LFTF: Episode 4

Published 24th March 2015 - Todd Gerst | Series: Lessons From the Field

In episode 4 of Lessons from the Field we talk with Todd Gerst, a church planter and Bible translator who worked among the Maleu people in Papua New Guinea (See the video His Gift to Gie). He and his wife Karen spent 15 years working with the Maleu people seeing several churches established, elders appointed, and the fruit of new birth apparent in countless lives. Todd is now Lead Pastor at Warsaw Community Church in Indiana, USA. We asked the question:


What would you say is the single biggest factor in effective church planting in a least-reached people group?

What would you say is the single biggest factor in effective church planting in a least-reached people group? That is a hard question. I think my answer has changed over the last few years. I once would have said relationships with the people that you're believing that God wants to reach in and through you. I would say today, as I've been more reflective and have seen more of what it does take and what's required, it's nothing short of your life. I don't mean just the chronological age of you living there. It's your life and seeing your life transformed. The incarnational model that Jesus Christ himself gave. Of coming and living with a people and being Christ to the world. I believe that's the biggest challenge in reaching a people group or seeing a church established. Is for those that are going to minister to model that and be incarnational as He was, to reflect Christ in their own life. You think about what we can expound on then is you think about what His life was like. How He loved, how He served, His view of leadership, His view of teaching, and how He was a master teacher. How He was a master-disciple, all of those things come from lifting up Christ in our own lives and as that is seen. It's amazing how varied cultures are and how different they are and yet Christ can become Christ to them in their context. He can do that through us, but only as we surrender and we ourselves die to Him.

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More from this series

LFTF: Episode 33

If the language group I’m working with doesn’t have any similar words to the Bible, can I just create a word?

LFTF: Episode 32

How important is it for minority language churches to have their own translation of Scripture available?

LFTF: Episode 31

What efforts do you go to in order to make your Bible teaching culturally relevant to your students?

LFTF: Episode 30

How has being in full-time ministry affected your relationships and your marriage?

LFTF: Episode 29

In church planting what is your strategy for passing on the work to the new believers and leaders in the church?