can’t afford not to plant churches
Two and a half centuries ago, John
Wesley, founder of the Methodist church, discovered that planting churches
was the best way to reach the lost and conserve the fruit of his evangelistic
crusades. That fact has not changed. The challenge that Wesley faced has been
multiplied many times in our day. Never has the opportunity been greater to
reach the lost through church planting than today.
Some pastors have said to me, “I
cannot participate in partnering or planting a church because I cannot afford
to lose any people.” As a former long-term pastor, I want to inform
you that you will lose people whether you help plant a church or not. Let’s
give them a safe place to go and send them away with honor. Church multiplication
is better than church splits.
Ten years ago, Otto Wegner planted
a church in the inner city of Newark, N.J., one of the most crime-ridden cities
in America. Today there is a self-governing, self-supporting church with more
than 200 in attendance in the type of neighborhood where experts said it could
not happen. Jesus said, “I will build My church.” He set no boundary
lines and did not exclude any neighborhood.
The answer to drugs, crime and
broken families is a local church that brings deliverance to those in bondage.
There is not a Plan B. The worse the neighborhood, the more we need to plant
a church there. This gospel that is delivered through a local church works
anywhere, anytime, no matter what the skeptics say.
Our main business is getting people
saved — and the local church is the instrument God has chosen to accomplish
this mission. Let’s get out of the quagmire of territorialism and let’s
— Charles E.