Friday, August 30, 2013
Church Planting Really is the Key
The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for 1) the numerical growth of the Body of Christ in any city, and 2) the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city. Nothing else--not crusades, outreach programs, para-church ministries, growing mega-churches, congregational consulting, nor church renewal processes--will have the consistent impact of dynamic, extensive church planting. This is an eyebrow raising statement. But to those who have done any study at all, it is not even controversial.*
Jesus is building his Church. The way he does it is by building local churches - particular congregations. The Book of Acts is clear that God's mission in this age is evangelism, disciplemaking and church planting. This is the heart beat of his global mission and the heartbeat of how he brings redemption into individual lives and into communities and cities.
I am a firm believer in para-church organizations that zero in on particular aspects of Christian ministry - such as family reclamation or serving the poor. But none of these important ministries should supplant the centrality of the local church and the centrality of vigorous church planting in God's economy.
*From the paper WHY PLANT CHURCHES by Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Feb. 2002.