Impacting Our Area Through Church Planting Part 1

Impacting our community with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, through the local church, should be the heart of every church planter. The reason that we call the church the local church is because it is in a local area, reaching local people and impacting a local place.  Many times, after the newness wears off of “starting a church” the church planter will lose that focus of impacting his area. I want to encourage every individual who is presently thinking about planting a church or is already in the process of planting a church to keep the fire in your soul and impact your area with the gospel. We must never lose the passion for seeing souls saved, families restored and lives brought from destruction to a place of peace. In the book of Acts there were local churches in Jerusalem, Antioch, Phillippi, and all over Asia minor. These churches began to see their areas transformed for the cause of Christ. To accomplish this, they utilized several areas of ministry, while impacting their communities.

 

Impacting our Communities Through Evangelism 

Acts 2:41,47 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” This church in Jerusalem realized that soul winning was not just a suggestion or choice, but that it is an explicit command from the word of God. They had heard Jesus Christ say with their own ears “Go ye therefore and teach all nations”. Christ’s command still continues today, and if we as church planters are to reach our areas, we must follow the command that Christ exemplified. Every time He brought a soul into His own kingdom He was our example of soul winning. Our vocation, our occupations and place of residents may change but our vocation (purpose) never changes. You were brought here as a church planter to this community for a purpose, and that purpose was to win people to Christ, baptize them into the local church, then disciple them to go out and do the same thing. Soul winning makes the difference more than any other thing in this world. When we lead someone to Jesus, we do not just see a life changed for this life but a soul saved for all eternity. We must always remember that a difference can be made in our community if enough souls receive Jesus and become soul winners themselves. Soul winning needs to be taught and transferred to others, that is something as a church planter we must never forget. Someone taught you and I; we then caught the fervor to see souls saved. Let us pass that same fervency on to those that are converted through our ministry.

    In Acts 19:10 the Bible speaks of another local church that through the leadership of Paul influenced all of Asia. The Bible said: And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. This was a church that literally saturated their region with the gospel. There was a man that wisely once said “that it was his job to reach every available person by every available means at every available time in every available place with the gospel of Christ”. We must get back to thinking in such terms, we must not let any opportunity be missed. Let us even think and pray of new ways that we can use to tell people about Christ. Here are some avenues that our church has utilized for saturating evangelism.
Door Knocking do a lot of it for a long time
Bus ministry Many kids and families can be reached through tried and true method
Big Days several times a year this gives your people an opportunity to bring new families
VBS we have had families added to the church as result of our Vacation Bible School
Neighborhood Bible Times in trailer parks and apartment projects
Nursing Home Ministry this not just an outreach to the residents but their families and the workers who are employed there
Sunday School Attendance Campaigns twice a year normally generates a lot of excitement
Fire Fighter Pizza Ministry where we deliver pizza to fire fighters and they get to know that there’s a church that cares
Businessmen Connect An avenue in which we reach out and connect with local business professionals
Addictions Ministries every place you go you will find people trapped in addictions. If you preach to hurting people you will never lack for a congregation
Funeral Home Volunteer go to local funeral homes and volunteer your service to conduct funerals for free to those who don’t have a minister. We have made many contacts and seen lot of folks saved as a result of this ministry
Thanksgiving Meals We will contact several agencies that help families in need and they will put us in contact with certain families they have picked. This good way to open the door to share the gospel. Our people have always loved this ministry!
   Just simply showing your face everywhere and building relationships with the people do not isolate yourself away from your community, don’t hide behind your desk church planter. Get out into the communities and get to know the people. Began to enlist and train workers. Unless you train other people to do what you’re doing, you will always be limiting what God wants to do. God desires us to work through our people just as he’s working through us. You must train others so that they are challenged to do the same thing that you’re doing. Then the area will become saturated completely with the gospel.

