Dr. Thom Wolf is one of the modern-day leaders in the re-examination of scripture which has been part of the foundation of modern church planting movements. Here is his in-depth article on Oikos Evangelism which examines anthropology and biblical perspectives on this crucial issue.
Oikos Evangelism – Thom Wolf
- Outside leaders model (reproducible by insiders); equip; watch; leave and support from afar. Outside leaders introduce new concepts that are contextualized by inside leaders. Outside leaders deculturalize, inside leaders contextualize.
- Inside leaders: keep all things reproducible by inside leaders and directed/lead by inside leaders (2 Timothy 2:2)
- Self-supporting, local leaders start and sustain all work – including groups, fellowships, and churches. Self-supporting may mean the worker has a job or business. This improves access and breaks down the un-Biblical barriers between clergy and laity (outside funds that often create dependency are avoided as much as possible). Outside money?
- Develop leaders through on job training (Philippians 4:9). Discipleship and Leadership Education and Training are “on the job,” continuous and primarily through mentoring. This builds communities that hold each other accountable for obedience to the Word of God.
- Education increases Knowledge though teaching. The focus is on knowledge.
- Training increases Skill Sets primarily through coaching. The focus is on the task and behaviors or character of the workers.
- Equipping increases Capacity through mentoring relationships. The focus is on the person, helping individuals become all that God has called them to be.
Reproducing leaders is crucial – a CPM is really a leadership development movement.
- Churches are discipled oikos’ that becomes obeying congregations (usually meeting in homes) who transform families and communities.
- Scripture and Holy Spirit are all they need (Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 14:26) to establish self-replicating Disciples, leaders, and churches. Church Planting is an act of God through His Spirit and His people who are obedient to the Word and the Spirit.
- These new believers together begin the process of discerning how to redeem local culture. Do not import external culture, but allow them to redeem local culture by embracing all they Biblically can in a culture and allowing obedience to the Word to transform/redeem the rest.
- They need to reach out beyond their culture/group (Mat 28:18-20). Reaching Out to “ALL” segments of society becomes a part of the group DNA as a result of obedience to the Great Commission (missions) and the Great Commandments.
Help new churches begin reproducing immediately.
- Disciple lost oikos’ to commitment to Christ over the course of some weeks (make disciples not converts) – a Discovery Group will listen and learn from the Father (John 6:44-45) by coming to love and obey God through Bible stories from Creation to Christ.
See this post for suggestions on what to do if they want to make an immediate decision.
- Teach them to love Jesus and obey His commands (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, John 14:15, Matthew 28:20). Teach obedience to the Word, not to human doctrines and traditions.
- Group Process: help the group learn together and share leadership and accountability. Groups/Communities learn more quickly, remember more things and remember them better, replicate more quickly and when correctly established protect against heresy and bad leadership.
- Persecution is normal and prepared for (John 15:20, Luke 21:12-19).
Help those becoming disciples begin reproducing immediately.
1. How are you searching for Persons of Peace (Luke 10)? Are you following this pattern Jesus used to send out the 12 and 72?
2. Are you trying to share the gospel with groups instead of individuals? How? Have you encouraged believers to follow the web of their own oikos (family &friends) relationships to share what they are learning about God? (John 1:43-49)
3. To what degree have you helped new seekers and believers to tells other people what they are learning and doing to follow God? (Lk 15; Acts 2:14-41; 13:16-43)