And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV)
This is the basic call to church planting. To make disciples simply means, “to lead others to know Jesus Christ, and to follow him with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength” (Matthew 22:34-40). To make disciples is to guide people into loving and caring for others as if they are more important than you, because that is how Jesus loved us (Philippians 2:3). To be a disciple of Jesus is to, with the cooperative work of God, continually be transformed into the likeness and image of Christ with their fellow Christian brothers and sisters (Romans 8:28-30 - just as God originally desired humankind to be upon Creation (Genesis 1:28). The result will be people living lives of holiness, peace, and grace towards themselves and their neighbors, telling everyone of all that Jesus has done for them. They seek to be blessing to their community, just as Jesus was to his, serving it and caring for it and seeking its welfare (Jeremiah 29:7). And church plants also seek to serve, support and assist local churches as much as they can, knowing they need their help and guidance, and knowing that they are ministering to the same Jesus they are. This has been going on for two thousand years, and a church plant is only seeking to replicate it once more.
Church planting is about making new disciples of Jesus, and about cultivating already-Christians into deeper fellowship with Jesus.
All of this is possibly only because of the Gospel. Church planting, essentially, is a new church made up of new and old disciples of Jesus. Whenever you see a church building, even if it is 100 years old, and even if you imagine that it had always been there - it has not. One day, a group of people began a new church and decided to build a building to house them. The phrase “church plant” really only means “new church” that is ready to bud and grow and continue to establish itself in order that new churches may grow from itself, and to be sent to other areas that need more churches, extending the Christian Church into areas that desperately need it.
The mission of church planting, at it’s core, is not very different from that of an established church. They only may have a heightened sense of mission, that is, of telling others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ in order to make new disciples. They are usually smaller when they start, but prayerfully, will grow as more people meet Jesus through this new loving community of Christians.
Redeemer Point Pleasant seeks to be one of these - a church plant right in the Point Pleasant area. Please pray for us, and if you are interested in Jesus or Christianity or spiritual things, please consider meeting this new church family as we want to help curious people wrestle with their questions about Jesus and Christianity and help Christians grow and mature into their faith.