Questions abound when we begin to think about church planting. The five W’s — who, what, when, where, and why — need to be addressed before we start talking about “how.”
We usually start with the “who” question: “Who should plant a church?” Most initially answer that question, “Somebody else.” I’m praying that some of our churches will instead answer, “Here am I, Lord, use me.”
Once a church begins to consider planting, they must deal with the “where” question: “Where will we plant a new church?” Our first thought is “not too close to our own church,” because we don’t want to create competition for ourselves.
But the fact is that planting another church nearby is a great way to begin reaching the lost people your church has never been able to reach. It’s a Kingdom strategy. In fact, the church I pastored in North Texas had three other churches meeting in our own facility. Each church reached people the others could not.
Next, you may ask the “what” question: “What kind of church should we plant?” The best answer may not be, “One just like ours.” You may want to consider planting a church that is different. For example, First Liberty is planting a cowboy church.
We are tempted to answer the “when” question by saying, “Not now; later, when we are larger, when we can afford it.” You know what they say about having children: If you wait until you can afford them, you’ll never have them. The same is true of giving birth to new churches.
It doesn’t really take much money to start a church. The resources are in the harvest. As the new church reaches people, they will give the money to support their own congregation.
Who, what, when and where are important questions, but we will never even ask those questions until we deal with the “why” question. “Why should churches plant churches?”
The answer is simple. Churches planting churches is the New Testament way that the gospel has spread throughout history. If churches had not planted churches, your own church would not exist today. Every church was once a new church planted by someone.
As your church does all that it can to get the gospel to the people in your area, please consider planting a new church as a strategy for reaching those people. Reach all you can at your own church and plant another church to reach some of those you cannot reach.
Join me and others Jan. 12-14 for a special three-day Churches Planting Churches Training event. Let’s talk together about the who, what, when, where and why of church planting. And then let’s start finding answers to the “how” question.
Praying for you and your church,