The other day I planted a tree.
It got windy outside and the tree blew over.
I replanted the tree. But also read up on how to plant a tree.
Young trees are supposed to be supported with several strong rods, and tied to the tree in a way that does not too tightly stifle the tree, but is strong enough to support it through winds and storms.
What, I wonder, are your supports when the winds of life blow fiercely? Family. Friends. Faith. Those are the nice answers. Ice cream, beer, and tv might be more honest ones for some (and some opportunities for prayer instead!)
I’m currently participating in a weekly discussion with some other LCMC pastors in Texas about planting new churches.
Why plant new churches? Aren’t there a lot of existing churches? Yes.
But church planting is the most effective form of evangelism.
Why? New churches are effective in evangelism because they don’t have cliques (yet), they aren’t preoccupied with maintenance (because they don’t yet have anything to maintain), and they aren’t stifled by “we’ve never done that before” (yet), so they are free to focus on doing a couple of things v
Church planting was the most effective form of evangelism in biblical times (think of Paul), and it still is today.
This doesn’t mean older churches can’t be great. Senior citizens can run marathons sometimes, but they will still never return to being 20-year olds.
Like my tree, new churches need supports that help hold them up and guide their growth. They need prayer, they need money, they need time and talents from existing churches.
Our church did not come from nowhere. A Georgian (the country) young man attended a Swiss missionary institute and was called by God to start a new congregation all the way over in Giddings, Texas. People prayed like crazy. People gave generously. People invited and volunteered and got to see a mission congregation grow from 30 people worshipping in a farmhouse in 1894 to become hundreds of people doing ministry out of a large campus today.
Our parents did not birth us hoping we would be the last of the family tree. They hoped for grandkids one day. Maybe great-grandkids too.
Our church founders did not imagine we’d be the end. They hoped we could plant other churches one day too.
Please pray and ponder and dream about how our congregation could plant churches, or be a support to churches as they emerge.