As followers of Jesus, we are called to carry out the Great Commission and to take the good news of Jesus to all the ends of the earth. And there are lots of ways to do that.
If you are a Christian with an interest in church or missions work, the words “church plant” or “church planting” might be familiar to you.
What is a Church Plant?
A church plant is a new Christian community in its most early stage – usually supported by an existing organization or church.
Church planting is deeply rooted in Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations, as found in Matthew 28. It is also a direct expression of the ways the early church was spread in the book of Acts by the Apostle Paul and other believers. It is new churches growing across the world and bringing many people into the life and love of Jesus.
Church planting looks different all over the world. Understanding the context of a neighborhood in which we’re starting a new church is critical to knowing what the church should look like, and how it can meet the needs of that neighborhood. And usually, church planting does not include a new building–at least, until much later in the process. So there are many unique expressions of church here at Communitas.
Why Church Planting?
Church planting is vitally important to the Great Commission. When we start a healthy church, new people come to know Jesus and are welcomed into a community where they can be nurtured and cared for. As we plant churches the Kingdom of God grows and people find new life with Jesus.
Local church plants are also a strategic way to take the Gospel to the world because church planters have the support and backing of their sending church or organization. Healthy church leaders come out of healthy organizations and sending churches that can support them during the difficult yet rewarding work of church planting.
Finally, church plants, when done well, will result in thriving, self-sustaining, authentic, discipleship-oriented, outward-facing and reproducing communities of faith.
How to be a Church Planter
The responsibilities and qualifications of a church planter are founded in Scripture and are lived out by faithful men and women and people groups around the world. Ask yourself these questions to see if church planting is the right fit for you:
- Do I have a passion for people who don’t yet know Jesus?
- Do I have a desire to share life with others in an incarnational way? Can I live and deeply embed in a new place?
- How do I practice my faith and convictions with people? What does “sharing the Gospel” mean for me?
- Am I committed to maturing and growing myself?
- Do I understand the issues, needs, and worldviews of people living in the postmodern world?
- How has God equipped me to fulfill the Great Commission?
- What previous experiences might support church planting? (seminary, church work, pastoral counseling, spiritual direction, etc.)
- What about church planting appeals to me?
The call to church planting is a mighty one. If you want to explore the ins and outs of church planting more, Communitas International wants to equip you to plant churches and make disciples.
Church Planting with Communitas
At Communitas, many of our partners spend a year or two at an existing project or church plant to prepare and train to launch their own project in a new city. If this sounds like a good fit for you, contact one of our mission coaches for an inspiring conversation here.
A church planter’s ministry is incredibly important and cannot be categorized by just one thing. Every church planter has unique gifts and talents when it comes to missionary work and living out God’s special calling on their lives. But all planters love God, love people, and engage in deep and intentional relationships wherever they go!
The call of the Great Commission is that EVERYONE should hear the good news of Jesus! And that is God’s calling for YOU and for ME. Church planters serve in churches and communities, and they are passionate about extending their reach and sharing the love of Jesus to people no matter where they are, whether that’s in America, Europe, South America, and beyond!
Join us today on this dynamic adventure! Let’s go!