WHY PLANT CHURCHES?
“The deeper question that should be asked is: ‘How did Christianity change from a faith spread primarily through church planting to a faith in which church planting has become an unusual practice?” Ed Stetzer.
Every church that has ever existed was once planted. However, the question is often asked, “With a church on almost every corner, why do we need another church?” The answer comes down to this, “Do we have enough healthy, disciple making churches to reach every and all kinds of people in the U.S.?” The answer is clearly, “No.”
Throughout the book of Acts we see church after church planted. Notice that the purpose was not to plant new churches. The purpose was to disciple the nations-reconciling them to the Father through Christ, building them up in their faith, equipping them for works of service, and reproducing leaders for building the Kingdom. The natural result of new people coming to Christ was a new church-church planting! In other words, church planting is a natural result of godly people, who have a heart for the mission of God and act on it.
Reading through Scripture (Genesis 12:1-3; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; Revelation 7:9-10) we see that the mission of God has always involved…1- Sending His people, 2- To all peoples, 3- for the purpose of disciple making.
OBJECTIONS TO CHURCH PLANTING:
Objection 1: Planting will damage the parent church
Answer: God always blesses obedience. He always provides for our needs and usually beyond.
Objection 2: We already have enough churches
Answer: Who are you going after? 90% not involved in church or 10% who are?
- No county in America has more people in church than a decade ago.
- Immigration-Hispanic, Somalian, International College Students: U.S. is the 3rd largest mission field in the world.
Objection 3: It costs too much! People and Finances. We need to provide for our own church and city.
Answer: Acts 1:8-View it as part of your Judea/Samaria mission responsibility.
- Example of the Macedonian churches: 2 Corinthians 8:1-5
- Example of the church in Antioch: Acts 11
- It is an act of faith and obedience like tithing.
Objection 4: It will hinder our fellowship.
Answer: Biblical Fellowship is serving alongside one another not potlucks. It also can bring out of fellowship believers into fellowship.
WHAT DOES SCRIPTURE SAY?
Acts 1:8-The Mission of the church. Jerusalem, Judea & Samaria, end of the earth.
Mark 1:32-39-The example of Jesus-Go to the other towns.
Matthew 16:13-20-The aggressive movement of the church-storming the Gates of Hell.
Matthew 28:16-20-Make disciples of all “ethnos” “People Groups.
John 20:21-We are sent people on mission for Christ’s Kingdom.
“The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for the numerical growth of the Body of Christ, the renewal of existing churches, and the overall impact of the Body on the culture of any city… Nothing else-neither crusades, outreach programs, para-church ministries, mega-churches, consulting, nor church renewal processes-will have the consistent impact that dynamic, extensive church planting has. This is an eyebrow raising statement, I know. But to those who have done any study of the subject, it is not even controversial.” –Tim Keller
PARABLE OF THE APPLE TREES:
The moral of the story: If you want to feed more people, don’t merely grow more apples, bigger apples, and sweeter apples; rather, plant more apple trees that in turn can reproduce yet more apple trees to grow exponentially more fruit.
And if we want to feed a spiritually hungry world, we must seek to not merely grow bigger and better churches that reach more people but to plant churches that in turn reproduce more churches that reach exponentially more people.
Craig Ott & Gene Wilson, with Reach Global EFCA in Global Church Planting.
“Many years ago my experience in China taught me that if our object was to establish in that country a Church which might spread over the six provinces which then formed the diocese of North China, that object could only be attained if the first Christians who were converted by our labors, understood clearly that they could by themselves, without any further assistance from us, not only convert their neighbors, but establish churches. –“The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church, Rolland Allen (1927)”