Why Plant a New Church?

May 31, 2023

Church Planting Basic Training, Part 1

Why Plant a New Church?

“Oh, there are already plenty of churches in town.” That is a common answer when a Christian is asked about the possibility of plunging into the adventure of being part of planting a new church. I would edit that answer with an addition, “Oh, there are already plenty of churches in town, but few are proclaiming a biblical gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.”

Certainly, some have engaged in a church-planting project for wrong motives such as desire for power in a smaller church or a belief that there are “new” ways to do church which are more relevant to our culture. The wrong reasons for taking part in a church plant are many. But what are some right reasons for being part of a church plant? I will suggest three solid motivations.

Helping a Rural Area Suffering from Spiritual Malnutrition

Many rural areas often have few choices in terms of solid churches which preach the Word at a competent level. Many of the pastors may be untrained or simply doing the best they can with limited time if they are part-time in the ministry. And while planting a church in a crowded city might seem attractive, there are (a) saints in rural areas who need to be strengthened at a higher level and (b) lost souls sequestered in country on a pathway to God’s judgment.

Meeting a Need for Reformed Theology

A given geographic area may indeed have many churches, but a survey of these churches may find most or all of them wanting in terms of the historic doctrines of our faith. The advent of charismatic theology, seeker-sensitive church strategies, and shallow man-centered preaching has left countless geographic areas heavy on churches and light on the depth of theology our forefathers brought us during the Great Reformation.

Standing Against the Tide of Cultural Christianity

When church after church in a given geographic area compromise on such fundamental biblical issues such as 6-day creation, mankind in the image of God as male and female, or male leadership of the church, then a new work is necessary to be a refuge for those believers desiring to follow Scripture as the sole source of authority for the believer in Christ.

While there are other legitimate reasons to be part of a church plant, these three are a sample of sobriety and seriousness of the motivation involved in stepping out in this work of faith.

“Church-Planting Basic Training” is a series of 15 short bullet-point style articles aimed at encouraging Christians in the appropriate situation to consider engaging in a long-term church-planting project.

Steve Swartz, D.Min

Dr. Swartz serves as Senior Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Bakersfield, California and is a guest instructor at John MacArthur’s Grace Advance Academy, a church-planting training program. Dr. Swartz is the author of numerous books, including Strength in the River, Joyful Generosity, Shattered Shepherds, and The Essential Church.

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