Objections to Church Planting
1. There are too many churches already.
There are fewer churches in North America per capita in 2010 than there were in 1910. While it may seem like there are churches on every corner, the reality is population growth continues to outpace church planting. In our Association we are falling further and further behind the population growth with each passing year.
In addition our cities, towns, villages and countryside have drastically changed in the last several decades. Tens of thousands of new people from faraway places now call this area home, yet the vast majority of our churches and ministry have little to no impact on these new people. In other regions the population is declining and along with that decline comes the closure of many churches, leaving a real void in the heart of small communities.
More importantly, it is not for us to decide the number of churches God will choose providentially to plant. It may appear to the human eye that there are a sufficient number of churches in a particular community, yet for His own purpose God may choose to plant more. The numerical assessment of “enough churches” is best left to Sovereign Lord.
2. It will hinder our church’s growth.
The belief that planting a church will hinder church growth is akin to the “lad’s” fear that sharing his five loaves and two fishes would leave less for him. It indicates a theology that would suggest church growth is a human endeavor and by “controlling” the competition, one can secure members for his own church. This belief fails to take into account the miraculous nature of God’s Sovereign design for His church. In truth, the more churches that are effectively planting in a region, the more the entire region benefits from the outpouring of the Spirit of God and the awesome energy that is realized in the conversion and discipleship of new believers.
3. There are too many struggling churches.
In Acts 12, Barnabas left a persecuted church in Jerusalem to journey to Antioch. When he arrived, he discovered a vibrant growing group of new converts. The scripture records that he “rejoiced” when he saw what was happening in Antioch, even though the Jerusalem church was experiencing persecution. The Jerusalem church sent Barnabas to stay in Antioch for more than one year. When a famine came to Judea, relief arrives from Antioch in the hand of Barnabas. As the Jerusalem church was faithful to give in their time of need, God provided during famine. Following the Lord’s hand in church planting is not to be done only in times of prosperity, but also in times of adversity.
To put it plainly, if NOT planting new churches would assist the growth of struggling churches, then we should have no struggling churches. To the contrary, planting new churches is the single most effective way that “struggling “ churches can have a rapid and powerful impact in this region. By using whatever resources they may have they can greatly assist the planting of new work. In addition, their involvement in outward focused kingdom missions will serve to change their own attitude about their situation and in fact act to attract new people to them in no small part because the new people will see the selfless giving nature of the “struggling” church.
Giving ourselves away is always the best way to encourage new growth.
4. It is too costly.
While there is no doubt that some new plants require significant funds, not all plants/projects require funds. There is much that any church can do to assist new plants without a major financial commitment. Your church can partner with a new work without adding to your budget, including them on your insurance or otherwise taking full responsibility for the project. While there may be times when this needs to be done there is a level of involvement to suit every situation. Your Associational staff would be glad to custom make a church planting plan that fits your church.