When our church began partnering with a church plant 3 or 4 years ago, I was quite surprised. I planted one church in Kansas City, helped organize a network of churches, and attempted a plant in Kansas. Evangelism and missions are my passion. Surprisingly, those whose passions match mine are in the minority in most churches. I know, weird. :)
Since this is the case, I loaded my quiver with answers to potential arguments as to why we shouldn't or can't partner with a plant prior to my "sales" pitch to my church. A friend and I went on a vision tour of a SEND City, gathered information on the planters, researched demographics of our target city, and prepared to share with the church. We even went through the WMU ladies as the group who would back the endeavor.
I was genuinely surprised when I shared with the ladies and the church. They immediately said YES! No objections. No hesitation. No concerns about the size of our church. We reevaluated our missions involvement and giving, made a change or two, and dove into partnering with the fledgling church!
We promised to 1). send them at least $100 per month in support. This is not a lot of money, but it helped begin a movement of church planting partnership involvement with our association of churches. We wanted to 2). travel up to the neighborhood of the plant a couple times a year to do whatever they wanted us to do. This is a key in partnering with another church or ministry. Since the ministry is being done in their context, they get to choose what is needed and how you will help. Our church loves prayer-walking. None of their partners wanted to do this: Voila! Match made in heaven! And 3). we also prayed for them consistently. We put them on our prayer list, we prayed for them when we gathered, and people lifted them up in prayer during their daily quiet times.
We are now partnering working with a sister church in our local association to partner with our second plant. The church loves it! What do we get out of it? We get people who are excited about being hands on regarding missions and evangelism. We get to give kingdom dollars to young church who is learning to support themselves. We get to provide encouragement to a planter and his family through phone, video chat, and email conversations. We get to be the encourager to other rural churches in our association who may not know they too can partner with a church plant. We get another venue to share the Good News of the gospel.
How's the fishing going for you? Are you keeping the bait in the water? Let me know if I can help or encourage you!
My friend has been called to an evangelistic ministry. He is fired up to share the gospel with others! He's been going to our local truck stop to share the gospel. He is learning about street evangelism. He is spending time each day in the word, learning, encouraging others, and putting together first sermon at our local church.
He's unique. He has giftings that God gave him for the purpose of glorifying Him. Each of us are unique though. All who are children of His have been given specific gifts that are to be used for His glory.
We were talking yesterday and he said, "I've known what I'm supposed to be doing, I've just been putting it off." Every other Christian is most likely in the same boat. Those who claim the name of Christ are changed. They aren't living for themselves anymore. The Bible uses words like, slave, servant, bondslave, child. We've been bought with a price.
We know that we need to follow Christ daily and share the Good News. We know that people are lost without Christ. We love our family, friends, and co-workers. We don't hate everyone else, we just don't know them like those close to us.
What are we missing? I'd say that it's compassion for the lost. When was the last time we sat at the "old man's" bench at Wal-Mart and watched the people walk by us? Most are lost. Drive through a large neighborhood. What do you see? Lost people. Pull up some statistics on your town or county. Mine has 37,000 unchurched out of 47,000 people!
When we have a compassion for the lost, we'll get a passion to share the gospel. "I just can't bring myself to share!" Has Christ saved you? When we recognize what He's done for us, then surely we'd want to share that with others! This compassion will lead to a passion to share!
Not just on a "visitation" night.
Not just on a missions trip.
Not just after a fiery sermon.
Do you have compassion on others who are apart from Christ? Does this cause you to be passionate to share His Good News? Let me know if I can encourage you, help you, or pray for you!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.