This is the right kind of question. It assumes we are asking some other pivotal questions:
What is the most strategic use of resources to help people connect with God?
What should we be doing to partner with God to reach our city?
These are great questions because it means that we are poised to take our time, our lives, our money and our passions and turn them towards God’s work in the world.
So, why should we plant new churches?
1. Jesus’ essential call was to plant churches.
Making disciples and baptizing; this is what Jesus calls us to in the Great Commission. These are not things that happen magically by a few gifted individuals but in the life of the community of faith. This means planting churches because it can’t happen any other way. This was Paul’s strategy and the work of the Apostles in the book of Acts. We should follow their lead.
2. We can’t fulfill the great commission without an expansive work of church planting.
New churches reach new people, new generations, new residents and new people groups. New congregations empower new people much more quickly and readily than can older churches. New churches release new leaders to invest their lives in God’s call and ministry. And new churches reach more people in absolute terms and as a percentage. This is an indisputable fact when it comes to the research and demographic data that we have. When it comes to investing in reaching people in our community, church planting is a good bet. New churches attract 3-6 times as many non-churched people as established churches. If we want to reach people who are far from God in our city, this is a great way to do it.
3. We plant churches because we want to continually renew the whole body of Christ.
We all want to see the churches in our communities growing and alive, packed to the brim. Church planting energizes new and old churches to compete to reach the people of our city. What a great way to see a work of renewal in existing churches, spur older congregations to mobilize their people for kingdom impact because a new church down the road is reaching people with new strategies and messaging. New churches think differently and have innovative DNA, and this is good because it is a kind of collective skunkworks for the body of Christ. We can see what works in smaller, newer congregations before they are rolled out widely in older churches.
It is easier in younger congregations for younger leaders to grow and try out their gifts; where in larger more established congregations it would take years to be seen as a leader and given opportunities to take risks. This is a vital part of developing leaders for the next generation.
New churches challenge older congregations towards self-examination and make them think through why they exist, what they are doing, and if it is working to reach the people in their community. Putting a church plant in the their neighborhood is a proven way to help renew older churches.
Mostly we plant churches because God is working in our hearts to connect with lost people, and God has called us to plant new congregations that reach people who are far from God.
I’d like to challenge every follower of Christ to be a part of a church plant for a season of your life. It will reignite your faith and help you see where you fit in God’s plan for the city. Even if it is just for a season, God will stretch and grow you as a leader because you will feel the weight of reaching the people around you.
We are hoping to grow our Redemption Hill (www.redemptionboise.org/join) launch team from 50 to 100 over the next few months. We are hoping people will commit to a year of:
- Attending Redemption Hill
- Giving regularly to the work of Redemption Hill
- Serving at Redemption Hill
Drop me a note if you’d like to talk more.