I get really excited when I hear about new church plants. I get particularly hyped up when those church plants are being led by faithful pastors and families that I know and trust, and who exhibit the unique gifts and abilities for the difficult task before them.
Not all church plants succeed, and there are many factors that play into that reality. But I believe we are called as The Church to continue stepping out in faith and planting churches strategically at every possible opportunity.
I am really excited about one particular new church plant that is happening in Sterlington, Louisiana. Why Louisiana, you ask? Because that’s where my good friend Chad Brooks and his wife Meredith live with their dachshund Emma, and have been pastoring for the last few years in traditional United Methodist Church.
Chad is one of the most unique individuals I have ever met, and we had a chance to work together and get to know one another well in seminary. He is one of those individuals who has been gifted by God and prepared in very unique ways to plant churches, and I couldn’t be more excited that he is getting the chance to do so right now with Foundry.
With so many churches struggling financially today, you might wonder why I am pointing to the ministry of a church other than my own. Here are just four reasons why I believe Christians should give financially to support new church plants.
4 Reasons for Christians to Support New Church Plants
1. It extends the Great Commission
In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus gives a commission to the church:
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
This is known as the Great Commission, and it is the primary responsibility of the Church. All other good deeds of the Church are ultimately fruitless if we forget this one thing.
When we invest in planting new churches, we invest in the Great Commission, by sending God’s people into new contexts where they can reach unchurched or de-churched populations with the gospel message of hope and peace with God.
2. It helps us to reach areas we can’t reach ourselves
I am a local church pastor, and I love my job. Our church is working to be a light for our local community and to build on another up in the faith. But the truth of the matter is that we have a limited reach. There is only so far that we can spread ourselves out, and there are only so many places we can physically go to spread the love of God.
When Christians support new church plants, we are extending our reach into areas that we cannot physically go. We equip those who are already in contexts outside our own to do the work of the gospel in those places. This is not a form of slacktivism or lazy mission, it is recognizing that we are finite people with limited capabilities, and that sometimes the best thing we can do for mission is to equip others to go where we cannot
3. It models the church in Acts by pooling resources.
On of the marks of the early church in the book of Acts is that they shared everything they had in common, distributing their resources as each person had need (Acts 2:44-47).
When Christians support the mission and ministry of new church plants, we engage in the same sort of resource sharing that marked the early church. Through pooled resources, we can increase our effectiveness as a global Church to reach even more people with the good news of Jesus Christ, and we can meet even more needs through acts of mercy done in his name.
4. We need more churches.
With churches closing all over the country, some people might ask why in the world we would support a new church plant.
Folks, that is precisely why we need to support new church plants. We need more churches. We need churches that don’t look like our church. We need churches that enter new contexts. We need churches that reach the unreached. We need churches to enter and redeem communities that are broken and without hope, through the message of the cross.
We need churches, because there are millions of people in our country (and countless others elsewhere), who are living apart from the love and grace and mercy of our God, and who desperately need to meet Jesus face-to-face.
We need more churches!
I encourage all Christians to partner with a new church plant. Whether it is a church meeting a need in your own community or one outside your context, Christians have an opportunity and an obligation to invest sacrificially in the mission of the church.
If you are looking for a good place to start, I highly recommend you take a look at Foundry. I am excited to see how the Spirit of God moves in their context over these next months and years.
Yes, pray for them. Yes give them your moral support. But I also encourage you to support them financially. We are called to be a generous people, and what better way to begin than by investing in much needed new church plants? If you would like to support Foundry, you can do so through their online giving page.