline, but lacked the bigger picture, and the settled intention to discipleship. I lacked these things primarily because no one taught them to me. I had all of the puzzle pieces, but had never seen the front cover, nor was I prepared to put them together (in fact, I did not know that they went together into any kind of comprehensive 'picture')

When I first showed up at the church in Redding, Pastor Mike's ministry had the effect of showing me the front of the puzzle box and asking me if I wanted to make that picture out of the pieces I had.

I think there are many in such a state; people who would want to make the puzzle, if only they knew that the pieces they held, actually came together to form a picture.

It is a matter of pointing out the disconnections between life and ministry. Pointing out the glaring character issues within the church. Pointing out the apathetic missional response of the Church. Pointing out the glory of the presence of Christ.

When people acknowledge these things, they hunger for more than what our 'pre-programmed methodologies' can give them. Then we talk about Jesus, discipleship, and the kingdom...