ARE WE BURNING CHURCH PLANTING DOLLARS?

I Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
 
Let me start by saying, that I understand, not all church planters are going to make it to the field, and not all church planters will stay on the field. I also understand that not all church plants are going to survive.
 
With that said, I’m concerned with the amount of God’s money given to church planting, but then seeing these churches die and along with it a lot of God’s money. The cost of a church plant over two years can be well over $200,000.00. Is there anything that we can do about this?   We know that not all mothers who are expecting a child will deliver a healthy baby. Because of this fact, Christian parents will pray and have their church pray during pregnancy. The parents will go to doctor visits, follow nutrition guidelines, and focus on the mother’s health. When it is time to deliver, they will go to the hospital just in case something goes wrong. The family will prepare a nursery and have baby showers to help the parents have everything they need to give this child a great start.
 
Approximately 40% of new church plants fail in the first 2-3 years. If just 30% of new churches die, and the cost is $200,000.00 per plant, that is a lot of God’s resources wasted.
 
What can we do to help birth strong, healthy churches? What can we do to be better stewards of the church planting dollars that God has entrusted to us?
 
I Have Strong Reproducing Churches
 
We must get away from just the sending church mentality. When I started in the ministry, a young man would feel called to plant a church, and his pastor would have the men lay hands on him and “send” him out. We need to have a reproducing church mentality. We believe that everything reproduces after its kind. Also, nothing has ever reproduced without the active involvement of the parent. It is the responsibility of churches to start churches. Therefore, pastors need to see that it is their biblical responsibility to be the leader. The pastor must lead in every church plant in which his church is planting.
 
II We Must Vet the Church Planters We Support
 

We get so excited that a man is willing to go to a city that sometimes we just throw money at them. Even though a man has surrendered to plant a church, the bible clearly states he should not be a novice. We must make sure that he and his family are ready for this. We vet the church planters by examining:

  • Their doctrine
  • Bible version stance
  • Music standards
  • Accessing their character and fruitfulness

We must also question:

  • Who is their reproducing church?
  • Is the reproducing church going to be involved?
  • Does his reproducing pastor feel that the church planter and his family are ready?
  • What is their philosophy of church planting?
  • Are they going out as a lone wolf?
 
A church planter may line up doctrinally with us, but is their reproducing church going to do what it takes to plant a strong, healthy church? Are they, as the church planter, going to do what it takes to ensure a healthy birth? Does the church planter have a submissive spirit to their reproducing pastor?
 
III If Possible, Get Involved
 

If you consider the reproducing church a sister church, then that makes you an aunt. If your niece or nephew were having a baby, would you not help them out? If this church plant is in your area, commit to helping.

  • Be an encouragement to the church planter.
  • Help with any evangelistic outreach for the plant.
  • Give money for startup costs.
  • Participate in kick-off services
 
The more churches helping and encouraging the church plant and planter, the healthier they will be when they start.
 
IV Support Needs to Continue After the Church is Planted
 

When your child has a baby, do you come and celebrate, drop off a gift and then never see them again? No, you stay actively involved as much as you can. This kind of commitment is essential for the reproducing church, but also for the area churches who have helped with the start. Make it a purpose to:

  • Call and encourage the church planter and his family.
  • Take the planter’s family out for dinner.
  • Offer to come and help with evangelism.
  • Offer to help send workers for special music, nursery, ushers…
  • Offer to go and preach for them, for free, as a special guest speaker or missions conferences.
 
Have the heart of a reproducing church. Be creative in how you can help them have a strong, healthy church.
 
Don’t forget, Baptist Church Planting Ministry is willing to help, at no cost, in any way we can. By helping start vibrant churches, BCPM has seen over 92% of new churches birthed, survive past the three-year mark.
 
If you have questions or would like more information please contact Rick Rust, 419-340-6644