How much money will I need? What team members do I need? How do I develop a launch plan? Should we use marketing? How do we multiply disciples? What’s the best facility to meet in?
I picked up a classic book recently by Bobb Biehl called The Question Book. In this book, 90 experts in virtually every major area in which we experience tough decisions offer thought-provoking advice – from choosing a college or getting married to remodeling a home or writing a will. I was intrigued by his inclusion of a chapter on Planting a Church. Dr. Paul Cedar, an author, pastor, evangelist and church leader, gives his perspective on key questions in planting a church. He writes:
One of the most strategic means of fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus Christ is through the ministry of church planting. That strategy began with the apostle Paul and other early church leaders and has continued to this day. Although there are some well-trained and gifted church planters, many churches are begun by Christians who respond to the needs of the particular neighborhood or community as they are guided by the Holy Spirit. God can use you to plant a church! (p 324)
When I read that, I said “YES!” More churches need to be started by Christians who have a burden to reach their neighbors for Christ. Wouldn’t it be awesome to see believers (who are engaging in missional activities) start new churches that are making disciples right in their neighborhoods?
Here are a few of the questions that Dr. Cedar chooses to address:
- Why would anyone want to plant a church?
- How many people are needed to plant a church?
- Is there a best way to plant a church?
- How do we begin?
- When should we make the transition from a home Bible study to an actual worship service?
I like his perspective on “how to begin”…
I would encourage you to begin by getting together with other people who are interested in planting a church in your area or community to pray and seek God’s guidance regarding how you should proceed. In short, you can begin with a small Bible study in a home on a weekly basis. Many churches have begun with just a handful of people studying the Word of God, seeking guidance from the Lord, and praying about the vision that God has given for church planting.
As I read through these questions and answers, I realized that I asked a lot of questions before starting Lake Hills Church. I read a lot of books and I talked to a lot of church planters. I went to a few conferences and peppered my coach with questions. I looked everywhere for answers.
Now, I’m starting to compile answers to the key questions you may have as you start a church. I want to rely on experienced planters to provide insights from their journeys. Leave your question on the comments – and future posts will include your questions and answers.