A Lay Member Church Planting Strategy for Unreached Areas in the West Tanzania Field
There seems to be a persistent tendency among church members to perceive ministry as the sole responsibility of the paid professional pastor: This is in contradiction with the New Testament concept of the priesthood of all believers (1 Pet 2:5, 9-10), which emphasizes that ministry is the function of the total church membership. The purpose of this research is to develop and implement a strategy to empower and involve lay people in ministry and mission in the West Tanzania Field.
Method. The methodology employed in the process of this research is threefold: (a) to examine Old and New Testaments texts on evangelism, (b) to discover what Ellen White, Adventist and other Christians authors say about lay people’s involvement in ministry and mission, and (c) to prepare material for training seminars to enable lay members to do a church plant in Kibirizi, Tanzania.
Results. During the implementation of the project, lay members were trained to engage in door-to-door visitation in Kibirizi, studied the Bible with the village interests, and baptized 18 new church members. A company was organized and a structure for worship was built.
Conclusions. When lay people are trained and when they catch a vision for church planting, God blesses their efforts, people learn of Jesus Christ, are baptized, and churches are established in unentered areas.