One of the first questions I am asked when people hear about my appointment to plant a church is “…isn’t there already a Methodist church in Sterlington?“
Yep. There is.
“Then why start a new one?”
Here is where the rubber meets the road. The average church plant will bring 6-8 times more new people into faith than an older congregation of the same size. Newer people groups and situations require new methods and new churches. New churches are able to streamline and focus ministry in unique ways that existing churches can’t.
This isn’t just institutional reproduction. Starting new churches is evangelism.
If we want to introduce new people to Jesus, we have to start new churches.
Plain and simple.
Starting a new church isn’t just a desire for something new or cool, but it is about reaching new people for Jesus. I don’t want to pour years of my life and expend tremendous resources for “just another worship option” for church folks. It is about following the call to be part of something Holy Spirit led. For people who are already followers of Jesus, our highest calling is fulfilling the Great Commission. To follow the pioneering of the Holy Spirit and break new ground, go to new places, do new things and reach new people. God is calling not just Meredith and me, but others to be part of this new church. I don’t know who these people are yet, but I have been praying for them for the past year.
And I deeply believe that God is calling me to begin this in the Sterlington area. Not to be better or newer, but to go to a new mission field and meet new people and introduce them to Jesus. To follow the call of God without abandon. To create environments for them to experience God, possibly for the very first time. To help them discover the God-given purpose and call in their life. To create a culture of holiness and sacrificial love. To meet with God, see and experience His kingdom, and be part of doing everything we can to pull it into our place and time – “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” type stuff.
This is why we are planting a church.