“For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations; I will sing praises to your name!” 2 Samuel 22:50
SILVER SPRING, Md.—The Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware and Global Mission Church in Silver Spring, Md., hosted the ninth annual Language Music Celebration, which is a multicultural union of churches joining together in celebration and praise to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Held on April 17, Palm Sunday, the “Shine Jesus” celebration showcased worship performances from 13 different language groups, including Japanese, Cambodian, French Haitian, Kenyan, Burmese, Nepalese, Korean, Bhutanese, Filipino, Chinese, Liberian, Vietnamese and Hispanic churches.
This year marks the first year for the Japanese and Cambodian congregations. To date, there are 20 different language groups across the multi-state convention, and so far, 126 new language churches have started through the BCM/D over the past decade, shared David Jackson, team strategist for church multiplication.
In his address, he shared how church planting is a strong tool for evangelism. He quoted longtime church growth expert Peter Wagner: “The single most effective evangelistic methodology under heaven is planting new churches” (C. Peter Wagner, “Church Planting For a Greater Harvest”).
Sharing from research based upon Wagner’s comment, Jackson said that church plants are three times more effective in reaching people with the Gospel than established churches.
He also noted that “the predominant biblical strategy in the New Testament” was planting churches. “The disciples didn’t plan crusades or write tracts. They planted churches,” he said.
Because Jesus had been given “all authority,” He has the right “to set our agenda,” Jackson said, pointing to the Great Commission in Matthew 28.
His agenda? To go and make disciples of all nations.
“Can Jesus make the assumption that we are going to go?” Jackson asked, noting that in the 1950’s people would just go to church, very unlike today.
“They’re not required to come to us. We are commanded to go to them,” he stressed, clarifying that the objective is not just to plant a church. “He commanded us to make disciples.”
Jackson explained that the disciples planted churches so that they could make disciples. “You can’t make a disciple alone. We must be in a community, growing together and challenging each other.”
He took it a step further, sharing about a church planter he met in his early years at the Convention who said, “Some plant churches to make disciples; we make disciples who plant churches.”
Likewise, Jackson challenged, “We are called to make disciples, draw them together into communities of faith, and help those new communities grow, so that they, in turn, will make more disciples.”
Jackson noted, too, that it’s easier to teach obedience in smaller, newer churches where everybody has a chance to take a role. “They have to rise up and serve,” he said.
In his final challenge, Jackson celebrated the growing number of language groups who worship in BCM/D churches, but noted that there are still at least 140 other nationalities in the area that don’t yet have a church.
“Who’s going to reach them?” he asked.
Ron Blankenship, Montgomery Association director of missions, commended the churches in the closing remarks. He expressed thanksgiving for the many new works that he has seen started since the first Language Music Celebration.
“When we started these celebrations, some of these churches were not even here,” he said.
In addition to enjoying the multiple styles and languages of the worshippers, guests joined in a multi-cultural dinner that featured food from each of the regions represented at the Celebration.
To view photos from this year’s celebration, visit online at http://www.flickr.com/photos/bcmd/sets/72157626547441318.
For more information about reaching the nations among us here in Maryland and Delaware through church planting, contact Paul Mulani at email@example.com, focused on African and Haitian language groups; Rolando Castro at firstname.lastname@example.org, focused on Hispanic groups; or Robert Kim at email@example.com, focused on Asian groups. Direct all other inquiries to Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.