Not all churches are supposed to be mega-churches
A German church growth researcher, Christian Schwarz, reported the results of his research on church growth. He showed that statistically small churches are 16 times more effective at winning new members than mega-churches. For example, two churches of 200 generally win twice as many people for Jesus as a single 400 member church. Let’s not be mesmerized by thinking every church is to have thousands of people. Maybe some churches are to grow to around two hundred people (addition) and then start planting churches (multiplication).
Church planting is the only way to fulfill the Great Commission
Conversions alone will not fulfill the Great Commission. Matthew 28:18-20 is very specific about teaching, baptizing and making disciples. This is church activity: teaching, baptizing and making disciples. We cannot effectively make disciples and teach them the commands of Christ outside a local church setting.
For example, an evangelistic campaign declares the gospel. It brings people to a place of decision, but it doesn’t fully teach them all the things that Jesus commanded us. When properly understood we see that the Great Commission is specifically a commission about church planting. Church planting challenges our spiritual children to reach a new level of maturity and leadership as they are discipled.
Church planting reaches Christians who are currently not in churches
In almost any community in the western world, there are Christians who are not growing in their spiritual lives and who are not contributing to the kingdom of God. These believers feel as though they do not fit into the present churches in their community. What they really need is a new church where they can feel at home. A new church provides an entry point for people. They don’t have to break into an already established group.
To Be Continued next week…
Portions Edited from “Pathways to Church Planting” DOVE USA Church Planting Manual
Compiled by Brian Sauder
Brian Sauder currently serves on the International Apostolic Council of DOVE and directs the DOVE Training Schools. He and his wife Janet help to provide oversight and direction for DOVE churches in Canada, USA and South Africa. Brian and Janet have over 25 years of experience in leadership of churches, small groups, youth groups, government and business.