By Rob Campbell, Founding Pastor, www.cypresscreekchurch.com
Jesus says to go and make disciples of all the nations. One way to fulfill Jesus’ command is through establishing local churches, as shown in the New Testament. Peter Wagner, missiologist, former church planter, and author of books on the subject, says, “The simple, most effective evangelistic method under heaven is planting churches.”
Founder and International Director of Gospel for Asia, K. P. Yohanan, says, “In the New Testament, while the saving of individuals is significant, it is so because such evangelism is a necessary part of planting churches. You cannot plant churches without evangelizing, but you can evangelize without bringing new congregations into being. I am not implying that para-church organizations are necessarily misguided. But I am saying that they should not see their ministries as an end in themselves, but as valuable only to the extent to which they help strengthen existing churches and to plant new ones.”
Yohanan continues, “What is missionary work all about? …To do good, to preach the Gospel, to save souls, to heal the sick, to baptize bodies are all good and true answers but fall short of what stands out a mile in the NT account in Acts. What did the first apostolic missionaries like Paul, Barnabas, Silas, and Timothy do? Certainly, they did preach and teach, heal, and serve — but why? For what purpose? Not just to save individual souls. Acts is absolutely clear. They planted churches.”
If God is leading you to plant a church, then pray. Be deliberate. One church health consultant writes, “In church planting, passion is overrated, and preparedness underrated.” Find a healthy mentor. Research church planting trends in your geographical area. Study the demographics. Don’t go it alone. Develop a healthy team.