When I asked Terry Cuthbert what he would say to a church that isn’t involved in church planting, he had one word: “Repent!” I agree. It is the privilege of every church to invest in planting churches for the sake of the God’s glory.
I’m not naive. I know that if you are part of a church that has never thought of planting that it will take some work to get there. But you have to start somewhere.
Here’s what I would do.
- Get convinced about the importance of church planting. It all starts here. Reading this article (PDF) by Tim Keller pretty well wrecked me, and I’ve never looked back.
- Begin to share a vision for church planting. This will take some time. Your people may think that your church is too small, or that planting isn’t important. You can begin to influence the way that your people think.
- Fund church plants. Start really small. The beauty of helping to fund a church plant is that it’s very temporary. Take up a special offering for a church plant in the area for 3-5 years, or add a small amount to your budget for a local church plant. When that church is established, keep the funds and invest them in a new church plant. After twenty years, you’ll be able to look back at four to six churches you’ve had a hand in planting, not to mention their daughter churches as well.
I spoke to a pastor recently and asked how many churches they’d planted in the past twenty years. The answer: five. But some of those churches have planted other churches as well. They’ve done this all under the radar without a lot of noise or fuss.
It’s every church’s privilege to participate in church planting, and even a small start is good. I wish that I had clued into this years earlier, but it’s never too late to start.