 

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The Biblical Pattern for Church Planting

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The heart of Church Planting in this modern day ought to be the same as it was when Church Planting had its beginning in the New Testament. Everything should start with a biblical foundation. Every action, every plan, should follow a biblical pattern & have a Bible principle as its anchor. Over time airplanes have gotten more sophisticated and technical but the principles of lift, thrust, drag, and the ever present gravity haven’t changed. Just as the Creator of the universe is the same yesterday, today, & forever, so are the principles in His Word. Culture does not change biblical principles, time does not change biblical principles, location does not change biblical principles, nor does  geography. Whether we are on the mission field or down the street the Bible is still our guidebook, our encyclopedia of God’s wisdom to man, for our every action and for the way we are to plant HIS CHURCH.

So what does that look like?

Here are some significant practical examples:

The Presence of Preaching & Teaching of the Word of God.

Whether you begin your Church Plant by meeting in a storefront in the inner city, or a house in the suburbs, or under a tree in a village one thing should be present, the preaching of the Gospel Message. There are many New Testament examples but here are a few:

Jesus by the Seashore – Matt 5

Peter outside the Temple – Acts 2

The Apostles in Houses – Acts 5:42

Paul in the Synagogue – Acts 13

Paul in the center of Athens – Acts 15 etc…

The Venues are different but the Biblical Pattern of the Preaching of the Gospel is the same.

The Preeminence of Preaching in the Church

As we just saw, preaching must be present in any Church, but it should also be central. We are instructed in Col 3:16 to teach and admonish with songs, hymns, & spiritual songs, we have a wonderful OT book of the Bible called Psalms. Jesus led the Disciples in a hymn after His Last Supper in Matthew 26:30 & Mark 14:26. We even have a wonderful OT book of the Bible called Psalms. Music is to be the beginning of Worship; a doorway to God’s Presence. Music is great to prepare the heart for the preaching of God’s Word, but it is not to be the foundation of the Church, or to be the forefront of Worship. Jesus did not have a singing ministry or a traveling singing group, but He did Preach and Teach everywhere He went.

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” I Cor 1:18

“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. “ I Cor 1:21

The biblical Church pattern at its center will be the Preaching of God’s Word which transcends every culture, every tribe, and every tongue.

The Passion for the Lost outside the Church

In our current day and age we have gotten things a little inside-out or better outside-in. The Work of the Church has always been to reach the lost, but the Biblical Pattern for reaching them has been confused in our recent days. The Biblical Pattern has been “the highways and hedges and compel them” to come to Jesus Christ, not to the Church house. We have seen this change in methodology taking Soul Winning from an outside daily effort of every believer, and reducing it to an advertising ministry for our Church and it activities (If we have a “Visitation” or “Outreach Ministry” at all).

The Biblical Pattern for The Work of the Church is to compel, convince, & convert the lost to Jesus Christ as in Acts 5:42. “And 1 daily in the  2 temple, and in every house,  3 they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” 

1Daily

2 Everywhere – Outside the Church Meeting Place. The Temple was not the Church

3 Ferventlywith passion, boldly

The second ,and most important part is the Worship of the Church. That is what we “assemble” (ekklesia) to do. Although, much of our modern Church worship style is modeled after the Old Testament and the Synagogues in the New Testament age, there are specific  principles prescribed for the Church to follow in the New Testament that are given for our pattern of Worship.

The Biblical Pattern for The Worship of the Church is to:

Worship God – Phil 3:3, Col 3:16-17, I Cor. 11

Celebrate the Resurrection of Christ –  John 20:1 & 19

Edify & Educate the Saints –  Ephesians 4:11-12

Bring our Tithes and Offerings. – 1 Corinthians 16:2

I fear too often we get caught up in the Work and lose our Worship. It is important to do both but we must not lose our Worship, or the Work will be done in the flesh for our own glory and not God’s. We must never forget in winning the lost that our purpose is to be like Him. (Christians – little Christs)

Ephesians 4:17-24

17  This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 

18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 

19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 

20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 

21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 

22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 

24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

        The Power of Prayer in the Church

“The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men” “What the church needs today is not more or better machinery, not new organizations, or more novel methods; but men whom the Holy Spirit can use—men of prayer, men mighty in prayer.” – E. M. Bounds

