What Exactly Is a Church Plant?
If you are reading this, you probably already know that we are planting a new church in Marina. But several of our friends have asked: “what exactly is a Church Plant?”. So here is my attempt to break it down for anyone interested in what we are doing.
Starting a New Church or Planting a New Church
I believe that starting a new church and planting a new church have slightly different connotations. Starting a church gives the impression that we already have an established group of like-minded Christians ready to gather in a building on Sunday mornings.
Planting a church, on the other hand, is more like it sounds, organic and natural. It is like planting a seed, caring for it, watering it, and watching it take root and grow on its own. We do not have an established group of believers ready to start meeting on Sunday mornings. Instead, our family has opened up our home in faith, believing that God has called us to be a part of a new work He wants to do here in our community.
Letting Jesus Add To The Church
One of the reasons we have chosen to start small, and in our home is because that is the model we see throughout the New Testament and we believe that is the vision the Lord has given us for starting this new work.
So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. – Acts 2:46-47
The great thing about doing it this way is that it allows us to rely on God for bringing the people He wants to bring, which He has already begun to do. It also serves as evidence to us, that God indeed is behind this and it is not of us.
We will do our part in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our community, sharing what God is doing in our hearts, and what He is doing with this new church plant, but starting small does not require us to raise funds, or spend money on advertising. There will come a time I am sure when we will be able to do these things, but starting small and starting slow allows us to be molded and prepared for whatever God has in store.
There is No Magic Formula
Not to say that starting with a large team, large public meeting space, and a big advertising budget is a bad thing. In fact, Daniel Fusco, the lead pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver Washington highly recommends starting with those things in his article Three Keys to Effectively Launching Your Church Plant.
Reality Carpinteria’s church planting model involves sending out a team of 30-50 committed missionaries who are willing to relocate to a major city to be a part of the church plant and so far they have been very successful with establishing new churches.
Whatever the method, all churches ought to be a local expression of the faith community in their particular location, generation and according to the vision/mission, God has given them. And how that local church is planted will depend on those things as well.Whatever the method, all churches ought to be a local expression of the faith community in their particular location, generation and according to the vision/mission, God has given them. Click To Tweet
Will Connect Marina Always Be A Home Fellowship?
Although we plan on encouraging more home fellowships as we grow, we believe God is going to open up an opportunity for Sunday gatherings in a large public space one of these days. In fact, I think that God will probably have us in a large building as early as the summer of 2018.
When that does happen, we will continue the weeknight gatherings and encourage other members of the church to start more small group home fellowships. There is a unique ministry Jesus does in these little “doing life together” groups that cannot be replicated in a large public gathering.
Why Plant Another Church in Marina?
In a previous article, I shared that there are some beautiful churches already established in this area. In fact our desire is that we would be able to connect with them on a regular basis to pray for one another and encourage one another. But there was one thing we missed that we could not find in the area; a church that put more emphasis on the exposition of Scripture and teaching the entire Bible chapter-by-chapter and verse-by-verse the way most Calvary Chapel’s do.
We believe God wants to begin a new work starting with a ministry that teaches through the Bible book by book, chapter by chapter, verse by verse. We believe God wants to use this type of ministry to further equip the saints for ministry, heal the brokenhearted, and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to all the city of Marina and beyond.
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