I have come full circle on North American church planting. I became a passionate supporter of church planting during my M.Div. studies and upon graduation, moved to a rural town to plant a church (which we did). I returned to Southern for Ph.D. studies with a bent toward church planting. In the middle of my doctoral studies, I became a bit disenchanted by the trendiness of it all. Yet, upon further reflection, I continue to see the importance and need for new churches and will continue to be an advocate for church planting here at home. I agree that there is ministry to be done in existing churches. I also am a strong advocate partnership and support for international missions. Here, however, are a few reasons I believe that churches should be involved in planting new churches in
1. The population of the
2. Population shifts and development are seeing new communities emerging where there are few if any existing churches. New churches are needed to fill the gap.
3. The number of immigrants continues to grow. There is a need for churches to reach these rapidly growing ethnic populations.
4. Not all existing churches are willing and/or able to make the contextual and methodological changes necessary to reach our culture with the gospel. (Other churches are “unhealthy” and are unwilling to reform.) New churches often have a freedom and flexibility that established churches do not.
There are many more arguments in support of church planting. These are a few that I find compelling.
Author’s Note: This post was first written as a comment to a blog post entitled “Churches that Don’t Plant Churches” by a fellow PhD student at Southern.