Why Church Planting?
This is a question asked often today. “Why church planting … aren’t there enough already? Isn’t the concept of ‘church’ irrelevant today … Gee, why would we want more of them?”
Continue reading as we wrestle with this explosive issue.
So, why church planting?
Firstly, there are not enough churches today. The vast majority of people still do not know the Lord, and as long as there are people perishing we have work to do. As we will see below, church planting is crucial to this task. Secondly, the contemporary package often called “church” today is admittedly becoming increasingly irrelevant. However, the “church” that Jesus builds is and will always be relevant (Matthew 16:18). If we are becoming irrelevant the problem is not on God’s side, or even with the word “church;” it means we may drifted away from God’s design for His body and we need a crash course in rediscovering our identity.
Think of it this way. Too many natural families today are dysfunctional, resulting in emotionally challenged children unable to effectively enter adulthood. Of course, it would be ridiculous to suggest that the concept of family itself is antiquated, turfed out with yesterday’s newspaper.
Again, we ask:
Why church planting?
There are two core reasons.
(1) Church planting and parenting is the Biblical strategy for evangelising and discipling the nations.
It is indicative of just how far we have drifted from the Lord’s design that we can read the pages of the New Testament and miss that the strategy God entrusted to us was, in fact, church planting (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 14:21-23)1. Today we have created many contemporary evangelistic and discipleship-based strategies to fulfil our task; some good … some not so good. And while we are certainly not advocating that we should ignore contemporary strategies that are sound and effective, we are urging a rediscovery of the one strategy that is clearly Biblical and outstandingly effective; the one that the Master has given us: church planting.
The Biblical strategy of planting and parenting churches was lost by and large when denominational religion sunk its fangs into God’s people putting church planting into the puny hands of the insecure “clergy”, convincing the ignorant “laity” that they had no place in fulfilling the Lord’s marching orders. While God has always had a remnant that broke through this madness, we are living in a day of a tremendous restoration of this great truth among His people everywhere.
(2) Church planting and parenting is statistically the best contemporary strategy for evangelism and discipleship.
In our empirical, scientific age – in which we tend to feel so smart – it is always only a matter of time before our “intelligence” simply reveals the Divine Wisdom of the Lord of the Harvest and Head of the Church. Time and money would be spared if we simply trusted and obeyed Him. Statistical studies now prove without question that church planting and parenting is head and shoulders above every other means, the most effective strategy for fulfilling the Great Commission.
Even key evangelistic and mission-based agencies are abandoning other modern-day tools and redefining themselves as church planting movements as they seek to recapture the power of this Biblical strategy.
Simply stated, church planting enables us to penetrate a community rather than just reach individuals and thus provides an immediate family of covenant relationships essential for effective discipleship, spiritual growth and the opportunity for all to minister. Not only does church planting increase the effectiveness of evangelism but it also ensures that our fruit remains; which after all, is the desire of the Lord (John 15:16).
To the question:
Why church planting?
…we simply respond…
Church planting is the only Biblical strategy given to us to fulfil the commission the Lord has entrusted us with and it is also, which should not surprise us, the most effective strategy we have.
Without intending to sound abrupt … if we have a heart for those who are lost without Christ and a commitment to the Scriptures, yet are not involved in church planting in some way, whether it is through prayer, financial support and/or practical involvement, we sadly miss a big chunk of God’s heart.
1 While Jesus never once said, “Go and plant churches”, the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom, in obedience to His commission to make disciple-makers, means that church planting – the birth of spiritual communities – is the direct and beautiful (super) natural overflow. Yes, without question, God’s Kingdom is the goal and church planting the means, but the point of this discussion is to highlight that church planting is the Biblical means that we have been given.