Church Planting

Planting Urban Churches

Two Fundamental Questions

Over the last few years I have had the opportunity to meet young men preparing to plant urban churches. Many of their primary supporting and sending churches have great ministries, mostly in suburban or rural areas. Suits and ties are still de rigueur, morning and evening Sunday services with Wednesday night prayer meeting is the established pattern, the doctrinal statements exhibit great precision, and music is traditional. Personal separation issues and traditional taboos often prevent church members from having meaningful relationships with people outside the church. These are observations gathered in discussions and not meant as criticisms. As a matter of fact these churches often have effective ministries with Christians although they see few non-Christians coming to Christ. The churches have been built and have grown primarily by adding Christians who left cities or who moved into the area.

These churches have established niche ministries ministering to Christians. In other words these churches have their place in the world and God uses them, though many are stuck in expressions of cultural Christianity which rarely engage non-Christians.

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God's Providence at Grand Opening—A Report on a Blessed Day!

Grand Opening Praise Report

Below is an edited copy of the report Jason Janz sent to his prayer partners after the Grand Opening of their church plant in downtown Denver.

Written on Monday, September 29

For me, the day began after a restless night with not much sleep. When I got up, I practiced my sermon one more time. My wife got the kids ready. I dropped my son, Hudson, off at the church building at 8:30 so he could fulfill his role as church greeter. The rest of the family pulled up to the meeting place at 9:00, and the place was buzzing. You could tell that people were excited and that they were anticipating something great.

People started coming and coming and coming. And they didn’t stop coming until I was almost done preaching. We ran out of seats in the pews and went to Plan B, which was to set up seventy more chairs in the back. We ran out of seats there and had to go to Plan C, which was to put people in chairs on the platform behind me. When it was all said and done, 330 people attended the service yesterday. We praise God for allowing us to minister to so many.

Our “Puritanically worded” sign

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Church Planting and Subsidiary Ministries

In The Nick of Time
by Kevin T. Bauder

The work of missions is the work of planting churches. This assertion is supported by the uniform pattern of the New Testament. When the churches of the New Testament commissioned and sent out a member, it was invariably either to plant churches or to assist someone who was planting churches.

Properly speaking, a missionary is a church planter. The missionary’s responsibility is to preach the gospel, baptize those who profess the gospel, train believers in the faith, and organize them into New Testament churches. The missionary’s responsibility is not complete until the churches are fully ordered and self-perpetuating.

In the Bible, the task of the missionary is to plant churches. This responsibility leads to a question: should churches ever send missionaries whose main ministry is something other than church planting? Specifically, should churches ever send missionaries who could not qualify for the office of bishop (for example, female missionaries)?

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