Mike McDaniel, director of our church planting center here at the Summit, called ‘Send RDU’, wrote this excellent piece that I thought was worth sharing:
I love reading about the great movements of God in history, times when God has shown up in undeniable ways. During the First Great Awakening, thousands flocked to hear the preaching of men like Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield. In New England alone, it’s estimated that upwards of 50,000 people came to faith.
For as long as I can remember being a Christian, I’ve longed to be a part of something like that. I think that’s one of the reasons I was drawn to the Summit. From the moment I set foot in this church, it’s been clear that God is moving here. What God has done through the Summit is nothing short of amazing. And as J.D. has shared, we believe God has even more in store for us, because He “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Eph 3:20).
In his book Firefall, Dr. Alvin Reid points out that if you study Christian movements, one of the things you’ll notice is that those movements which emphasized the planting of new churches “were the ones that have made the most profound and enduring impact.” The fact is there have been hundreds of movements throughout history. But only a few have changed the face of a nation – the ones that planted churches.
John Wesley was a part of the Evangelical Revival in England. By the time of Wesley’s death, 825 new churches had been planted across America. As a result of the Second Great Awakening in America, 6,427 new Baptist churches were planted in a 30 year period. In the Book of Acts, Paul planted new churches in every city that he visited. And if it’s good enough for Paul, it’s good enough for us. It makes sense if you think about it – movements that plant churches create a continued Gospel presence in local communities.
But there’s another reason that lasting movements plant churches. Church planting keeps mission at the heart of the church. The normal path for any church over time is to become inwardly-focused, and lose focus on reaching people. Church planting keeps the church on mission.
That’s why I love our vision for planting 1000 churches – because it’s going to take nothing short of a movement of God to accomplish it, and it keeps us focused on the mission of God.
Tonight (Mar 17th) from 7-8:30 pm we’re going to be hosting a Church Planting Forum with Ed Stetzer. Ed is a good friend of J.D.’s and an expert on all things church planting. He’s going to be speaking on the Pitfalls of Planting. If you’re sensing a call to church planting or interested in being a part of a church plant in the future, I recommend you come. For more info on our Church Planting Center, go to summitchurch.cc/cpc.