I started planting a church at just 26 years of age. Having no prior experience in serving on a church staff, I really didn’t know what I was doing. We started in a living room with only 13 people on the first Sunday. Remarkably, the church is still going over 30 years later. Also, many other churches have been started out of that church.
Every church was started by someone sometime. Snapped this photo of one in Hawaii recently. Christians hear about church planting but have questions.
Here are answers to these 6 common questions about church planting:
WHO Plants Churches?
The Bible says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10 NIV)
Jesus provided salvation when He died for sins and rose again. But He passed the torch of spreading the Good News to His followers after He ascended into heaven.
We can learn about how the early believers spread the Good News in the “Acts of the Apostles.”
There we find:
The disciples going from town to town, preaching and starting churches
The Gospel spreading throughout Asia and Europe through evangelism and church planting
Everywhere the Gospel was spread there were churches planted
We must do what the original believers did.
Every Christian is called to church planting. Some are called to go and plant. Others are called to stay and support church planting through prayer, finances and in other ways
WHAT is Church Planting?
Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18b ESV) This means the universal church and local churches as well.
Church comes from EKKLESIA: a Greek compound word literally translated as “an assembly of called out ones.”
Definition: A church is a group of believers in Christ who meet for biblical worship, learning, and mission.
Starting a church does not require:
A lot of money
A big staff
A large building or any building
It just takes willing hearts!
WHEN Should We Plant Churches?
“While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.’” (Acts 13:2-3 ESV)
This verse is the beginning of the church planting journeys of Paul and many companions.
When do we plant churches? Whenever God calls us to, and when our hearts are:
Perhaps you think God has called but you didn’t answer. Remember this phrase: “The best next time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The next best time is now.”
WHERE Should Churches be Planted?
Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 ESV)
Jesus was instructing believers in Jerusalem to spread the Gospel:
In Jerusalem (their home town)In Judea (their home province)In Samaria (an area of cultural diversity yet close by)To the end of the earth (everywhere)
This same pattern is right for today:
Plant in your hometown
Plant in your region
Plant in areas of cultural diversity
Plant to the ends of the earth.
Start planting at home and reach out from there.
WHY Must We Plant Churches?
Jesus said, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul.” (Mark 8:36 KJV)
Nothing is more important than one’s eternal destiny. But we have yet to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth as Jesus said to do.
We must plant churches because it is the most biblical and effective way to obey Christ’s Great Commission.
Local churches need to be established in conjunction with evangelism so people can grow in their faith and become true followers of Jesus.
Additionally, planting churches is the way to bring lasting social change and to make the greatest impact on issues such as:
Lack of Medical Care
HOW Can We Plant More Churches?
IF YOU ARE CALLED TO GO, then let church leaders know of your interest in planting new churches:
Let your pastor/s know
IF YOU ARE CALLED TO STAY and support, then give and pray for church planting around the world.
You can PRAY:
You can GIVE:
FOR MORE INFORMATION about church planting:
See my article “4 Obstacles to Church Planting and the Myths Behind Them”See my article “4 Reasons We MUST Start New Churches Now“Watch my message on “Global Church Planting Sunday”