Sunday evening I got to experience a rare pleasure. Wearing my hat as the part-time Church Planting Strategist for my association, (no, I did not actually wear a hat in the sanctuary, I’m just speaking figuratively) I spoke at Providence Baptist Church in Loganville, Georgia, on the subject of church planting. This occasion was initiated by an email I received from the pastor there, Rusty Davidson. Here is an excerpt:
I wanted to talk to you about something. I talked to Jim at GMBA last week about this and he reminded me that you would be a great person to talk to about it.
On September 2, I laid out the vision for Providence for the next 18-24 months. One of the things I believe God has called us to do is to plant either a satellite campus or new church plant by Easter 2009 (about 18 months away.) Even though we are currently a small church, I believe it is possible. This would serve as a foundation for something we hope to accomplish through Providence. We would like to use Providence as a base for church planters in the area. They can come and gather and train their core groups using the resources that Providence has.
The problem is, I really do not have any idea of where to start. Naturally, we are praying diligently about this, but I would like to discuss the process and idea with you. Also, if we could find anyone locally that might be interested in being the ‘guinea pig’ for this, it might help to sit down and discuss it with them as well.
So this humble pastor (how often do pastors say they have no idea where to start?) and I talked and met together, developed a process and Sunday night I taught on Becoming A Church-Planting Church to about 40 folks in their congregation. Now here is the interesting thing: there are only about 75 members at Providence. It is a little church with big dreams. Pastor Rusty is fired up about planting churches and reaching people, and so is the congregation. Sunday night they asked good questions, explored creative possibilities and considered what it would cost them in time, money and energy to start new churches. Please join me in praying for them in the days ahead as they become a multiplying church.
But I don’t get emails like Rusty’s or invitations to speak on church planting very often. And if a little congregation of 75 people can plant churches, then why aren’t most of our SBC churches multiplying themselves? NAMB estimates less than 10% of our churches have ever planted a church.
One of the questions I asked Providence was “are you ready to plant churches? If not, what would it take for you to get ready? What must you give up, change, or do differently in order to begin a ministry of church planting?”
So how about it. Is your church planting churches? If not, why not? If so, why?