In our study of our church history last year one thing that stood out in our mind was that wherever pioneers went, they planted a church. They had a zeal, not only as pioneers but as church planters as well. This year we are going to look at and prayerfully nurture a zeal for church planting. The Lord has blessed Cozaddale Baptist Temple and we have been able to see two churches planted directly out of our church with a third to be organized in the very near future. Mohave Baptist Church in Bullhead City, Arizona; Anchor Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Ohio; and Iglesia Bautista De Magdalena is very close to organizing in Magdalena, Mexico.
It is our desire to send missionaries out of our church to plant churches. We currently have Brother Steven Harris and family serving full time in Magdalena, Mexico. Brother Bryon Roberts and his family are now on deputation going to Gunnison, Colorado.
We also see a need to use our local church families to plant other local churches in areas where God may lead us. There is a need for missions both home and abroad. “…and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Since 1978, Gallup has gauged the percentage of "unchurched" Americans, defined as those who answer "no" to either one or both of the following questions: "Do you happen to be a member of a church, synagogue, or mosque?" and "Apart from weddings, funerals, or special holidays, such as Christmas, Easter or Yom Kippur, have you attended the church, synagogue, or mosque of your choice in the past six months, or not?" The percentage of "unchurched" Americans has remained relatively unchanged over the last quarter-century. A September 12-15, 2005 Gallup Poll put the percentage at 43%. Of course their definition of “unchurched” Americans is different than our definition of “unchurched” Americans but I believe this poll reveals a great need in America in the area of church planting. If the polls are accurate, then since 1978 no advancements have been made as far as reaching our country with the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
As we plant churches here closer to home this serves two purposes: 1.) It fulfills the great commission 2.) It provides opportunity and a training ground for our adults and young people. We are presently taking some of our members to Elmwood Place, Ohio each week to hold services in a storefront. One of the men leads the singing. Our children have a kid’s choir that sings and other members help out with specials. My wife and I return on Wednesday night to disciple those who would like to come for more teaching.
The purpose of these articles is not to tell how to do it. They are meant to share in what we are learning and to glean from others in what they have learned and are learning. We all minister in different areas to different types of people but all with the same need, Christ. Please take time to read these articles and to respond with any ideas or thoughts on church planting.