• More reflections on church planting

    Two great and timely articles for your consideration, with highlights from each.

    1 . "Lessons Learned from Church-Planting by Peaceable Division". 

    1. God leads even young, small churches to plant; it’s not a mission merely for large, established churches. 
    2. The heat of planting tests and reveals a church’s ecclesiological priorities. "To plant or not to plant” will always drive us to ask why we exist as a church. "
    3. 3) Church planting reinforces gospel motivation. - "the point of ministry isn’t building my own kingdom; it’s building God’s. "
    4. Church planting by peaceable division presents unique pastoral challenges.
    5. Church planting is an opportunity for Satan. "Be on the lookout for opportunities Satan may use to drive relational wedges that cause disunity."
    6. Church planting is really hard but really worth it. 

    2. "Divide and Prosper: A Historical Account of Church-Planting by Peaceable Division"

    • Nineteenth-century American Baptists repeatedly formulated and successfully executed “a generous, self-denying, and benevolent plan” of multiplying churches by dividing members. "
    • In New York City, the church in Oliver-street felt compelled to send out “very many” of its members not only to start a new church plant, but “for the purpose of strengthening feeble societies”—to revitalize dying churches. 
    • What Leads Churches to do this? The Great Commission. For example, the “first/old church” in Albany intended their new church plant “to enlarge the church,” meaning the church universal.  
    • Excessive Numbers “either these communities must become inconveniently numerous, or they must, as in many other instances, divide and multiply” 
    • Conviction By The Holy Spirit  - Peaceable divisions were prayerfully and patiently decided upon only after the church had been granted a sense that the Lord was in fact willing to have them plant a church in this way
    • The Demands of Peaceable Division - Humility: we cannot deny the reality of the temptation to vainglory. In a world that equates bigness with success, it’s easy for vanity to lead a pastor or a church to lust for members.
    • ...peaceable divisions offer a deeply self-sacrificial approach to missions.

  • Reflecting on church planting

    How should we go about thinking about church planting? What are the risks? What kind of people does it it take? How do we know it is the *right* thing for our church to do?

    Some articles I have found helpful so far in thinking through this process:

    25 Things I’ve Learned from Church Planting

    All are helpful, but a these five particularly resonated with me:

    • 2. Church planting teaches two things more than any other: that God is faithful and that we must learn how to depend on that faithful God. 
    • 7. You cannot church plant apart from the support and encouragement of others. 
    • 9. The church plant often takes on the personality and passions of the church planter and his wife. This is why it's important to cling to Christ with biblical vision. 
    • 14. The gospel is everything: it sustains when discouragement comes (and it always does), it keeps a church planter and his wife in their city (because there will be times when they want to give up and leave), it compels its ministers forward (and sometimes it's the only motivation left), and it changes lives (which makes it all worth it). 
    • 22. Church plants should never be started by someone disgruntled or unable to sit under authority at his former church. Church plants cannot be rebuttals to another pastor's methods and ideas. They must be built on a clear call from God. 

    6 Indicators You Might Be a Church Planter

    A church plant requires a church planter. "It takes a wise and sensitive person to realize what God does not want them to do."

  • The Challenge

    For that last two Sundays I have laid a challenge before our church: that within 30 months (2.5 years) we (Creekside Bible Fellowship) either

    1. Plant a new church in or
    2. Help re-plant an existing church.

    And yes, it is just as crazy as it sounds. 

  • I love how the Lord works!  (6/22/2017)