In less than a month, we will have the grand opening service of a new church plant, Anchor Baptist Church! It’s a very exciting time, but what exactly does it mean to plant a church? I’d like to share a few thoughts with you about the process and plan for planting a new church.
Immediately, you should know there is no Bible verse which says: “Thou shalt plant churches”. That doesn’t mean it is an unbiblical concept however. Planting new churches is a good term to describe the process of starting new congregations of believers in Jesus Christ.
Jesus’ Command to Start Churches
Before Christ’s ascension to heaven, He issued what we call the “Great Commission” (another term not found in the NT!). The Great Commission is laid out in Matthew 28:18-20 (and other Scriptures). In summary, Christ commanded his disciples to take the gospel to the entire world, to make disciples, to baptize them, and to train them in Christ’s ways. When this was done locally by the disciples, the result was the church growing in number. However, when this is done outside of the local area, it was necessary to organize new churches. So the Great Commission is Jesus’ command to establish new churches globally through evangelism.
Why Use the Term “Planting”?
We say that we are planting a new church because it is an accurate description of both what we are doing and what Christ commanded. When you plant something, the process begins with a seed. To establish Anchor Baptist Church, we begin with a seed as well; in this case the seed is a few Christians who moved to the area (the Lamb family) to begin preaching the gospel and making disciples. This seed is already taking root as a few have already received Christ through our efforts.
The Next Step
Holding public worship services is the next big step in planting Anchor Baptist Church. Here’s where we hope to nurture the new believers and grow together into an independent church. To reach maturity as a new church, we need to complete several steps. Those steps will be subject of future articles. Stay tuned!
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