Sunday, May 12, 2013

10 Reasons Why Planting New Churches Is Biblical and Necessary

  1. The older a church is, the less evangelistic they usually are.   About half of the churches in the U.S. didn’t add a single person through salvation last year.  Most churches are grown through “transfer” growth – or members of another church circulating to a new church.   It is a proven fact in church history that the newer and younger a church is (most of the time those newer in the faith as well) the more people they win to Christ and baptize each year.  Most churches plateau in growth after 12-15 years and get comfortable – thinking they are big enough.  You are never big enough as long as there is one more unsaved person in your city.  Settling is not a fruit of the Spirit. 

  1. It keeps churches from being in maintenance mode.  Let’s face it – there are those who are really faithful and serve like crazy in the church and then there are the rest.  When there isn’t a vision to reach more people – more people won’t be reached.  Churches can get stuck in maintenance mode, just caring for those they have because after all that’s all they can get to serve.  Planting a new church in a new city causes excitement (or it should) in the people going to your church who are from that city or area.   Churches should paint a vision where 100% of the membership is needed to do the work of the ministry.  We aren’t just trying to maintain ministries inside the church but desperately trying to reach people with the Gospel outside the church using whatever method necessary.  To do this, we must train people that everyone is a minister of the Gospel.  We must also cut some of the non-essential busy work of the church that doesn’t have eternal values.  The problem is the church is not just inactive but most of the time busy about nothing-centered, feel-good, worthless, religious activities - and sometimes it isn't even religious - it’s secular.

  1. You’ll never bring everyone to your current location – you must go to them.  A church with the attitude of “let them come to us” will never grow past where they are now.  Christians have always been sent out.  We must go get them.  When a church gets 80% full, they think they have arrived.  It takes the leadership to see the more who have yet to come. “But how can we pack them in pastor?  We are already getting full.”  After launching new services a church has to think about going to the people who would never drive over 20 minutes to go to their church.  It’s so much easier to get someone from your town to go to a church down the street than it is for them to drive to another city.  Church people lose sight of that quickly.  After all, they love it and would gladly drive 20 minutes or more to go to church.  Most unchurched people will not consistently do this.  Also, it generally takes a person 5-7 times coming to a church to surrender to the Gospel and get plugged in.  Maybe they’ll come once or twice from out of town to your church but they will never see it as their church if it isn’t convenient (at first) for them to go there.  Sure there are already churches in their city but if they aren’t growing or winning people Christ then a church plant with fresh vision and hot hearts for Jesus is desperately needed.
  1. Churches are in decline and closing their doors every day.  Every year hundreds of churches close their doors.  There will be fewer churches started in the U.S. than churches that die.  If that rate continues, the church in the U.S. could disintegrate.  Since 1950 there are 30% fewer churches in America.  If every current church in the U.S. doubled in size there would still be almost 200 million unchurched people.  One of the largest denominations just reported about the many new churches they had opened the previous year.  Hallelujah to that but the problem is, they closed 10% more churches than they opened that same year.  Our country continues to grow fast and our churches are on the decline.  New works must launch to be a fresh answer to those searching for answers to “been-there, done-that” Christianity.  A church that is not actively pursuing lost people is a generation or two away from closing their own doors.   

  1. New churches reach new people faster than established churches.   The fastest growing churches in America are those planting churches.  Why? They are taking church to the unchurched instead of waiting for them to come to church.  Most new churches that launch out of an existing church can grow fast by reaching new people by concentrating more people and resources strategically at a city or area.  Most unchurched people know, about at least, the current churches of their area and aren’t going to them.  New churches are very intentional (not to say existing churches in that area are not) about reaching new people.  New churches attract new people because they concentrate most of their efforts at doing so.   New Christians have many unsaved friends.  When they are saved and life begins to change they are very vocal with their unchurched friends and bring them to church.  Plain and simple new Christians win more people to Christ than those in the faith longer because those saved for a long time lose touch with the unchurched and have few unchurched friends.  The holy huddle has to disband and be evangelistic.  

