As surely as the Lord orchestrated a great movement of evangelism and
church planting in the first century, He's orchestrating movements all over the
world today. These movements are 'riding on the wings' of the gospel
penetrating lostness and changing cultures. The momentum for exponential
evangelism and church planting has been much slower to materialize in North
America than in many other parts of the world. But there is a
gentle stirring of the Holy Spirit, greatly evidenced in the
significant interest and increase in church plants. While the increase is
occurring in varying degrees among most evangelicals, there are significant
happenings among Southern Baptists.
We see an increased interest in missional church planting in three key
areas: church planters, church planting partners and church
God is calling out a new generation of committed, passionate and visionary
church planters who want to be instrumental in allowing the gospel to
penetrate their culture and change their world by starting reproducing
communities of believers. They desire for these missional communities to
become missional churches that will produce authentic, deeply committed
disciples of Christ whom they can equip as missionaries to live out their faith
in the marketplace.
These planters are more interested in genuine relationships, not mechanical
religion. They're more interested in individuals than institutions. The mission
of Christ energizes them, providing meaningful purpose for living and
multiplying themselves through the lives of new believers and disciples who
want to make a spiritual difference in their world. They fear the difficult
places, but often are challenged and invigorated by these same places. They
believe the hard places provide opportunities for the Holy Spirit to manifest
His power and prove Himself sufficient through the transformation of lives.
These missional planters want to be frontline participants in spreading the
gospel, not just sending others to represent them!
God also is raising up church planting partners from every corner of North
America. From foundations to wealthy individuals to institutions to private
ministries to Kingdom-focused churches, God is calling people and resources to
the cause of church planting. More of God's leaders are realizing it takes all
of Christ's followers to advance the Kingdom and fulfill the Great Commission.
These partners are moving from a goal-oriented life of success to a
compassionate lifestyle of significance. These partners care little about the
methods, but highly treasure the message (of the gospel!). They are attracted
to vision and are motivated by changed lives.
They are willing to sacrifice if they believe it will advance the mission of
Christ while adding spiritual significance to their lives. Many church
parents/sponsors are answering the call to become Acts 1:8 churches to be
missional, reproducing, vibrant bodies of believers. They constantly prove the
thesis that if you are healthy you will reproduce. Like the planters, this new
generation cares little about perpetuating the institutional church. They
care about multiplying the Kingdom by equipping and mobilizing multitudes of
disciples into the culture and community to make a difference for Christ.
These church planting partners are redefining success for the local church.
It's not about who can gather the most people at one time for big spectator
worship experiences. They desire to mobilize large numbers of God's people into
evangelism, discipling, equipping and life-changing activities.
These churches are springing up in urban and suburban areas and rural, town
and country communities. They are continally adjusting their methodology but
attempting never to change or compromise the message. They want what is
real, transparent, authentic, sincere and life-changing. They will take
on many shapes and forms, various models, diverse music and ministry, but the
missional churches are passionate and determined to eternally change their
world for Christ. They want to sponsor activities that point people to
Are you a missional church planter? A missional partner? Or a
missional parent/sponsor? Would you accept a challenge to allow God to make a
difference in your world for Him? Would you commit yourself to do everything
you can to take many people to heaven with you? You can by getting involved in
Ample opportunities exist for you or your church to be involved in church
planting in North America. You can participate at one of three levels:
Primary-one church sponsors a church plant Clustering-several churches
partner together to sponsor a church plant Sponsoring-a church assists a
church plant with equipment, mission teams, construction, evangelism
projects, etc. For more information or for church planting equipping resources,
go to www.churchplantingvillage.net. Begin today to be on
mission with the Lord.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC