I was greatly challenged at our Gospel DNA National Ministry Conference with Richard Coekin.
Richard emphasised many things, but mostly the need for church planting and church rejuvenation.
Richard compared the lack of church planting to the tragedy surrounding the Titanic’s sinking.
The luxury steamship RMS Titanic sank in the early hours of April 15, 1912, off the coast of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic after sideswiping an iceberg during its maiden voyage. Of the 2,240 passengers and crew on board, more than 1,500 lost their lives in the disaster.
Several factors made the tragedy so much worse than it could have been.
1. Not enough life boats
Titanic only carried enough lifeboats for 1,178 people.
We do not have enough churches in South Africa to cater for the huge number of spiritually lost people, heading for a Christ-less eternity.
2. The crew was not trained to handle the life-boats
The crew had not been trained adequately in carrying out an evacuation.
Many of the churches in South Africa are pastored by those untrained in evangelism and theology. Many are teaching falsehoods in the name of Christianity.
In many churches, the gospel is unclear and the Bible is badly taught.
3. Greater chance of survival if you where richer
Third class passengers had to find their way through a maze of corridors and staircases to reach the boat deck.
They were largely left to fend for themselves, causing many of them to become trapped below decks as the ship filled with water.
First and second class passengers were most likely to reach the lifeboats as the boat deck was on the first and second class promenade.
Many denominations have been good at planting churches in the richer suburbs, but bad at planting churches in the poorer townships and the urban inner cities.
4. Half empty lifeboats
Many half-full lifeboats refused to turn back for survivors, fearing they would be swamped by desperate people trying to escape the icy seas.
They only returned once the screaming stopped.
The first lifeboat to leave was designed to hold 65 people; it left with only 28 aboard.
Many half-full churches are comfortable with their existing membership and would hate to have all the problems that newcomers may bring.
What is the answer?
The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:15,
“For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.”
We want God’s grace to extend to more and more people!
Therefore, we are compelled to:
1. Plant more churches
2. Train more pastors and leaders in Evangelism and Bible-handling
3. Plant more churches in poor, impoverished areas
4. Rejuvenate stale, comfortable churches
Pray to the Lord of the church that He will build his church.