1. My upbringing need not determine my future. It doesn’t matter if I grew up in a culture that failed to introduce me to church planting. A person is not bound to the ways of his family or upbringing: bad habits can be broken; good things can become better. Ventures should not be written off due to lack of experience or cultural exposure.
2. I don’t have to repeat the mistakes of those who came before me. Sure I have seen some unhealthy ways of approaching church planting, that doesn’t mean that I have make the same errors or fall in the same way. I don’t have to try and plant a church without the support or oversight of others. I don’t have to compromise the pure preaching of the gospel to try and attract outsiders. I don’t have to fall to into serious moral failure and end up disqualified for ministry. We ought to learn from the triumphs and failures of those who came before us and not let cowardice prevent us from taking up the hard work of church planting (Prov 22:13).
3. Having a desire to start a new pioneering work doesn’t mean you are misled or will end up hurting others. God does lead His people into new ministry endeavors and to reject this is to spurn the Holy Spirit’s work. These impulses ought to be shared with elders and godly leaders who can help discern God’s leading.
4. It doesn’t matter if a pursuit is trendy or not. To refuse to pursue a task because it is popular is to make the same mistake as pursuing a task because it is going along with the crowd. Both are rooted in pride and the fear of man.
5. The argument “Why plant more churches, don’t we have enough anyways?” is false and short-sighted. Sure, we have many church buildings in our country, but many of these assemblies have ministers who are not preaching the gospel. Just because there is a church building present does not mean that the Word of God is rightly being preached or that the sacraments are rightly being administered (Calvin’s formula for determining if a true church is present). Also, thousands of churches are closing their doors every year, and the number of non-Christians or those who hold to “no-religion” is increasing dramatically in America (Naperville, for instance, a town of 140,000 plus, reported 30% of its popular to be religiously unaffiliated–that is over 40,000 people!). In addition to this, there will always be a need for new church plants, as God continues to grow his church. Some may undertake the noble task of ‘re-planting’ spiritually dead churches; but others will need to plant new churches.
This line of thinking helped me overcome my objections. In my next few posts I’ll consider of the biblical and theological rationale for church planting and why I believe God is calling me personally into church-planting.