4 Priorities of a Church-Planting ChurchBy Robbie Symons
June 1, 2021
It was over eighteen years ago that my wife and I joined with a few other couples to plant a church to see lives changed for the glory of God. We had no idea in this process that the Lord would allow us to see several church plants be launched from our congregation into thriving works in their own right. As I look back on the critical ingredients to be a church-planting church here is what stands out most to me as to the biblical priorities and convictions to see this desire fulfilled.
You cannot overemphasize the role and importance of prayer.
It is prayer the most aligns us with the will of God. It is prayer that then invites the Holy Spirit to take the lead of His Church. A church that builds a culture of prayer will necessarily lead to a culture of listening and following the lead of the LORD. It is prayer that brings us to the place where we gladly and expectantly to our Father, “Your will be done.”
The common temptation of wanting to be used by the LORD and possessing strong ambition for the Lord is to actually move ahead of the Lord. The intentions and motives are healthy, but the timing must be God’s. Desiring to plant a church is wonderful, critically important and part of our Great Commission and yet we must make sure the Holy Spirit is leading and speaking in this. One of the great pieces of wisdom in this process is do not get ahead of God Himself.
A powerful example of this comes from Acts 13:2-3 where it says, “While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Notice in this example that the Church did not move until the Holy Spirit spoke. It is also tremendously encouraging to survey the role of prayer throughout the entire book of Acts. The early Church was used to change the world through the reliance on the Holy Spirit through dependence in prayer. This truth has not changed.
Please hear me—I’m not saying that prayer guarantees you to have a culture of church planting. But I am saying you will not have a genuine, Spirit led church planting culture apart from prayer.
We must cultivate a spirit of generosity to foster a culture of church planting.
Any brief survey of the New Testament churches will see an explicit and inherent generosity displayed throughout. The greatest example of this would be typified by the Macedonian churches described in 2 Corinthians 8-9. As Paul stated, “for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part” (2 Cor. 8:2). This one verse speaks of faith in affliction, sacrifice within poverty and abundant joy that overflowed into extreme generosity.