New churches are planted to win unreached people in unentered areas. Intentionally target a geographic area with the message of the Gospel, creating small groups who provide ongoing Bible study, teaching and encouragement among new believers. Planting new churches is a proven way to reach more people and grow God’s kingdom.
PRAY, PLAN, PLANT
Planting new churches is to realize God’s dream; that everywhere there would be people who serve their community and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we look deeply into the foundations of why churches are started it is to reach everyone, everywhere in that geographic location and to begin a revival that will spawn more churches.
For some, the idea of planting a new church is overwhelming. They believe that taking on this responsibility is too much, or that their own church needs to be revitalized first before they could ever think about something like that. What most people don’t know is that when it comes to starting a new church having a baby actually helps raise the dead. Studies show that the overwhelming majority of churches that start new congregations are revitalized and become healthier than they were before.
In addition to this, there are many good reasons to plant churches:
It is Biblical
It is vital for spreading the Gospel (Acts 13:1-5). It is very likely part of the “first love” that Christians are encouraged to regain in Revelation chapter 2:4. Ellen White states, “place after place is to be visited; church after church is to be raised up” (7 T, 19). New churches best reach new residents, new generations, and new people groups.
It is Efficient
“Planting new churches is the most efficient evangelistic methodology under Heaven”- C Peter Wagner. When a small group of people set their sole focus on starting a new church there is a life and an energy that is lacking in most established churches. Even denominations that are declining overall state that their newly planted churches are growing at nearly a 10% rate.
It is Necessary
Studies verify that every denomination that is adding congregations is gaining members; while on the other hand every denomination that is losing congregations is losing members. Church planting is necessary for the survival of the denomination.
It Develops New Leaders
It is no secret that the Adventist church has an aging pastorate. New leaders are needed at both the local lay level and at the denominational level. Church planting allows people—both lay and pastoral–who have never had the opportunity to lead to use their gifts in new innovative ways.
It is Revitalizing
A study done on 625 Southern Baptist congregations who were planting a church revealed that they themselves grew on average by nearly 22%. The myth that a mother church suffers when it decides to plant has been disproven over and over again. Churches that plant churches are revitalized and grow themselves.
Inspired? Here’s how to get started:
A church plant is nothing to take lightly. It is both the most rewarding thing you will ever do and one of the most difficult things you will ever do. It takes time, money, and dedication to see it succeed. As with everything we do as Christians starting a new church needs to be soaked in prayer. Prayer and fasting is one great way to be sure God is leading you to plant a church. A forty-day prayer commitment is recommended before any plans begin.
How do you know you are called to plant a church? Is there a burning desire in you to reach an unreached nearby community? Is there a specific group of people in your hometown who cannot be reached by an established church? Do you have the support and backing of another local Adventist Church? Will you launch from your home or a more public place? These questions and more are a great place to start the Planning Process. There is no cookie cutter plan that will work everywhere. Each plan has to be contextualized for the community you are trying to reach.
It’s time to launch! Your careful planning will help the actual implementation be more successful, but there is always a need to be flexible in church planting. While you are gaining Bible studies, seeing visitors come to church, and watching people being baptized our office is here for support, encouragement, coaching, and advice.
HERE TO HELP
The Pennsylvania Conference would be happy to assist you in putting in place the important pre-work needed for a strategic plan to see your church plant be successful. Our office can help you study the demographics in your town, set up a service and evangelism plan to see souls won, and help you locate and fund raise for a place to worship. The Pennsylvania Conference is here to assist you in the various other needed aspects of starting a new congregation like building a core launch team. Every successful church plant begins with a well thought out, and easily workable plan. Part of this plan is reviewing the Church Planting Policy about getting started and completing a Mission Group Proposal to be submitted to our office that helps outline the important factors that figure into helping you reach your goals.