Church Planting and Roland Allen

joelMy book writing projects for 2007-2008 are:

1. A book on church planting with a special emphasis on cell church planting (approximately 200 pages).

2. A smaller “how to” book on how to plant a cell church (approximately 95 pages).

I’ve been working on a cell church planting book for the last eight years and have a lot of material at this stage of the rough draft. I love this topic Roland Allenbecause church planting is the natural result of raising up a disciple (leader) who can make other disciples (new leaders). Some of those disciple-makers will want to continue the process all the way to starting a cell church plant.

As I’m going over this rough draft, I once again find myself in love with the writings of Roland Allen (1868 – 1947). Allen was born in England, the son of an Anglican priest but was orphaned early in life. Allen spent two periods in Northern China. These early experiences led him to a radical reassessment of his own vocation and the theology and missionary methods of the Western churches. Allen became an early advocate of establishing Churches which from the beginning would be self-supporting, self-propagating, and self-governing–rather than simply imitating Western Christianity.

Allen’s approach to Mission strategy for indigenous Churches is based on the study of Saint Paul’s missionary methods. He believed that Paul’s recognition of the church as a local entity and trust in the Holy Spirit’s indwelling within the converts and churches was the mark of his success. Allen felt that the people of his day were unable to entrust their converts to the Holy Spirit and rely on the Holy Spirit’s work in them. Allen wrote a MUST READ book called Missionary Methods: St Paul’s or Ours? which was first published in 1912.

He also wrote an excellent book called The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church. Allen’s view became increasingly influential, though Allen himself became disillusioned with the established churches. He spent the last years of his life in Kenya, establishing a church of his own. 

For the next few blogs, I’d like to include some of Allen’s key quotes and offer my commentary.


[please check out the source for the above picture of Roland Allen]

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