The conversation was about planting a church in a town that was about 45 minutes from where we were standing. The conversation ended with the issue that no churches in our area have considered planting a church in that town because the people were a little different and if a church decided to plant there, they would want that church to be just like them.
Here are some thoughts on this issue:
- Every church should be a church planting church. If the church cannot plant a new church by themselves then perhaps the option to partner with another church would be available. If this is not possible, they may try opening their building for a church plant to use until the can find their own meeting space.
- When a church cares more about its fame and glory then the Great Commission, they have misplaced their focus. It is about Jesus and his fame, and his name, and his glory.
- When a church becomes more about itself, it loses its effectiveness at reaching lost people.
- When a church ceases to reach out to lost people they are failing to be obedient to Scripture.
Jesus did not give us the Great Commission so that we as the church can sit idly by and do absolutely nothing. You are well able to do everything that God has called you to because Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead now lives in you. You can do what Jesus commanded you because the Holy Spirit will lead you as you go.
The Great Commission is to be given to all peoples, all nations, all ethnic groups, all sub-cultures.
I am a firm believer that all ministry is done best through a local church. For a church to plant in a new area, they should study the area, and the people and get an idea of how best to share the gospel in the context of where they will be planting.
The church is not supposed to plant a church so that the people will conform to the image of the church. That has never worked. Remember when the Jews wanted the Gentiles to conform to Jewish rules and traditions?
The church is to do everything in its power to push people to Jesus. You should want people to conform to the image of Jesus not to the image of your church.
You, as a member of a local church, have been commissioned to run with the message of the gospel. If necessary take more people with you.
Make disciples, baptize people in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and walk alongside them in their sanctification process.
The church has been called to make disciples. Not converts.