I’m a late fan of church planting – not because I didn’t believe in it years ago, but more because I wasn’t exposed much to planting in my early years of ministry. Now years later, I’m a member of a church plant and a strong proponent of church planting. In fact, I think every church ought to be involved in church planting in some way. Here’s why:
- All the established churches in North America still aren’t reaching our continent. Some are doing well, but most are plateaued or declining. The status quo just won’t work if we want to reach North America.
- Thousands of churches will close this year. The estimates vary, but as many as 10,000 churches will close their doors this year. New, effective churches will be needed to replace them.
- New churches tend to grow more evangelistically. When comparing membership to conversion ratios, new churches usually have a better evangelistic ratio. Both the newness of their work and the passion of their vision tend to drive these congregations outward.
- We need new churches to reach our growing ethnic population. Despite an increasing interest in multi-ethnic congregations, these congregations will not reach the majority of ethnics in our country. We also need ethnic churches to meet this need.
- Every church can do something with church planting. I’m convinced of this statement more than ever – and this point may be the most important one of this post. Every church can give at least a few dollars to support a church plant. Every church can raise up church planters and encourage church members to consider moving to join a plant. Every church can develop an intentional prayer strategy for a plant. Every church can connect with and help a church planter's family in some way.
- God blesses churches with an outward focus. That’s the heart of a God who sent His Son to die for us while we were yet sinners (Rom. 5:8). He blesses congregations who focus beyond themselves to start other congregations.
- Many church planters would welcome the support of an experienced, healthy church leader. Church planting is hard work. It can be lonely at times. Many planters are young leaders navigating the waters of ministry for the first time. A friend with ministry experience would be a welcomed gift.
How might you and your church get involved in church planting? If your church is already involved, tell us why you’d encourage others to do the same.