Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


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The Philosophy of Church Planting, Part 2

  • Jim Townsley
  • Dec 14, 2016
There are several misconceptions that hinder church planting today in the United States. First, the average church today has a misconception of what constitutes a mission field. We have reduced missions today to geography. Missions is not geography! Missions is people! Why do we differentiate and use the terms home missions or foreign missions. Missions is missions and our mission field is the world. The Bible is clear when it says, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” -- Mark 16:15. It is time to realize that every creature includes the United States of America. The sad truth is that many churches and even pastors don’t see America as a mission field. Today we have more Puerto Rican people living in America than in all of Puerto Rico. We have more Jews living in America than in all of Israel. There are forty million Hispanic people living in America. Thirty eight million African American’s now live in this country. Over ten million Muslims live in the U.S. There are twenty million deaf people in America. In Proverbs 29:18 God’s Word warns, “Where there is no vision the people perish.” Mission work is reaching people in every land (including America) and then establishing churches. 
Another thing that hinders church planting in America is that the average church has a misconception of the U.S. church planter. Somewhere we have the mistaken idea that when a man plants a church in America he doesn’t need support. The thinking behind this is that he should be able to start a church and work a full time job to support his family. How many men have failed and given up because of that type of work load. The figures are in and the rate is nearly fifty percent. Oh, it can be done but I believe that when a man starts a church under such conditions someone or something will suffer. Many times his family suffers or the new church suffers or both.  The book of James says, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”  -- James 1:8.  Most church planters in the United States need full support. If he is going to stay at the church and pastor the church long term, then that support can be cut back as the new church picks up the financial load.
Many church planters have a misconception concerning the need to build indigenous churches. There are three common errors that many church planters make. First, they keep the new church dependent on outside support. As a result, it develops a welfare mentality in the minds of the membership. The second misconception that a church planter can make is that he keeps the new church dependent on the church planter. This may happen because of his ego or it may be accidental or it may be ignorance. The third misconception that church planters often make is that they never disciple or train leadership. The above mistakes can result in failure.
Church planters also need to strive to build “Missionary-Minded” Churches. Churches started by missionaries should be supporting their own missionaries. Don’t wait to support missionaries. A church planter ought to start supporting missionaries from the very beginning. Remember, giving to missions is never a matter of can or can’t, but simply a matter of will or won’t. God will bless the church that gives to missions. 
In conclusion, we desperately need to get back to basics and the planting of churches in America. It is the only answer for America. Church planting is the only answer for the world. By planting churches in America, we can increase our mission force by increasing our mission source. If the Lord tarries, and if we are going to fund the next generation of missionaries to reach an ever increasing population, we must have hundreds of new churches started. The light that shines the farthest around the world shines the brightest here at home.