Sunday, April 1, 2007

Q&A: Who Will Go With The Church Plant?

In this continuing effort to answer common questions that people have regarding our vision--to become actively involved in planting new churches to reach the 100,000 people in Jackson County with no church family--this week I want to tackle the question of Who?

Like I said last week, it's important to remember that these answers are still tentative at this point. What I'm sharing with you is some of the discussion among the elders and other leadership that is still very much in process. But I believe that it's important to keep each of you informed with where we're headed, so that you can pray for God's wisdom and direction for our church.

I have already stated that I will NOT be going with the church plant. There are many reasons for that, but the biggest one is that I believe it will be important for PCC to have continuity in leadership in the time period after birthing a new church. It is certain that we will be investing heavily in this birth, and there will be a needed recovery time. I want to make sure that I am here to continue to see the church through this whole process.

I will not be going, but who will? That question will need to be answered by each individual family in the church when the time comes. I'm trusting God to raise up some people in our church who will be willing to be part of this new church. Generally speaking, these should be individuals who meet the following criteria:

  • Possessing a belief that God desires they be a part of this new church
  • Committed to outreach and personal inviting
  • Willing to give at least 10% of their income to the new church
  • Eager to serve in the ways that God has shaped them
  • Able to persevere through the challenges and obstacles of a start-up church

These are the kind of people it will take to make a new church work. It takes a lot of effort and commitment, a sense of God's leading, and some personal sacrifice. This new church will need people who believe that the costs are tiny in comparison to the eternal gains of making a dent in the 100,000 people in Jackson County with no church family.

In essence, I'm expecting that this venture is going to take from us some of the individuals among us who possess the greatest amount of faith and the highest commitment to God's kingdom, people who give and serve more than the average, and who are the most determined. All of this means that there will be some great opportunities for us who remain! There will be many places for us to be used in crucial ways.

One possibility that we will be exploring is for Pastor Brent to be the planting pastor. He will need to complete a Church Planters Profile, a diagnostic tool designed to help evaluate whether an individual has the right make-up to be a successful church planter. He would also have to receive training and education in leading a church plant. But if it works out, we are excited about this possibility for many reasons:

  • He is well qualified to be a senior pastor.
  • He already has a clear understanding of PCC's mission, vision, and values.
  • He already has many developed relationships within the church, making it easier to lead, direct, and work with other leaders.
  • We can be assured of a great ongoing relationship between the two churches.
  • If selected, he is committed to leading the new church to become a parenting church as well.

Whoever goes or stays, the important thing to realize is that no one will be lost. We will not lose people, we will not lose leadership, we will not lose relationships, we will not lose servants. None of these things will be lost--they will be invested. We are investing these things with the goal of receiving a much, much greater eternal return. It will be hard, but what makes it worth it is realizing that the purpose of the church is to reach out to those who do not know Jesus, and we will be increasing our reach by birthing a new congregation.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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