Does the CSRA, Georgia and North America really need more churches?
What comes to your mind when someone brings up the subject of church planting?
I grew up in a pastor’s home deep in the heart of Mississippi. My dad was kingdom-minded and had a heart for Missions. I remember that church planting was a subject that came up often between my mom and dad. They would discuss the fact that a preacher “Full of Faith” was going to start a church in a town that desperately needed the apostolic message. Reaching the lost with the truth combined with a desire to see people live for God, consumed our lives.
As the conversation about the new church ensued, they would begin talking about some of the things we could do to make an impact on the targeted city and help this new work “get off the ground.” “Do we know anyone that lives in the targeted city?” “Is there anyone in the area that has church connections?” Once a family was identified, a strategy would be formulated as to the best way to reach these potential new converts and get them connected with the new congregation.
My dad’s burden was not limited to just praying for the “new work” or assisting them financially, but he was a “faith with works” kind of guy. I remember that even after a busy week of working in our local church, Saturday would roll around. He felt it was important to get an early start, so before daylight, we would be on our way to the designated town. We would have the pickup loaded with all the carpentry tools needed to do the job. He would get there before the local volunteers and take out his notebook and tape measure and have everything on track to make sure the local guys had plenty to do when they arrived.
Initially, there would be much enthusiasm and everyone would be excited about the “new church.” But, as the excitement turned into hard work, the enthusiasm would wane and each Saturday there were fewer and fewer volunteers.
These church planters were a special breed. These guys had to be tough and determined. God had called them to their field of labor and the devil was not going to defeat them, no matter what.
Through sheer determination and the manifestation of the supernatural, these “God called men” would build a church.
We remember the joy and excitement that surrounded our family as we started receiving news of people being filled with the Holy Ghost. Brand new converts were being baptized in Jesus’ Name and sinners turning from their sinful lifestyles and making a new start to live for God.
Some things have changed about the way we approach church planting but in reality, much has remained the same!
It is a group effort!
Like my dad and Lydia in Acts 16, there usually are key people with the resources that God uses to help accomplish the task!
Today we have the wisdom, experience, and guidance of North American Missions.
We have Christmas for Christ Grants, Shelves for Christ Funding and programs like Church in a Day to assist our missionaries.
In Georgia, we have Revival Assistance, along with many other benefits to help our missionaries be radically successful!
However, God still uses men and women that are emotionally tough and fiercely determined to accomplish His work!
Today we are blessed to have extremely gifted and talented Missionaries that have a heart for reaching souls with the truth. These individuals are dedicated, driven and empowered to fulfill the calling God has placed on their lives!
Through the fact we have more churches and their willingness to sacrificially give to Christmas for Christ, Shelves for Christ and our other specialized offerings; we have resources available today that maybe were not available in the past or possibly not available to the extent they are today.
The sacrifices required in previous years are still necessary requirements for establishing new churches today!
We feel that new and better churches give us the biggest advantage for long-term success.
With every new church, we can reach more individuals with the Gospel.
By having more churches, we will have increased resources that will lead to more constituents, more youth groups and more specialized ministries such as ladies’ ministries, children’s ministries, ministries to the poor, the sick, those incarcerated, and the underprivileged.
More churches lead to the cycle of giving increasing, by more being given to plant more churches and we can send out more global missionaries.
As we widen and strengthen our base we can reach further and faster in spreading the true gospel message to the whole world!
Matt 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.