The entire book of Acts is a testimony of the power of prayer. Prayer is central to every act of the Church throughout the book, and it should be today as well. More than 25 times in the book of Acts prayer shows it’s power. Often today, as EM Bounds said so clearly, we focus on our methodology, or our leadership style, or even our staff, but the central place of power and progress in the Church is Prayer. Our personal prayer life, our corporate prayer in worship, and our intercessory prayer for the needs of others are all clearly laid out in the biblical pattern of the modern Church.

My prayer is that if nothing else this article will challenge you, like it has done me, to look at what you are doing, or plan to do, in the light of the Scripture. God knew the conditions,  and cultures, we would be building and planting our Churches in when He wrote His Word. All you need can be found inside the Bible if you will let Him and His Spirit guide you in each decision you make for HIS CHURCH.

5 Statistics Every Church Planter Needs to Know

We came across this article and found some thought provoking, challenging, and encouraging statistics for the modern day Church Planter. As you look at these quick insights keep in mind how wide open our country is for the Gospel of Christ. (Matthew 9:37)
  1. Less than 18% of Americans attend church!
Why plant churches? Because the Great Commission is a call not only to ‘make disciples,’ but also to ‘baptize’ i.e., incorporate into a worshipping community! While that is reason enough, here are some eye-opening church statistics that further stress the need to start more churches:
Did you know that 65% of the population in the US has no real church connection? It gets worse – the last decade witnessed a 19.4% decline in church attendance!
There is a crying need for more healthy, spirit-filled churches in every community. As missiologist C. Peter Wagner said, “Planting new churches is the most effective evangelistic methodology known under heaven.”
Do you agree?
  1. There are 156 million unchurched in the US
Here’s another way of looking at it: If America’s churchless were to form a nation, it would be the 8th most populous country in the world!
Doubling the number of existing churches in the US would still not be enough to reach out to all these people. In fact, America would need 200,000 new churches of 1,000 people each to fulfill this current need.
Are you ready for the challenge?
Reaching the unchurched is one of the primary burdens of any church. At Portable Church Industries, we value that burden and help churches get better equipped to invite and engage the community. That’s why we help churches launch in familiar and neutral spaces like bowling alleys, movie theaters and pizza parlors.
This gives the churches the unique advantage of “going to the people” instead of asking the people to “come to church.”
  1. 47% of America’s unchurched is open to being invited to church by a friend
It’s all about relationships, isn’t it? That’s why 47% of America’s unchurched is willing to take up a friend’s offer to visit church. On the other hand, only a meager 14-18% of the population is open to other outreach efforts like flyers, newspaper and billboard ads.
A key benefit of launching your church in a casual, non-traditional setting is that you can invite everybody! The 17 year-old who shudders at the idea of wooden pews and a steeple, the divorced mom who has been hurt by the “church,” and anybody else who finds a traditional church intimidating – all are welcome.
Are you ready to receive visitors in your church?
  1. Churches that plant, grow three times faster
Is your church lacking growth? Pastor, perhaps it’s time to plant a new church! Yes, that’s right. A Ph.D. dissertation researched 624 Southern Baptist Convention churches that had planted a church each. The end result? The parent churches witnessed a 21.5% increase in attendance for the next 5 years from the time of the church plant.
Why does this happen? Planting new churches helps established churches renew their missional heart and passion. It brings back the focus of the church to the Great Commission.
Are you focusing on the seating or sending capacity of your church?
  1. A new church gains 60-80% of its membership from new conversions
In 2000, a study of 64 churches planted in 1989 revealed that they grew 12 times faster than established churches! In fact, many denominational studies have confirmed that most members of a newly planted church have not been a part of any other congregation before.
On the other hand, churches that are over 10 to 15 years old gain 80–90% of new members by transfer from other congregations.
Is your church attracting new believers or shuffling the “flock”?