  1. Churches today are not reaching young people.  Most people settle in church and get complacent with the people they have in their circles.  Problem is those circles get older.  A church that is young one day can be old and without young kids in 15 years.  Kids grow up, go to college, move away, etc.  A church must be focused and intentional about reaching young people and families at all times or one day they will wake up and be older and one day dead – literally.  4% - that’s all the young people being reached today by the church and their current methods.   Why?  Young people see today’s church as irrelevant for their lives.  It’s their parent’s church but not their church.  The church must become mindful in making the Gospel and church relevant to a young world that is leaving the church left and right.  A young pastor and a young church are the best model to show a young fleeing generation why church matters. 

  1. Planting churches causes people to step up, stop being comfortable, and stop relying on those faithful now.   Churches are notorious about becoming consumer oriented.  “What is church doing for me” can quickly become a church member’s only concern.  Planting churches causes more people in the church to step up and use their giftings, callings, and abilities – that’s a good thing.  More people in the church SHOULD be active and less concerned with what they are getting and more concerned with what they are giving.  The amazing thing is when you give yourself away and invest in your community you actually get more than you ever would being a consumer Christian.   Church is about more than what you can get out of it for your family.  A person that thinks only about what they will lose if they help plant a smaller church instead of sticking with the bigger church has become a consumer Christian unwilling to sacrifice for the Kingdom.  It’s always bigger than you – that’s why someone reached you!  It’s not enough to just be a church attender.  You must be a church builder and planter!  Your big church is way too small to hold every unsaved person out there.  Each city needs a church devoted to reaching the people of that city.  Those in a church who hear of a church planting in their city should jump at the chance to do something through them and for their city greater than themselves. 

  1. People need hope in their city.  Let’s face it, we live in a hopeless world.  People everywhere have given up on life and the church.  But Jesus is our blessed hope!  A city with a new church on fire for Jesus gets things stirred up.  People begin to talk about the newness, freshness, and hopefulness a new church brings to a city.  A new church plant goes out of its way to go door to door, do family carnivals, and other things that bless and serve their community.  New Christians have unsaved friends and begin to share Jesus with them causing more unsaved people to come to your new church – do you see the pattern for explosive growth?   What’s more exciting – just attending an established church or helping to grow a church from the grown up that’s full of believers itself one day?  I’d pick the latter any day.   Sometimes people think nothing good will ever happen in their city.  A church plant that moves into a rundown abandoned facility can bring renovation not only to brick and mortar but flesh and blood as well. 

  1. It is Biblical – plain and simple.  Church is biblical.  Evangelism is biblical.  The Gospel is biblical.   You cannot separate Jesus from His church and evangelism from Christians.    Christians only grow when connected to a biblical church that is actively winning souls and making disciples.  If there isn’t a church in your city that’s actively attempting strategic efforts to reach new people, win them to Christ with the Gospel, disciple them, mobilize them for ministry, and send them out to reach new people for Christ then it’s up to churches who are to launch new churches in your city.  If not, you are basically saying to that city, “I know we have the manpower and resources to bring Jesus to you but we are lazy, undisciplined, and comfortable with church in our own city.  We really don’t care that you need Jesus so go to hell.”  The Great Commission is real, Jesus really died for all sinners, and the whole Church (which is each individual member) really is supposed to preach the Gospel – the individuals of the church, not just the pastor and his sermon. 

  1. People in that city need Jesus!  This point shouldn’t need to be developed much but then again it does because the church today can lose sight of this quickly.  People all around you are on their way to hell without Jesus.  The purpose of your life is not to take from a church but to mobilize for ministry and take the church to the world!   You grow in church and then are sent out to do the work of ministry which is sharing the Gospel, loving people like Christ, and compassionate works geared at growing Jesus’ church.  Plain and simple the church exists to win souls and make disciples which gives glory to God.  Any other reasons and we become another powerless, life-wasting club focused on earthly matters.  Those who are saved are to be light and models of hope to a lost world.  That is practically lived out in the church.  The hope of the world is Jesus, people are lost and going to hell, the church is called to reach people for Jesus – all lived out in local church.  We must make Spirit-filled, Gospel-centered, active, Biblical churches more local than 30 minutes away.  We must actively pursue them and become visually relevant in their city because they aren’t going out of their way to come to us in our present location.  Whatever it takes, we must reach people for Christ and planting churches is about as biblical as you can get. 

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