WHY CHURCH PLANT?
One of the greatest and most influential professor of Church growth at the Fuller Theological Seminary, Peter Wagner in 1990 has this to say, “The single most effective evangelistic methodology under heaven is planting new churches.” Because every living thing is subject to growth, Jesus asked all believers in Matthew 28:18 “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” These disciples are to belong to churches after baptism. From the above command, it is crystal clear that God has called every believer to be a church planter directly or indirectly. Some reasons why church planting is very important:-
IT’S CHRIST’S BODY: Colossians 1:18 says, “Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rose from the dead. So he is first in everything. Can you imagine a head without a body? Jesus needs the church to be complete. What an honor that God would need frail humanity to be the body of Jesus in order to be complete? With all the almightiness of God, he decided that we should be Christ’s body. Neglecting our responsibility to plant churches is trampling on this honor. One of the ways we honor God is to obey his word. This assignment to plant churches is the sole responsibility of every believer, in order to be joined to the head of the church – Christ Jesus.
IT’S A COMMAND: All believers are commanded to go to all nations and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). Reaching all nations means the nooks and crannies of the world. Church plants has the capacity and capability to reach different type of demography of people, by strategically positioning ministries to serve the community in various ways. The church is the factory where disciples are produced. It is the teaching, learning and practical center where men and women grow from childhood to adulthood in the faith. Stuart Murray, the man to establish the first accredited university of Church Planting and evangelism degree in the United Kingdom has this to say, “New churches draw converts and unchurched people into their congregations. Therefore, church planting is crucial to reaching people.”
BELIEVERS ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD: Whenever a church is planted, the light of God is brought into that community (Matthew 5:14). The impact a church has on a community cannot be over-emphasized. The power of darkness losses its grip and hold when the light of God is brought into any community. Governmental laws i.e gun control, drug control etc., has not been able to make tangible impact because the darkened heart of man cannot be changed by mere laws. Once the light of God comes into any heart, the power of sin is broken. Church plants will solve this problem of turning a community from darkness to light.
JESUS LOVES COMMUNITIES: Jesus did not only love humanity, he loved communities. His passion to see the light of God shine in communities, made him weep over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-44). He was passionate to see that the power of sin and hell was broken over communities. In his earthly ministry, he moved from city to city and from village to village.
We must understand that the real need of communities is a reconciled relationship to God through Jesus. More education, more parks, more sports options, community centers and counseling centers won’t solve the problem of brokenness and dysfunctionalities in our system. Planting new churches is the solution to this debacle.
LABORERS ARE NEEDED FOR THE HARVEST: Jesus saw the crowds of people who were like sheep without a shepherd. His response was for the disciples to pray for more harvesters (Matthew 9:35-38). Our God is a sending God, whose harvesters gather His people together to send them into other places to gather and scatter. God sent His Son Jesus into the world to save and redeem it, from the curse placed upon all mankind. Jesus sent the church as laborers to make disciples of people of all nations. Where this is practiced and adhered as the battle cry of Jesus, more churches will be necessary to handle the births of new believers.
THE LOCAL CHURCH IS A REPRODUCING MISSION: Aubrey Malphurs believes that the secret to a vibrant Christianity is a pregnant church, culminating in reproduction. He emphasized the importance of a sending church preparing itself for reproduction (Nuts and Bolts of Church Planting, Malphurs, 2011). As a church is developing leaders, clarifying vision, sending people and resources, articulating doctrines and strategizing for mission, it will have a spiritual vibrancy accompanying these pre-birth activities. A church on mission prioritizes its sending capacity over its seating capacity. This reproductive generosity brings health to the mother church as well as to the baby churches.
FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF JESUS: Jesus gathered ordinary men, trained them as disciples and kingdom builders, and released them to change their world. Imagine Peter the fisherman, an illiterate preaching on the day of Pentecost. He could stand before any man and in the midst crowds of people, declaring the counsels of God because of the training he received from Jesus. In another place it was said of Peter and John: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus – Acts 4:13.”