“He leads me in paths of righteousness, for His Name’s sake.” Ps 23:3b
Recently, I began a year-long church-planting apprenticeship at my church, Redeemer Fellowship. This program will equip and train me to lead a new church plant and then serve as its senior pastor. While the notion of leading and pastoring a church plant is daunting, my wife Rachel and I sense God calling us to this, and we are really excited about it. We pray that God will use this new congregation to reach unbelievers, equip and spiritually feed Christians, and, above all, bring glory to His Name.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, to plant a church is to start a new church (local congregation) in a new location. Since the church was birthed at Pentecost (Acts 2), the process of church planting has been an integral and continual part of its life. The motivation for this activity is found in obedience to the Great Commission—Jesus’ command to “make disciples of every nation” (Matt 28:18-20)—for the glory of God.
New churches are born through the preaching of the gospel. The gospel is proclaimed and individuals are converted; these new believers need a community to be a part of along with qualified leaders to shepherd, feed, teach, equip, and protect them—a task which happens in the context of the local church. While there are many churches across America and around the globe, there are still millions of people in need of a faithful gospel witness and ministry in their city or town.
I never planned on going into church planting. For years, I either wrote off the idea or was sure that God was not calling me into it. In the following posts, I will share my journey into church planting. This will include my initial objections to church planting, how I overcame these objections, the rationale for planting new churches, and how the process has looked on the ground. I hope this will help those of you considering church-planting and for those of you who might be interested in joining or partnering with our church plant.
The task of church planting is immensely difficult and sobering. Please keep us in prayer as I begin my church planting apprenticeship and learn what it means to be a church planter.