However, planting can benefit a plateaued church. When a church is planted and your people start hearing the amazing stories where three or eight people were baptized on Sunday, it causes them to realize that what God does in church plants He also can do in established churches. It develops a missional passion and a holy desire to trust the Lord and work toward the same end. They get to ride the tide the church plant rides.
Established churches need to plant churches so they can be challenged by their own church plants.
Fifth, planting churches is required to reach North America with the good news of Jesus Christ.
It’s going to take thousands upon thousands of more churches to accomplish this. That’s not only because of geography, but also because of culture—that’s part of having a missiological lens that leads to church planting among different kinds of people.
Your context isn’t one culture. It’s not like one flat pancake where you look out and only see what you see up close—a context like yours. It’s more like a waffle with divots, and in those divots are people with certain customs and cultures.
You can live right next to them, yet they are radically different than you. Jesus is calling us to go into all of those divots of the waffles to evangelize and plant churches. You might be right next door, an established church living out and on mission in one divot, when a different kind of people (linguistically, culturally, generationally or more) is right next door, ready for a new church planting.
Established churches should plant churches because we need all kinds of churches to reach the all kinds of people living in those divots.
Sixth, we need some skin in the game.
Denominational giving toward church planting isn’t enough.
Our church gives significantly (10 percent of our local tithes and offerings) to denominational church planting (and many other things) through our denominations cooperative giving plan. We believe in financially supporting church planting that way, but that’s not enough. We need some additional skin in the game. We need to put our own sweat and tears into the process. We need partnerships or we will become a cul-de-sac on the Great Commission highway.
Planting a church is like having kids. It’s bloody, messy, there’s a lot of yelling, but then a beautiful thing is born and you forget about all the problems and you want to do it again. I think if you’ll get engaged in church planting directly—not solely through giving to the denomination or network, as good as that can be—then you’ll see some beautiful church babies born in your own house. Then you’ll want to do it again and again.
Continuing the Metaphor
No one thinks they are fully ready to have a child. But then you have one, and it is a great blessing. Too often, established churches think they will plant when they are “ready,” when they are big enough or when they have more money, but “ready” never comes. If you will just go and have a baby—go plant a church—you will blessed in ways you never imagined, and you will wonder why you waited so long.
Let’s plant churches that plant churches that plant churches. Let’s trust God to do the things that God likes. God likes to surprise people who have faith in Him.
Let’s surprise the world by seeing a church multiplication movement birthed that sweeps across this country as churches choose to sacrifice.
Let’s give and let’s go.
Let’s plant churches that plant churches that plant churches.