Friday, September 28, 2007

Church Planting Correctives from Al Mohler

Church Planting Movements and the Great Commission:
"There can be no doubt that the planting of new congregations is a New Testament model. This approach comes with apostolic encouragement, as any reading of the Book of Acts and Paul's letters will reveal. Many of these new congregations will be fueled with great passion for the Gospel and for reaching unreached communities, people groups, and sectors of our society. This is indeed good news. At the same time, we also need this generation of young pastors to go into established churches and revitalize a Gospel ministry through expository preaching and energetic leadership. Giving up on the established church is not an option. Some young pastors see church planting as a way of avoiding the challenge of dealing with the people and pathologies of older congregations. This is an abdication of responsibility. Furthermore, many established churches are showing signs of new life, often under new leadership. As one pastor explained, this sometimes means planting a new church within an older church. On the other hand, only a fraction of newly planted churches exist as operational congregations five years after their founding. Similarly, the passion to reach unreached populations is entirely laudable and urgent. The sad reality is that many of our established evangelical churches seem determined to reach only people who look like themselves -- if they are committed to reach anyone at all. The danger on the other side is that many of these newly-planted churches begin to look like their founders and first members. A church of tattooed twenty-somethings in New York can be just as lacking in diversity as the aging middle class congregation at First Church."