“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Rom 1:16 ESV
It would seem that some people who are all for church planting are unaware of Romans 1:16, so I have reproduced it here for the benefit of those who think that a church is best planted by human invention.
What do I mean by ‘human invention?’ How about slick marketing programs that blanket the city? Or freebies, raffles, and give-aways that are meant to be a spiritual bait-and-switch? There are surveys meant to find out what unbelieving pagans want in a church so that a church can be tailored for them, and there are those ‘church planters’ who blanket Christian radio, Christian bookstores and encourage their core team to invite their friends over to their cool, new church that is so much better than the one they’re in now. There are other so-called church planting and church growth gimmicks I could mention, but I think that you probably know of one or two places like this.
Then there is Holy Spirit power that converts a soul from being a prisoner of darkness into a light-reflecting child of the Kingdom. Those churches that seek to grow from regenerating the souls of men are true church plants, and those who plant churches by the power of the gospel do so in the methodology that gives all glory to God and cannot be conjured up by Madison Avenue methods.
Listen to this great quote from Tim Keller:
“The first ministry watershed or goal was to become a church that had a spiritual renewal dynamic in the heart of our ministry. Was the gospel going to be a power, so that sleepy and nominal Christians woke up, and so that really secular non-believers who lived and worked in the professional worlds of Manhattan got converted? And could this become a real dynamic so conversions happened systemically, not just “one off” here and there?” (Redeemer Church Planting Manual, p. 15).
To all my brothers out there who are holding forth the truth in faithfulness, keep it up. For those growing weary of doing good, email me and I’ll join you in prayer so that you won’t be tempted to give in to powerless quick fixes that yield a crowd, but not gospel growth.