Church planting is a regular topic of conversation in the halls of the seminary. After all there are tons of young men with a call to ministry and one way that often plays out is in the planting of new churches. The topic however is much less regular in the halls of storied and established churches across the country. In these institutions there is often conversation about regaining numbers or creating new programs for the body but rarely discussions about sending out from within to plant new churches.
Church planting is the biblical model and the most successful path to new conversions and life change in our communities. But don’t take my word for it. Tim Keller, pastor of a growing multi-site church in NYC, wrote a persuasive piece titled “Why Plant Churches” and I commend it to you. Some key quotes from the article include:
“Continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for 1) the numerical growth of the Body of Christ in any city, and 2) the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city.”
“New churches best reach a) new generations, b) new residents, and c) new people groups.”
“New congregations empower new people and new peoples much more quickly and readily than can older churches. Thus they always have and always will reach them with greater facility than long-established bodies. This means, of course, that church planting is not only for ‘frontier regions’ or ‘pagan’ countries that we are trying to see become Christian. Christian countries will have to maintain vigorous, extensive church planting simply to stay Christian!”
“Older churches in general will never be able to match the effectiveness of new bodies in reaching people for the kingdom.”
“It is a great mistake to think that we have to choose between church planting and church renewal”
“Vigorous church planting is one of the best ways to renew the existing churches of a city, as well as the best single way to grow the whole Body of Christ in a city.”
There is so much goodness in the article that you must read it yourself here.
The good news is that this is not a new concept. The article is from 2002 which at more than a decade old isn’t vintage but it has proven as solid since. What will we do with the call to plant churches? How can we move?
HT: Jared Wilson