Reaching Louisiana and North America for Christ is too big a task for one church to handle. New Church Multiplication is one of the best ways for us to work the fields to the edges. And EVERY CHURCH can get involved. How? The sky’s the limit. There is no right or wrong way to support church planting. The question is, How big of a commitment are you willing to make?
In our last post we talked about how every church can ENCOURAGE Church Planting by being a friend and prayer partner to those starting churches and through Southern Baptist cooperative missions giving. A second and more direct commitment that your church can make is to be a church planting partner or sponsor.
Part 2: Every Church can Be a Church Planting PARTNER
If your church is ready to be engaged in off-campus multiplication directly, investing financially & tangibly in a local church plant or church planter is a great next step. It also is a great way to help your church see their community as a mission field and multiply your impact in the world for Christ. A few ideas for partnering and sponsoring are:
- Become a financial co-sponsor. Some churches have been blessed by putting church planting in their budget directly on top of regular gifts to the Cooperative Program and annual Cooperative Missions Offerings. Most of the co-sponsors for the churches I’ve planted have been between $50 and $200 per month. Some have given a one-time gift. It takes money to minister in North America and a financial contribution encourages the planter and communicates commitment to the Great Commission.
- Adopt a church plant for your VBS offering. The kids will love the story about a church that meets in a Fire Station or Rodeo Arena or Move Theater and baptizes in a swimming pool. And it may plant seeds in their hearts that will lead them into a career on mission. One church in my region collected children’s ministry supplies for a church plant and five years later they were still using the construction paper and supplies received during that week.
- Conduct a local or national mission trip to assist a church plant in outreach efforts. You can travel to a neighboring city or state or to the other side of town to assist with block parties, door to door work, servant evangelism, etc. Recently, I heard of a church that put together a team to take care of an area church plant’s Sunday morning setup for one month, just to give the planting team a break and to be a blessing to the new church.
- Give your cold prospect list to a church planting team. One of our sponsors gave our church plant a list of over 250 names that had only attended occasional events at the church or had not attended in a great while. We were able to contact those folks again and invite them to the new church. You never know if a new church may be the tool for harvesting people you’ve cultivated and watered for years.
- Invite a church planter to attend conferences with you and your staff. Most church planters have followed a call and are choosing to live paycheck to paycheck and do not have the funds for conferences. Invite them to go with you. Offer to pay part of the way or challenge your church to pay their way. Pay or not, invite them along to learn with and from you and your team.
- Sponsor a date night for a church planter and his spouse. Research is showing that church planting families are under great stress. There’s very little money and time for unwinding and recharging. In a difficult season of our first church plant, a church in another state invited my wife and I to spend three days in their area, put us up in a nice hotel, and left a gift basket full of gift cards to area restaurants and attractions. Priceless, simple gift that served to rescue us from a season of discouragement and burn out.
- Offer your office equipment to a church plant. Allow a church planter to make copies, send faxes, and cut post cards. A minimal expense that will meet a huge need for a guy that offices out of a coffee shop, spare bedroom, or garage.
- Offer your facilities to a church plant. Church plants have used facilities of other churches for core group meetings, leadership meetings, Worship Services, Thanksgiving Banquets, and housing for short-term mission teams. Extend the usefulness of your facility to expanding God’s kingdom through church multiplication by simply saying yes or being inviting to a church plant.
Contact the LBC Church Planting Team for more information on church planting, for assistance devising your church planting strategy, or to make connections with church planters and church planting training around Louisiana.