By Maricel Ibanez
A rich harvest requires two important elements: a wise farmer and a fertile soil. To ensure that harvest laborers understand these keys in sowing and reaping, a Church Planting Movement (CPM) seminar was conducted at EFC- Mati City on June 25 and 26.
A total of 31 participants from the host church, EFC-Mati, and its outstation churches were taught by Reverends Gregorio and Rosario Simpas, the seminar speakers.
According to Pastor Gregorio, CPM started because of a man who built 200 churches in three months, and in one year, more than 53 thousand people were baptized in those churches. What was his strategy for such exponential church growth?
The man’s church planting strategy was not a secret grand new idea. It all started back to Jesus and his 12 apostles. These 12 were so keen in following their Master’s footsteps that thousands could be saved in just one sermon, as exemplified by Apostle Peter.
Pastor Gregorio carefully expounded each ingredient for such abundant harvest: TRAINING, PASSION, CO-LABORERS, ACCOUNTABILITY, and SKILLS. Without these, the opposite- CONFUSION, ANXIETY, FRUSTRATION, MIXED RESULTS and SLOW PROGRESS result.
Pastor Rosario, for her part, talked about “Discipleship Revolution”. This topic centers on the Art of Evangelism which focuses on the enjoyment of relating with new believers. Pastor Rosario encouraged the pastors and workers to have the fire of preaching and sharing the love of God. If the servants of God now have fire in their hearts in what they do, then the next generation follows, Pastor Rosario said.
When we invest, we can surely claim results. Pastor Rosario emphasized that “the harvest is plentiful” now, so there is no reason for God’s people to sit back and said, “Not yet Lord! I’m not ready” to win souls. We are living before the rapture, a time full of love and grace, therefore many hearts convicted by the Spirit of love and grace would respond to our message, said Pastor Rosario.
In the parable of the sower, Jesus Christ talks about a “good ground” which receives the seeds and brings forth great harvest. This kind of ground symbolizes the “Person of Peace”. The second day of the seminar was devoted to the topic of finding and meeting this person. Pastor Gregorio said that, “finding a person of peace can help us plant new churches”. This person is the one prepared by the Holy Spirit with a heart so hungry for God’s words. He is the person who will open his life and even his home and direct his family, relatives, and neighbors or friends to the saving knowledge of God’s Word.
It is important for every church planter to pray for the Holy Spirit to lead him or her to this key person. The Christian must be courageous, confident and prepared to share the convicting message of the Gospel to everyone. Anyone we talk to could be this Person of Peace just waiting for us, said Pastor Rosario.
On the other hand, if this person doesn’t immediately show up, the Christian has other powerful means of evangelism. The first is the Presence which means God’s light illuminating in our own lives. This is God’s anointing in us which draws people to God’s love. The second is Power which is the gift of the Holy Spirit such as healing to those physically or emotionally sick. The third is Proclamation or the continuous preaching of the Gospel so that faith will come to those who keep hearing it. Proclamation is also simply talking about His words to anyone at any time.
According to Proverbs 10:4,“lazy hands make a man poor but diligent hands bring wealth”. This verse reminds every Christian that laziness makes our life miserable, but a man who is busy investing his time in God’s will and work deserves wealth that comes from heaven.
Isaiah 6:8-9 say, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” and Isaiah said “Here am I. Send me!”
As Pastor Rosario said, may we be the Isaiah of our generation.