Why Start New Churches?

22 Oct

Life is very short  ~ from here to the grave… but we will live on for eternity, so our lives should involved in building long lasting, transferable & purposeful “things!”

The Following is a Insert from Ed Stetzer’s Book

Planting Missional Churches

1. John 20:21, Jesus explained, As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

  • Jesus said “As the Father has sent me…” How did the Father send Jesus? He sent Jesus “to seek and save what was lost” (Luke 19:10). And we are sent in the same manner as Jesus – to seek and save the lost. We are to pick up Jesus’ earthly work and continue doing it.
  • This sending statement doesn’t apply just to the disciples. If we consider the Bible a living document with relevance to God’s people through the ages – Jesus’ words apply to both those who originally heard them and to us!
  • God sent Jesus to start a church! Matthew 16:18, “Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”
  • We should start new churches because Jesus is sending us as the Father sent Him. And Jesus was sent to start a church.

2. Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

  • In this passage Jesus gave the task of world evangelization to his disciples – both then and now. That is, we are to take the gospel to every nation – what missiologists now call every people group and population segment.
  • You see – the Great Commission IS church planting! The Great Commission instructs us to 1) make disciples, 2) baptize those disciples, and 3) teach those disciples. All three of these things are tasks and functions of the church. Do you get what I’m saying. The Great Commission IS church planting! Disciples are made in the church, people are baptized in the church, people are taught the Word of God in the church. The Great Commission IS church planting.

Here’s an interesting thought…

  • The best indication of what Jesus meant when he gave the Great Commission can be found in how the first hearers responded. Let that sink it. The best indication of what Jesus meant when he gave the Great Commission can be found in how the first hearers responded.
  • The apostles heard the Great Commission and as they had opportunity on the Day of Pentecost, the preached the gospel and formed a church with the converts – all 3,000 of them!
  • The new converts started house church after house church to do their part in fulfilling the Great commission…In Acts 5:28 the high priest said to the apostles “Didn’t we tell you never again to teach in Jesus’ name? Instead, you have filled all Jerusalem with your teaching about him…” Christianity spread through church planting. Remember Saul (before he became Paul)? What did he do? He went from place to place trying to put Christians in prison. Wait. Why did he have to travel? Because the church spread out through church planting.
  • The persecuted church left Jerusalem and began doing the same thing they were doing back in Jerusalem – they started churches! In Acts 8 I think God allowed the persecution that broke out against the church because he knew that his Great Commission would be fulfilled through it. Look what happened! Acts 8:1 says that because of the persecution all the believers (by this time there were 5,000 men not including the women and children – Acts 4:4) left Jerusalem except for the apostles. And what did they do as they spread out over the regions of Judea and Samaria? Acts 8:4 says that the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went. We know that Philip started a church in Samaria and others did the same in the regions they settled into.
  • The apostle Paul, once converted, dedicated his life to fulfilling the Great Commission. And what did that look like for him? He went around starting churches. They are the same churches we read about now in the book of Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, etc.
  • Again – how do we know that the Great Commission is a call to church planting? Because the best indication of what Jesus meant when he gave the Great Commission can be found in how the first hearers responded. And the apostles, the new converts of the early church, the persecuted church in Jerusalem and the apostle Paul ALL responded to the Great Commission by going out and starting churches!

3. Luke 24:47, Jesus told his disciples to preach “repentance and forgiveness of sins…to all nations.”

  • This is great church planting advice. This is how you start a church. You go among the lost, you reach out with love to the lost and you preach repentance and forgiveness of sins. This is the biblical model.
  • When Peter finished preaching on the Day of Pentecost Acts 2:37-38 records that Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent…for the forgiveness of your sins.
  • Jesus knew that as we reached out to “all nations” we’d have to use different methods to reach different people. That is – every church will look a little different because different methods are required to reach different people groups (i.e. you wouldn’t use the same methods in a retirement community that you might use with twenty somethings). But he wanted us to remember that even though we’d be using different methods to reach different people, the message must always be the same (i.e. There is peace with God through Jesus Christ – turn away from your sins and turn toward God and receive forgiveness of sins).

4. Acts 1:8, You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

  • Why start new churches? Because Jesus intended from the beginning that his message spread out.
  • This final sending statement of Jesus provides the geography of church planting. We are to start in one place, and then expand out. This is impossible to do without the start of new churches. People will only drive so far to come to your church. At some point you need to start a new church so that people can become active members of your congregation. The statistics show that people who live a certain number of minutes and miles from your church are less likely to serve at and invite their friends to your church.
  • Today we could think of Jerusalem as our community, Judea as our state, Samaria as our continent, and the utter most parts of the earth as other continents that are not our own. However you slice it and dice it, the church is to continue to expand. This is done through church planting.
  • Interesting side note: Many churches take the gospel to the ends of the earth through their mission work, while forgetting about Judea (their state) and Samaria (their continent). That is, they are all for helping God’s Word spread abroad, but do very little to help it spread at home.

I am very Grateful for all that Ed Stetzer has been doing to help Christians work thru this season of Transitions & Change…


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