I’ve planted a church. Or six. I don’t say that to show off, just so you know I didn’t read this in a book or heard it in a conference, I lived it. I certainly did not start ministry thinking I was going to plant churches, but since I prayed the “anything you want” prayer that’s what God sent me to do. I have seen patterns emerge that can make the church planting process easier or harder. Here are some things the new baby needs and doesn’t.
1. It needs your best people.
I remember when my senior pastor on my first year of ministry took me aside and said: “I’m giving you 100 people from the mother church. Go plant a new congregation.” He did not send the disgruntled, the ones who opposed him or the dysfunctional element. He sent the young, the bright, and the committed. Interesting pattern that emerged:
Bad: People complained that the best people were leaving.
Good: The church survived and thrived.
- It needs financial support.
Another church plant I participated in was sent with $15,000 that helped buy sound systems and many of the things needed to launch. We often ask: How can I give if I am struggling?” Just a reminder, sometimes you have to do a faith check instead of a bank statement perusal. I have never seen a mother church run out of money because they supported a church plant that was God inspired. The question should not be what’s in it for me? Instead ask what’s in it for the kingdom?
Bad: people from the mother church that contributed to the mother church for years were told: “Nope, you can’t take anything when you leave”.
Good: You know that guy Jesus that said: It is more blessed…?” Yep. It happens.
- It doesn’t need your criticism and jealousy.
Mothers are not supposed to be jealous of their kids are they? This fact is overlooked. Church planters are people who are under constant and direct attack from the enemy. Your prayers that it works instead of your list of reasons why it won’t would be a great start. Don’t criticize their worship, their methods, their leadership structure, their existence. Fear more the loss of unchurched people to sin than the exodus of some of your members. Fear is not the best reason to speak out.
Here is a sample of what happened in the west coast. (Approximate figures)
20 years ago, 1 church attendance of 350 members.
Church planting started.
Today 4 churches, close to 2,000 members, including a multicultural.
Attendance in mother church around 350.
The kingdom grows better by multiplication. Next year we want to plant 200 new churches in NAD, around 30 new ones right here in the Southern Union. Will you join us? I’ll end with an old saying: Lead. Follow.
Or get out of the way of the spirit.
There are funds available, $10,000 per church plant for 3-4 church plants per conference. Please consult with your leaders and stay tuned: http://www.nadministerial.org/