In this paper we will endeavor to explain and show the purpose of the modern day church and to purpose a cross-cultural church planting strategy to reach our American culture with its wide variety of cultures, modernism, secularism and atheism while showing the planning that goes into the beginning stages of reaching the modern American culture with the Gospel of Jesus while explaining how the beginning of our church history can give us a path to reach our generation for Jesus. Body History can give us insight and help when planning for what God wants to do in the future. It is vital thatwe look at history so that we can learn from it and lean from the right things and not repeat the wrong things. As the saying goes that those who do not know their history is doomed to repeat it, and we want to repeat what happened at the day of Pentecost where people were changed and the disciples reached their known world of that time. When we are looking at a culture in America which is changing so rapidly and not for good, we need to look at history for clues of what needs to happen and/or what could happen.
We are in America desperate need for a reformation. One of the key people in history important to look at is Martin Luther who was considered the father of the reformation. The world at the time of Luther needed a reformation the corruption in the church and society and the cry of the people for help in some ways is similar to what is going on in modern day America. Luther was adamant that the church must begin and end with the Word of God and that Jesus was the Word made flesh. 2 Luther believed that Jesus Christ created the Bible and the church and therefore it was impossible for the church to create the Bible because it was the inspired Word of God. The Bible was the one and only authority of the Church and nothing else compared. His beliefs lead him into conflict with the Catholics who believed hat they had the authority over the church. Out of this belief in the Word of God came all of His other theological teachings such as salvation by grace, the sacraments of the church, the law and the gospel, and the cross. 4 His belief that he did not have to work for God’s approval but that it was given to him freely by grace and this was a starting point for all of his other views to really take shape. In so doing this he found a boldness to stand up for his beliefs and Went down in history when he nailed the Ninety-Five Thesis to the door of the Church at Wittenburg. There was new technology taking place namely he invention of the printing press and the world was growing and moving forward. 6 In America today, there are churches that are adopting and accepting things that are contrary to the Word of God and those who stand up for truth are considered non-tolerant of others. Technology is growing by leaps and bounds with new ways to reach and indoctrinate people. There are no new leaders of the church on the horizon that can make an impact and our fathers of the faith who help lead many moves of God our dying. The people are crying out for help and other than politicians, Christians are too busy with their own lives or think someone else can do it.
Ungodly people are taking over our schools and our government. Atheists are advertising against God in a country founded on Godly principles. America needs a reformation and returning to the heart of God, the word of God and a supernatural move of God. “Purpose is the original intent in the mind of the creator… “7 No one knows a new culture or a changing culture like the one who created America and the people in the beginning. In order to bring reformation we must get into the heart of God. As believers who long fora move of God we want to jump in without getting our marching order. Proverbs 19:21 says Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the Lord will stand. 8 Just like Martin Luther we must get into the word, get Into the heart and mind of the character of God so we can understand what to do and how to do it. No one understands our modern American culture like God does, and no one can have a complete plan without His purpose. God is a strategic God who thinks in terms Of generations, so our culture has not confused Him, maybe hurt because of His love for us, but not confused Him. God came up with the missions plan to reach the world from the beginning of time we could not ask nyone better to begin reaching modern America. It says in Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 9 If we want to know how to do this God laid out the plan right in His word in Matthew 69-13; for our purpose we are going to look at verses 9-10 which says, “Pray, then in this way: Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. ” 10 In a new and changing culture that we do not know or understand all of as yet, we do know that God’s desire is for His ingdom to come and His will to be done in this new modern day American culture with its modernism, secularism and atheism running rampant and the melting pot of various countries and religions colliding. Many times we forget the already laid out plans of the Lord. Dr. Larry Lea puts it this way, “We want God’s priorities to become established in our lives, but so often ‘the tail wags the dog. Someone has called it ‘the tyranny of the urgent,’ meaning we allow many things that cause us anxiety and trouble to crowd out the important things, things that should be given top priority. “ll Once we get the heart and lan of God We must study the demographics Of where We Want to reach. We need to take up the mantle in a sense of Martin Luther knowing that we could be prosecuted and killed in the process, of boldness to make a difference in this culture. David Hesselgrave says, “We should be carrying on the same basic ministry at home and abroad. “12 Right now in America it is almost like going to a foreign county to do ministry and many of the same principles apply.
As a church planter in America we need to understand the spiritual, economical, substance abuse and community strongholds that are in the community we want to minister too. Each area is going to be different; an inner-city Chicago, New York and Dallas will all be different from each other and extremely different from small town IJSA. An article written by Bob Jones IJniversity regarding says that demographics and statistical data is a “vital component in planning church planting. “1 3 Once we understand the demographics of the new and changing culture in a specific area we need to work on assimilation. Assimilation is the methodical intention of engaging a second culture to become a member of that society. 4 When looking at making a difference it important for the believer wanting to make a difference o understand acculturation along with the skills, behaviors and values of the environment in which they will be serving. If it is not understood the message of the Gospel could fall flat and not be effective as it could have been. God can still use it, but it is more difficult. Next is the assimilation of the community of people. In order to help bring in the people believers must understand the culture’s worldview, the values, the normal of that community and its essence; in other words the core of that culture with all of its “system Of beliefs” which becomes the blueprint Of the community. 5 When a believer as understood their need to assimilate and the communities need for assimilation, they must take everything they have learned, “way of life, design of living way of coping with biological, physical and social environment,” 1 6 and without losing the integrity and message of the Gospel message reach out to the community showing Jesus. We must show the truth, His love, His servant’s heart and the power of God as well. In the process we must earn the trust of the people. Elmer states it this way, “Trust is the ability to build confidence in a relationship so that both parties believe the other will not ntentionally hurt them but will act in their best interest. 17 Martin Luther and many of the other reformation and world changers were zealous for the kingdom of God and to see the lost won to Jesus. Many times to reach a new or changing culture we must let go of what we think we know and reach across lines without compromising the message for the sake of seeing people saved. True assimilation is the sacrificing of yourself for the sake of brining others to Jesus. First we get the plan of God, then we learn the demographics, we understand assimilation and then we also learn and understand the power of the Holy Spirit. God promised to give us the power to be witnesses and “When God makes a promise, He keeps it, and we had better pay attention to how it applies to us. ” 18 God never changes and His plans have not changed over the years.
He longs to see people come to Him and as such he gives us everything we need to reach and be reformation starters in communities all across America. The Holy Spirit is alive and well today just as He was on the day of Pentecost. Menzies and Horton explains it this way, “The Spirit is a source of love, zeal and state of heart that enables us to serve the Lord acceptably, with ‘spiritual fever’ (Romans 12:1 1), a fever that is oiling, burning, aglow with the Holy Spirit. In fact we must be careful not to put out the Spirit’s fire by rejecting or demeaning the Spirit’s supernatural manifestations (1 Thessalonians 5:19-20). “19 We must have the power of the Holy Spirit to see a reformation start and change our country.
Many people want to go back to the way America use to be, it is not going to happen but we can bring reformation and change that will impact our culture and our future as well as the world. Conclusion We need a reformation in the united States of America. We need men and women who will stand up for what they believe and nail the modern day Ninety-Five Thesis to the wall of our churches, government buildings and on line through our technology. Who are willing to pray for revival, get into the heart God and march into battle in the realms of the Spirit using the power of the Holy Spirit to speak in this modern day language of the gospel of Jesus.
We need them to be willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the gospel, study the demographics and assimilate into the culture without losing the integrity of the message of Jesus. These are the things that will stand against the strongholds of the enemy and allow the kingdom of God to advance in he culture laden, modernist, secularist, atheistic and religion compacted society that we now find is modern day America.