Church planting provides more options for the unchurched
As long as there are unsaved people in our communities who are not being reached, there is a need for new churches. New churches provide more options for the unchurched. They are a key to outreach and generally grow better than old ones. It is easier to have a baby than to raise the dead. This is not to say that existing churches are dead. It is to point out that the maternity ward is the most exciting place in a hospital!
History shows a link between church planting and revival
Each of the apostles was involved in church planting in various countries. In the year 422, a man called Patrick had a vision for Ireland. In less than 30 years, he baptized over 100,000 converts and planted scores of churches. He became known as “the man who found Ireland all heathen and left it all Christian.”
John Wesley and George Whitfield were both great men of God. George Whitfield was by far the greater orator and drew the larger crowds. John Wesley is by far the most remembered because he used the strategy of church planting which resulted in the Methodist movement. William Booth and the Salvation Army became a powerful force because of church planting. Most major evangelical denominations we have today can trace their beginnings to a revival which manifested itself through church planting. In 1910, a man called John G. Lake went to South Africa. In five years he helped plant 625 churches. In South America today, entire nations are experiencing revival and it is directly proportional to church planting. In Australia today, the Assemblies of God can attribute much of its growth to the fact that a new church is being planted every 6 days.
New churches are fresh and hungry for growth
Many established churches have settled down into what they consider to be comfortable and the effort to reach out to new people slows down dramatically. In America today, 80- 85% of churches are getting smaller, rather than growing. New churches are much more zealous for souls, for growth and for the integration of new people. Statistics show that new churches are 30 times more effective in adding people into God’s Kingdom than established older churches.
Church planting cannot be an option—it has to be at the center of our mission. It is God’s method of bringing in the harvest. We must understand that we have been given the power to tangibly advance God’s kingdom. We must confidently proclaim the need and God’s heart to plant new churches.
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.