Below is a summary of thoughts I shared with our launch team this week. These statements about church planting were culled from Luke 9.
o Church planting/kingdom work is hard, self-denying work.
§ Take up your cross, deny yourself daily, embrace social ostracism, sacrifice of your time, even excess family time to follow Jesus on mission in being the church. (9:23, 62)
o Church planting is multiplying work.
§ Jesus SENT 12 and 70 to proclaim the kingdom message and make disciples, not to build a building or launch a service.
§ Church planting is a community project, not a paid position. When confronted with the needs of feeding 5,000, Jesus said “You give them something to eat” (13).
§ Son of man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them (56). We have a winsome, saving gospel, not a destructive, legalistic message.
o Church planting is city renewing work.
§ Jesus set his face to Jerusalem to save the city and may cities to come (51). Paul followed this pattern in his urban church planting focus. We exist not to be a hip church but to renew the city socially and spiritually with the gospel of Christ.
o Church planting requires humility.
§ Jesus puts God’s glory above our own desire for praise and recognition (46-48). Planting is not about personal praise for your sacrifices. Your reward is from God.
§ We are about expanding His kingdom, not just our church. We are one of many local churches that will cooperatively bring in spiritual and social renewal.
§ Our worth should not fluctuate with numerical shrinkage and growth. Instead root your significance in Jesus death and resurrection to accept, love, and change you.
§ We should not think of ourselves as great because we are living the missional life. This does not make you special; it makes you obedient.
One Foundation: God in Christ through the Spirit is our nourishment and strength to live the self-denying, church multiplying, city renewing, humility requiring work of church planting.
o We feed but we are not the food. God sets the table in the wilderness as he did with Israel and with the 5,000.
o The power for spiritual growth and multiplication comes from King Jesus: “Where you go, the King goes, and where the King goes, people bow.” – Neil Cole