Matthew 13:31-32 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”
I am convinced that Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed provides more clarity into church planting than any 300 page instruction book. Of course Jesus was the smartest man who ever lived, so he only needed 54 words. According to Jesus what we do is;
- Take the kingdom of heaven; its power, its values, it grace, the freedom and plant it in a community (a field)
- We sow it into that community through living it out, proclaiming it, demonstrating it and inviting people into it
- When the church is a reflection of the kingdom of God and not the world, its growth is inevitable (“when it grows”, not if it grows)
- In that community it becomes a tree, a place of refuge and rest for all peoples
Simple really, in every generation, in every place, plant a church that embodies the kingdom Jesus came to inaugurate and it will grow into a community where people find peace with God and restoration. If we are seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness I think we can relax a bit about everything else.