New City Network strives to generate resources that deal with real church planting problems. One of the biggest problems that church planters face is that many Christians are generally uninterested in the starting of new churches. I would dare say I have heard the adage “Aren’t there enough churches already?”more from other Christians than non-Christians. It forces me to wonder, is this what the normative response of Christians should be?
People are often apathetic toward things they don’t understand or know much about. For instance, I used to loathe soccer. I grew up in South Georgia. That just wasn’t the kind of football we played. As I have gotten older (and more cultured) I have begun to really enjoy soccer. The biggest reason for my change in attitude is because people around me that liked soccer began to explain it to me. This semi-silly example is exactly the kind of change we at New City Network want to see in the field of church planting.
Some people will read this and think, “What are you talking about, Jordan? Church planting is already a big deal.”Don’t get me wrong, church planting has made huge strides in global Christian conscience. But it’s not big enough. I would argue that the majority of church goers see their primary responsibility as a Christian is to 1) do good deeds and 2) attend church. Session 1 of Church Planting Primer looks blow that idea up, and argue that church planting is in fact the normal responsibility of all Christians. The notion that discipleship, evangelism, and church planting (i.e. pastoral ministry) is the job of professionals is erroneous (don’t argue with me, John Piper said so himself). The next best step for every church member is to begin to see themselves the way Christ sees them; as missionaries to the world they live in.
That’s just a little preview of what is in Church Planting Primer. Clint Clifton did a masterful job explaining a Biblical-rationale for church planting (session 1), why new churches are needed (session 2), how new churches begin (session 3), and how ordinary Christians can begin new churches (session 4). Church Planting Primer is aimed at the congregation, and pastors that have not considered church planting for their churches (yet). The Primer is not a one-stop-shop for all things church planting. It is just to get the ball rolling in your heart to get on board with church planting. With that said, here are practical action steps to consider for three categories of people:
- FOR THE UNINTERESTED: Would you consider just watching Session 1 of Church Planting Primer? Don’t worry about the teacher’s manual or student manual. Clint Clifton is an entertaining speaker, and I think you’ll find his argumentation quite whimsical. If you have questions about the content of the video, or want further information, reach out to me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Twitter.
- FOR THOSE SORT OF INTERESTED: I challenge you to go through Church Planting Primer in its entirety. Hear us out. I pray God would move you from being on the brink of planting churches to an active participant in the Great Commission. Session 4 will tell you a lot about first steps to take, but we at New City Network would love to talk with you about how to get involved with church planting.
- FOR THOSE HIGHLY INTERESTED: I challenge you to lead a group through Church Planting Primer. Maybe you have a core group of members at your church that you know are committed to fulfilling the Great Commission. Maybe you have a young leader in your congregation, consider handing them this material and asking them to lead a group through it! Maybe you know for sure God is calling you to plant a church, but do not know what to do next; lead a group through this material! It is my belief and my prayer that Church Planting Primer will put many of the puzzle pieces in place for people to get involved in church planting.