Planting a church can lead to a lot of questions. How will God move through this step of faith? Will we raise enough money to launch well? How many people will be on our launch team? Will we be able to effectively reach our community?
Additionally, people we have met with who are interested in Real Life Church also have a lot of questions about church planting. Who are you associated with? What are your core beliefs and core values? When and where are you launching?
These questions are so important but one of the most important questions so far has been:
“Why another church?”
After all, it doesn’t take long driving through almost any town in the midwest to find churches on many street corners and in most towns in America, there are still good churches full of faithful people who desire to see their community know God. So the question remains, why should we plant another church? The answer to this question is complex but I believe it can be best answered with three main ideas:
- Adding more light makes the light shine brighter
Many pastors and organizations over the years have done research to show that one of the best ways to reach new people and revitalize churches in an existing community is to plant new churches. We see in the book of Acts and throughout church history that the Church has always grown most fervently through church planting movements.
In his article Why Plant Churches , Timothy Keller says, ”The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for (1) the numerical growth of the body of Christ in a city and (2) the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city.” New churches advance the work of God by increasing the number of new Jesus followers in a city as well as by encouraging everyone in a community to attend or reconsider church—knowing every church isn’t for everyone, this encourages all people in a community to try out or return to a local church.
New churches also bring a new life and energy and reach new people who might not have gone to church before. In this way, the intent of new churches is to reach new or unengaged people, not just rearrange the people who are already attending church regularly.
2. There is a need for more new churches
In the days just following Jesus’death, we see his early church followers follow this model: show people how to follow Jesus and then plant a church in their hometown that they can lead. This first movement of churches rapidly spread across countries and continents and is the model given for following Jesus’ last command to make disciples and baptize believers. The church is the way God intended for his story to spread.
In light of this model and our individual call to make disciples, we started doing some research about our community and learned that 63% of the people in our community report no meaningful church relationship (City-Data). In an area consisting of approximately 100,000 people, that means 63,000 are not engaged in a church. Even if every church in the community was bursting at the seams, we would still need more churches to reach these people.
Statistically, new church plants reach new and unengaged people, and there is clearly a need for this in our growing community. We need more new churches to reach people who are not currently attending church and who have never attended church.
3. Jesus calls us to build his Church
Everyone who knows and follows Jesus as savior is part of the Church. That means Jesus’ command to make disciples and baptize followers is both an individual and corporate call. This call is meant to be accomplished both individually through evangelism but also through a body of believers—the local church. We are called to continuously and fervently reach out until every person knows Jesus and experiences real and eternal life through him. This too is a community effort and as part of the global Church we are excited to partner together with the work God is already doing in northern Cass County.
The call of God has always been more about what God wants to do in and through people than about what other churches are already doing in the community and at Real Life Church we believe God is calling us to build his Kingdom and make His name famous.
We are currently building our launch team for Real Life Church. Would you consider partnering with us as we seek to join what God is doing in northern Cass County. Follow us on Facebook for more information about our next Interest Social or check out our website for more information about our launch.
Real Life Church exists to strengthen and mobilize the church for the distinct purpose of connecting unchurched people with Jesus until revival moves our cities, hope restores communities, and all generations find their life and purpose in Jesus.