Sunday, March 4, 2007

Why Church Planting? A Personal Reason

So far, we've seen how and why church planting is so necessary in our world today. We've seen how the church in America has veered from its mission and purpose, and we've looked at the devestating spiritual needs of our nation that result from the church's failure. We've considered the impact such an endeavor might have on our church, and finally we look at the outcome that will be produced in each of us individually as we give our hearts and lives to this vital task. The truth about church planting is that


How does this make any sense? We already have a church family, a place where we can love and be loved, where we can give and be given to, where we can serve and be served, a place to learn, grow, and be supported and challenged. Why do we need to plant additional churches?

This question actually has several answers:

1) The purpose of our lives is to bring as much glory to God as possible. It is not to be comfortable, to be happy, to be popular, to be famous, to be rich, or anything else. Our fundamental, primary, basic purpose is to leverage everything we are and have for God's glory. So we need to be about the business of making as big a splash in eternity as possible. Planting more churches is the most effective way to reach as many people for Christ as possible, bringing maximum glory to him.

2) We fail as human beings when we focus on ourselves. When we get absorbed with our problems, our circumstances, our pains, our "issues", our desires and longings, our personal agenda... we are failing to live the kind of life that God created us for. God did not create us for self-absorption. Our first purpose is to love God with all our hearts (see reason #1, bringing as much glory to God as possible), and our second purpose is to love other people. We're not planting churches because of all the benefits that will come to us--we're doing it because there are people out there who need to know God. We're doing it for them, to help them see that they can know the one true God, and that he will utterly transform their lives. We all have a basic need to be part of something larger than ourselves.

3) This sort of a major church-wide effort can serve to draw us together. We already share one purpose--to meet people where they are on their spiritual journeys and lead them to become fully devoted followers of Jesus. We also already have the same Core Values--Real Spirituality, Real Community, and Real Story. But these things can be abstract and hard to wrap our minds around. However, this vision--to become actively involved in planting new churches to reach the 100,000 people in Jackson County with no church family--is very concrete. Such a vision--if we will give ourselves to it--can serve to unite us, excite us, motivate us, and inspire us as we apply our mission and Core Values to accomplishing this God-sized task!

The Bible expects it; Experience proves it; America needs it; Faith demands it; and You and I need it! How can we not pursue this vision? Let's apply ourselves to this vision wholeheartedly and pray expectantly for God to use us in mighty ways! Next week, I'll begin addressing some of the questions that I've heard from you so far. Keep your questions coming! You can either post them here, or email me.

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