It is 2020, and we are still struggling with what is the best method for launching a new church plant. In biblical days, they would go into a town square and gather a crowd, preach the gospel, see souls saved, and start a church. They would go to the synagogue and preach. They would meet house to house. We have seen in more recent years; churches launched through a big revival conference resulting in a church being birthed. On the mission field, they have held events like an evangelistic medical clinic resulting in a new church plant. Some say to start small and grow organically. Some say to start with a big bang.
When designing a launch strategy for a new church plant, the most important question should be, which is the best method for the healthy, biblical birth of this new church?
I. Follow the Leadership of the Reproducing Pastor
We believe churches reproduce churches. Therefore, the reproducing pastor is the leader and should have the final authority and has the responsibility to God for the church plant.
It should not be the church planter saying, “this is my church plant, how do I want it done.” Allowing the pastor to lead may concern some church planters. However, If God has led you to start a church under your reproducing pastor, I believe there will be a unity in the church plant launch strategy.
II. Seeks God’s Will for How He Would Have the Church Planted
The question is not which method I will use; instead, it should be how God would desire us to plant this particular church.
There is no one way or best method. At BCPM, we try to handcraft each church plant to meet the vision of the reproducing pastor. Often, many methods can be utilized in the planting of a church.
III. Ideas for the Launch
A. Settle into the area
Before you start, move in and make sure to settle in with your wife and family. Let your wife know that they are first.
B. Using a start team
Do you start with a team that moves to the area to help? Do you start with some helpers from the reproducing or area churches? There are pros and cons to both methods. Discuss this with your pastor of how he believes you should start.
Spend several weeks or months saturating the region with gospel literature. Many communities have no idea about the gospel today. These are unique materials designed to teach the community of the gospel.
D. Have weekly gatherings
As you do evangelism, you can start with bible studies. You can also start with a Sunday morning service for 4-6 months. Of course, you can begin with both at the same time. This phase is a time to let the community know what kind of church you are, grow a core group, and share the gospel. Each week let the people know when you will be having official launch meetings. This preparation will allow them the opportunity to take time off work and invite others to your launch meetings.
E. Monthly events
Host a monthly meeting in which you invite the people who have come to your weekly gatherings to attend. The purpose is to share your vision for the new church.
Also, organize a monthly outreach event. These events are a chance to show the community that your new church cares for them.
F. Have launch meetings
Launch meetings are a great once in a lifetime event. These allow the new church to show what kind of church you are starting. It is also an excellent way to gain credibility for your ministry. You are a new pastor in town, and no one knows you. These meetings are a powerful way to give you strong credibility to you with the area people.
G. Which method should I use?
In 1999, God led me to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to plant a church. We moved into the area and got settled into the community. With the help of area churches, we got out 35,000 pieces of gospel literature and invites to our weekly services. We then held six months of Sunday morning services and later added mid-week bible study. Three families committed to come and help us. We hosted a monthly event in our home and also organized a monthly outreach. Each week we told the people about our launch services and asked them to invite others. We then held a five-day Launch Event, which was very well attended and had guests each day.
The bottom line is that you do not have to use just one method to plant a church. Work closely with your reproducing pastor and let the Lord lead you in how it is best to start the church in your area.
Author: RICK RUST
Praise the Lord that many pastors have a burden and a heart’s desire to reproduce their church by planting new churches. So, you have money, the will, resources, all you need now is a man to plant the church. However, as the question is so often asked, where do we get the man to pastor the new work?
I Pray to the Lord of the harvest
Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
A pastor was praying for God to provide a church planter for a new work, and one day, a friend came and told him that God had moved him on from his ministry. The friend asked the pastor to pray for him. The pastor then asked him to pray about being the church planter for a church he was burdened to start. Today that friend is now pastoring this new work. God answered prayer!
II Use your connections
Let it be known that your church is burdened to plant a church in your area and that you are actively seeking a man to pastor this work. Call your pastor friends, colleges, or other connections. If possible, go to a college and share your burden. Many times, there is a young man out there that has a burden for an area but feels it is impossible for him to accomplish what God has for him. By you coming, he could see that there is someone who cares and is willing to come alongside of him.
III Intern staff
Bring on a staff member with the goal of him starting a church in the future. When you do this, your people will get to know him and his family and will be excited about helping with the new church plant.
Summer internships are also great ways to find a church planter and to create a bond between him and you. Again, the young man will connect with your church.
IV Train them up
What do we expect missionaries to do on the foreign field? Do we ask them to plant a church, then hope that someone will come along to plant the next one? We need pastors with a burden to train up some young men through their churches with a heart for church planting. Training could be done through a bible college, Bible institute in your church, or even a mentorship between him and the pastor. This used to be very common in our circles, but we have gotten away from it. I know this takes time, but if churches across the country would start doing this, we could see God produce a great harvest down the road.
We must remember that at the end of the day, it is all in God’s hand and in His timing when a church reproduces itself. Some couples, after they get married, have a hard time having a child. Again, it is in God’s hand whether they have a baby or when. However, the couple will do whatever it takes to have a baby the entire time they are praying for a child. We need churches who will pray and do whatever it takes to reproduce their church while they wait upon the Lord.