In the fall of 2013, I came to a 3-year-old church plant in Southern Indiana as the Executive Pastor. Not long after, we were ready to send out two local church plants. We had no idea that number would be three.
A quick reading of the New Testament reveals that the man known as the Apostle Paul was an influential figure and a powerful communicator. While not always adhering to the rhetorical techniques of his day, often to the detriment of his own reputation, Paul clung to that belief that he was called by God to deliver a life-changing message.
What role does disciple making play in planting churches?
We who serve as pastors often think about ministering to adults, but we don’t spend enough time thinking about how we can minister to the children in our congregation. Pastors, consider these possibilities:
It is impossible to lay blame neatly when one generation fails to pass its faith on to the next one. Did the first generation fail to reach out, or did the second generation just harden their hearts? The answer is usually both. Mistakes made by one Christian generation are often magnified in the next, nominal one.
Big churches need bold mission statements.
Small churches? Not so much.
If a small church has a mission statement, it’s probably because a church growth expert said you needed one. But it’s unlikely that having a mission statement has changed anything for the church, and today it’s hard to find anyone who can recite it from memory.
here’s been a recent renewal of evangelical attention given to ministry in rural areas and small towns. The Vineyard’s Small Town USA Initiative plants churches around the country, and Wheaton College’s Billy Graham Center for Evangelism has launched the new Rural Matters Institute. Helpful books have been published, including Donnie Griggs’s Small Town Jesus [read TGC’s review], Aaron Morrow’s Small Town Mission, and Brad Roth’s God’s Country, and articles about small-town ministry have appeared in WORLD magazine and on sites like The Gospel Coalition.
American Christianity is becoming less compelling to the rest of our society. Many people cringe when we mention our faith. Now, we might like to think such rejection is because we’ve imitated Christ and sought to advance his kingdom on earth. After all, didn’t Jesus promise that all people would hate us for his name’s sake?
Church planting is a not a young man’s sport, nor an old man’s sport. It’s a healthy man’s sport. However, with all the hustle and bustle that goes into starting a new church, one can easily get bogged down with the workload and become emotionally and spiritually unhealthy.
“Do your congregants really sense that you need Jesus? That you are currently being dealt with by the Spirit of God?” — Scotty Smith