It is no secret that for the last year my family and I have been living and serving in India. We have had our ups and downs but as each month passes we get more used to our "normal" life here. But recently when we took a family vacation to Argentina my eyes were thoroughly open to what we had actually gotten used to.
This ranged from spiritual things to petty things and everything in between. My immediate thought was that at one point going directly to Argentina from the US for most Americans would be difficult. There would be much culture shock, different foods, language, etc. But suddenly going from India to Argentina it seemed like it was the US. The food was amazing, there were little people compared to India, it was so clean and refreshing.
Now, what changed? My perspective. Argentina had not suddenly transformed to be the exact same as the US and in fact my sister is still dealing with the culture shock of living in Argentina but the perspective of leaving India and going to Argentina was/is vastly different than leaving India to go to Argentina.
I point this out because many times we get used to our normal pattern of life wherever we live and this also invades our church culture. We are so used to what seems normal that we often times have to take ourselves completely outside of the situation to get a different perspective. Take for example our church planting efforts in the US, which I think it is great that so many people want to plant churches now but the way in which we are doing it looks vastly different than how it is being done in other parts of the world.
This does not make it wrong but I think going to other places to see how it is done, for example India, helps put a perspective on how we all globally could be doing a better job. It is not that most of these efforts are wrong but often times we are focusing on the wrong things when we are planting.
Ed Stetzer just wrote a piece on his blog about a lesson that can be learned from International Church Planting namely to keep it simple and reproducible. This is typically one thing that the North American church planting efforts are not doing as a result we in North American have never seen a Church Planting Movements like those being seen around the world.
So I agree with Stetzer that first we need more people willing to step up and take the leap of planting and then we should be willing to consider all options when planting but especially take a lesson from our International Planters in keeping it simple and reproducible. Because by keeping it simple and reproducible we will not only see new churches planted but a church planting movement that changes the entire culture of the third largest country in the world, USA, with the third largest amount of unreached people groups.