FIRST-PERSON: Church Planting Helps Us All Grow in Four Ways

Published 1:30 pm Sunday, February 27, 2022

I recently had a meeting with a few partnering church pastors who were enthusiastic about partnering with a new sister church being planted. One of the pastors said, “We are glad they are planting! They will reach people in ways we aren’t equipped or unable to. We need to learn from them and work to be an excellent partner!” Praise the Lord!!

These existing church pastors understand their communities are over 80 percent lost/unchurched and are working to build upon the strengths of their local body to do their best to make a kingdom impact. They also understand they can work with others to see a better kingdom impact. One of the best-known ways to reach a community with the gospel is by planting or partnering with a new church.

Here are four ways all churches in an area benefit from a local church plant:

1) All benefit evangelistically

When a new church is planted, the new church is excited to share the gospel with as many as they can in ways you’ve tried and ways you haven’t thought of yet. Seeing the evangelistic zeal of others often prompts us to be more evangelistic. We get encouraged to hear another church is seeing people come to Christ and being discipled. We want the same excitement in our church!

2) All benefit numerically

As the new church shares the gospel and begins to grow, so do their partnering churches and neighboring churches, as all are excited to be a part of what God is doing. People want to join in where there is excitement! Seeing new churches being planted prompts us to think about our context.

“Can we start a new discipleship group or a Bible study?” “Do we need to start another ministry where members are more gifted or there is a community need that can be met?” This excitement can lead to kingdom growth for all. What if our church isn’t seeing numerical growth? We praise Jesus that He is blessing a sister church and its efforts!

3) All benefit spiritually

When new churches are regularly being planted in our community, we can partner together to grow spiritually. Believers in all congregations are digging into scripture and learning how the first churches and missionaries multiplied themselves. They cry out to God on behalf of the lost and the communities around them. They are also growing more robust in the Lord. Planting and partnering with plants tend to cause believers to hone the gifts they already have and help them desire to be challenged in others with which they are weak.

4) All benefit missionally

Part of our worship of the Lord is being faithful missionaries to our own families, neighborhoods, workplaces, communities and beyond. Learning to understand better how communities are reached through church planting helps us all grow to be better missionaries. Acts 13:1-5 is one of my favorite missional passages — it describes a church purposely sending missionaries out and bringing a young intern (Mark) with them.

If you would like more information on how to develop a strategy to plant a church or partner with a church planter, please connect with us by email at churchplanting@kybaptist.org If you feel called to plant a church, please visit www.kbcplanterportal.org.

Toby DeHay is church planting and development associate with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.