The Need to Plant Churches
According to recent Southern Baptist information, new churches (less than 5 years old) tend to grow at a faster rate than older churches.
The following are a few reasons why new churches grow:
They are entirely focused on the future with little or no regard for maintaining status quo.
They expect greater days ahead. It is hard to imagine a new church that after its first service would believe its best days have passed.
Members understand and are committed to the singular focus of growing this new church.
New converts within the new church often have friendship/kinship ties with more unconverted individuals than do church members who have been Christians for decades.
Flexibility is often greater and decisions can be made quicker than in many older churches.
The belief that God planted this church may be fresher in the consciousness of a new church than one where no one is left who was present at its beginning.
A new church values change rather than fears it.
The new church may be more “culturally relevant” due to the fact that it is contemporary with its community. Many older churches may have been contemporary with their community at one time, but as the community changes, the church did not.
New churches do not grow simply because they are new, rather because they possess many of the traits that are needed for ANY church to grow.
In the earliest days of a new church, most of its resources are spent on outreach. As the young church grows, it will discover that more of its resources are focused inward rather than outward. Early on, there will only be a few voices of advocacy for dealing with administration and maintenance. Churches that continue to grow are those who, under God’s leadership, find a healthy balance of inward ministry to the body and outward focused ministry to the community.
Growth is simply numerical. Spiritual growth and growth in the knowledge of God’s word and the love of sound doctrine are far more important than posting large numbers. There are proven ways of drawing a crowd, but this does not constitute church growth. Still, God calls us to be salt and light; He calls us to go the highways and hedges and compel them to come in. The goal of ministry is obedient service, not building a great personal kingdom. However, the passion to see the kingdom grow is one that is evident from the apostles through the Reformers and in Godly men of our day. May we never lose zeal to lift up our eyes and see that fields are “white unto harvest”.