A proverb is a short, pithy saying that communicates truth. It doesn’t say everything about a topic, but it communicates something important.
The following are some of my my favorite church planting proverbs, along with a short explanation of why I like each one.
“Biblical church planting is evangelism that results in new churches” (J.D. Payne). This corrects my tendency to see church planting as starting a new service that will result in evangelism.
“The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for the numerical growth of the Body of Christ in any city, and the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city” (Tim Keller). It’s not church planting or revitalization. It’s both.
“Church planting is a long hard slog, but it’s worth it all for the glory of God” (Ed Stetzer). This statement captures both the cost and the value of planting.
“It is time to enlarge the church planting table” (J.D. Payne). We need to make room for missionaries who are biblically qualified and called, but don’t fit into the traditional pattern of church planting in North America.
“Open more lanes” (Ed Stetzer). We need fully funded church plants, but we also need bivocational models, house church models, and more.
“Don’t plant or pastor a church in your head. Plant or pastor a church in your community” (Ed Stetzer). Bring the gospel to your community, not a church planting model.
“Gardens don’t launch” (Andy Stager). Planting is much more of a process than it is an event.
“Stop counting and have fun” (advice given to David Cooke). It’s easy to get so serious and so focused on numbers that you miss what God is doing right in front of you.
“We are not the cool thing. We’re dead. Jesus is the cool thing” (Gordon Fleming). The minute we think it’s about being hip or cool, we’re done.
“Church planting is the overflow of your relationship with Jesus” (Adam Sinnett). So is life. So important. So easily forgotten.
This is just a start. I’d love to hear your church planting proverbs as well. Leaven them in the comments if you have them.