If the Church Doesn’t Plant New Churches Who Will?

If the local church doesn’t plant more churches, who will? Antioches

In all the places where Christianity is thriving church planting is a priority. I’ve heard from leaders in India, Africa, and even China and they’ve told me that church planting is foundational to their movement.

What is stopping the North American church from planting more churches?

I hear from lots of leaders about all of the reasons they CAN’T plant churches. No money and no leaders are the biggest challenges. But surely if these were the root causes for our lack of planting, we could figure out solutions.

I am going to suggest that it’s about priorities.

It’s clear that Jesus COMMANDED us to make disciples, baptize them and teach them to obey.

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).

(I understand he didn’t command us to plant new churches but do we need to argue that all of these things happen in the CONTEXT of a local church?)

I spent time in the Army. When a general gave us a command…it was a command.

I think we need 1) heed the order from Jesus and 2) take it seriously. 

What if every church made church planting a priority? What if church invested as much time and energy into church planting as any of its other programs.

What if churches worked TOGETHER to plant more churches? I am convinced: It’s the responsibility – no, the obligation for EVERY church to help plant more churches.

EVERY church can help plant more churches by

  1. Make it a priority
  2. Quit trying to do everything
  3. Tithe 10% (at least) to church planting
  4. Invest in new leaders by starting training programs for them
  5. Partner with local churches who are planting
  6. Send people from your church to help others plant new churches
  7. Talk about church planting and celebrate it
  8. Host a leadership resident every year
  9. Network organizations planting churches
  10. Pray!

We can all do something when it comes to planting new churches. What can you and your church do? 

Comfort is Relative

My daughter is spending the summer in Haiti serving at an orphanage. She’ll be hanging with the kids and serving on a number of teams.

She’s there to serve orphan children. She’s also trying to discern whether God is calling her to serve internationally after she completes nursing school. Bailie Haiti

To say I am proud is an understatement. I am so proud that she has both the courage and fortitude to undertake this adventure.

One of the biggest challenges she’s had to face is the change in her personal comfort. In Haiti power is not dependable. It gets hot. There is no cable with capability of recording shows and movies. There are no fast food restaurants she can frequent. must rely on spotty cell phone and wifi service. No doubt, her American standards of life are on hold for a couple of months.

Before she left we were talking about this. I was worried for her. I thought the transition might be too hard on her. One evening we were talking and she said: “Dad — comfort is relative. I am ready to step out of my comfort zone.”

Proud papa moment for sure.

This has got me thinking about my spiritual comfort. I’ve been asking myself this question: “where am I comfortable in my journey. Where have I settled and where must I renegotiate comfort?”

Comfort isn’t bad. But it seems to me we can get too comfortable. We can settle for comfort over everything else.

Jesus didn’t ever offer comfort to his followers. Quite the opposite.

For example:

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me (Luke 9:23).

Being a Jesus follower means we must be willing to step out of our comfort zone.

What about you? Where have you grown too comfortable? What do you need to do to get out of your comfort zone?

How Leadership Residency Helps Churches Plant New Churches

NewThing is a catalyst for movements of reproducing churches. That means we want to see every church start new churches. And one of the ways we want to do that is through leadership residency. Residency is a powerful way for churches to plant new churches.

I did not become Christian until I was a young adult. I spent time in the Army and then had a successful career in business. Then I found my way back to God at a Community. I like to say I found both Jesus AND my mission at Community. I started on the leadership pathway that eventually led to church planting in Kansas City as a leadership resident.

Our dream was to plant a movement of new churches.

While planting in Kansas City with Restore Community Church, I leveraged experiences and gifts could help others plant new churches. I helped train and coach several leadership residents and helped more than 12 church plants launch.

Matt Miller was one of those residents.

Matt did his residency at three different churches before we sent him to plant New City Church in Shawnee, KS. Matt has continued reproducing and investing in residents. He has hosted several leadership residents at New City and released them to start new churches. New City now has two locations with plans for more locations soon. Matt is also a leader in our NewThing network in Kansas City. That network of approximately 10 churches has a vision to plant 100 churches in Kansas City.


All of this started because a few churches adopted the value of residency to plant more churches. At NewThing, we challenge all of our churches to have one resident per site per year. In this way we believe we will see more churches planting new churches.

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Thanks for reading!