What does it mean to be a church plant?
What does it mean to be a church plant?
It is difficult to think this way, but imagine this: The worldwide Christian Church used to consist of only around two-thousand people at it’s humble beginnings (Acts 2:41). That’s it. That may sound like a lot, but consider that today there are around 2.2 billion Christians estimated to be the world. For perspective, that is a 109,999,900% increase in numbers - that is huge.
How did go from that small crowd of two thousand to over two billion? Well, it’s rather simple: people who were not Christians, who did not attend any sort of church service or participate in any Christian gathering began attending, usually because another Christian told them about Jesus, loved them and cared for them, or gave them a copy of the Holy Scriptures. Then they began claiming that Jesus was now their God, placing their faith in him. And they were added to the Church.
The idea of beginning a new church has the goal of continuing this - reaching people who do not identify as Christians, or worship Jesus as their God. We do believe that Christianity is still the message of salvation that the world so desperately needs. Therefore there are a few important things that most new churches cling to:
New Churches Celebrate Other Existing Christian Churches, even if they are right next door
Any church that is spreading the Good News of Jesus, any church that is telling others the Gospel, any other church that is serving the poor and meeting the needs of the community, any church that is making new disciples of Jesus - new churches celebrate their existence. They also often seek to partner with them in hopes of combining efforts to reach the community. New churches are not began in some sort of competition against the other churches. No, rather they celebrate their ministries, pray for them, equip them, even donate money, time and people to them in hopes of working together to reach their local community.
2) New Churches Want to Reach Those Outside the Christian Church
For the Christian church to grow, it must reach new people who are not within it’s community. It has been shown over and over again that new churches and churches that plant new churches tend to reach people who are not yet Christians at a much higher rate than other churches. This has been the case for two thousand years. Thus, new churches are greatly needed if the Christian church is to continue to grow. Jesus was very clear that we need to “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:16-20). Therefore planting churches is an way for the Christian church to obey the Great Commission.
3) New Churches want to serve the poor and help meet needs in their city
As soon as the apostle Paul was accepted by the other apostles in Jerusalem, they asked him to “Remember the poor.” Paul said, yes! “That was the very thing I was eager to do” (Galatians 2:1-10). Since it’s inception the Church has been eager to serve the poor and help those in need in the name of Jesus. New Churches are often eager to be on the front lines of such a ministry.
4) New Churches want to be a blessing to the city it is founded in
The question I often ask myself with this new church: when this new church in Point Pleasant takes root, turns a few years older, and we mature a bit - how can we minister to Point Pleasant in such a way that, if we suddenly disappear, that Point Pleasant would mourn the loss of our presence?
To learn more about what a church plant is all about, the best way ahead of you is to come and worship with us this Sunday as we are having our first preview service in Point Pleasant Beach - 10am @Elks Lodge off of Arnold Ave. Click here for directions!
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