Saturday, May 17, 2008

Planting is Fun!

It's spring, and in Pittsburgh it is only just now starting to get warm enough to plant and garden. BUT that's not the kind of planting I have in mind. I'm thinking of planting a church. A lot of people have trouble even wrapping their minds around the idea of "planting a church." What does that mean? How in the world do you plant a church? Why in the world would anyone plant a church? Aren't there already enough churches to go around?

Well, here's the scoop! Church planting means multiplying. It means doing exactly what Jesus said to do:
  • Go and tell people about the Gospel so they come to be part of God's forever family, too.
  • Then bring those people into a context where they can grow and strengthen and even bloom in their faith so this wonderful process duplicates itself in Kingdom multiplication over and over and over again until Jesus comes back to earth!

The truth is that all churches either need to be in revitalization mode or planting mode to keep from getting stagnant. Churches have life cycles just like people and even plants, and decline is a part of the life cycle unless active measures are taken to keep vitality going. AND sometimes even active measures don't stave off the effects of aging no matter what we do! But that's another blog post ...

A Restoration Church gathering in the South Hills of Pittsburgh is a church plant! Church planting like planting a garden is a lot of hard work, but it's also a lot of fun! I was thinking about that today as we were setting up for worship tomorrow and for our lunch gathering after. I bet there's no where else in the city of Pittsburgh that twin boys (age 5) were working hard to help arrange chairs, carry plastic bins, carry in groceries and just generally give a lot of life and energy to the project of setting up for tomorrow's worship. It's pretty cool! Tomorrow those same two boys will take a turn at helping take up the offering. Their sister who is a born teacher at 10 takes the children out for a brief time of explaining the children's page we have each week that goes along with the theme for that week. Where else but in a church plant would two five-year-olds and a ten-year-old have the opportunity to develop gifts of serving in the church at such young ages? It's fun!

I think the statistics say that less than 10% of all church attenders are really "comfortable" church planting. It takes a certain kind of "pioneer heart." In my case, however I'm in the 100% category because that's what I am doing! And it's spring, and my "pioneer heart" says, "Let's get on with it!"

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