I am passionate about church planting for a number of reasons:
- Church Planting is the main vehicle for expressing God’s mission.
- Church Planting is a key strategy in fulfilling Jesus’ great commission.
- Church Planting is the most effective means for making disciples.
- Church Planting is necessary for the transforming of cultures and societies.
- Church Planting is the most cost efficient means of evangelism.
- Church Planting is critical to establishing ongoing mission posts throughout the world.
- Church Planting is a natural by-product of a healthy church.
- Church Planting is needed for the survival of the church in America.
Every one of these reasons motivates me in some way or another, but the number one reason church planting inflames my heart is because God has captured my heart. God revealed his truth about his Son deep within my soul over 34 years ago and continues to reveal himself to me every day. I am passionate about church planting because I am passionate about God. Because I am zealous about God, all I want to do is to be a part of what he is doing in this world. If God is on a mission I want to be on a mission. If God chose another vehicle for fulfilling his purpose throughout the world, I would be just as passionate about that vehicle.
One of the foundational motivations for church planting is the glory of God. One author describes the glory of God as the afterglow of God’s holiness. Because man cannot stand in the presence of a holy God, God gives a glimpse of himself through his glory and through his supreme plan chose to use the church as his chief instrument whereby his glory is manifested throughout the world today. Three times in Ephesians 1:3-14 we see the phrase “the praise of his glory”
“…to the praise of his glorious grace…” vs. 6
“…might be for the praise of his glory…” vs. 12
“…to the praise of his glory.” vs. 14
Through the church, whether in a primitive village in Papua New Guinea or the rural hamlets in Eastern Europe or the mega churches in the sprawling suburbs of major cities in America, they all have one thing is common…they are bringing praise to the glory of our God.
We also see in Ephesians 3:10 that this is not just limited to God’s mission here on earth, but that through the church God chooses to reveal his glorious wisdom throughout the entire spiritual realm.
“His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rules and authorities in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 3:10 NIV)
Therefore, the planting of new healthy churches is a means of seeing God’s glory spread throughout the earth. John Piper in his book “Let the Nations be Glad!” reflects on the significance of God’s glory in relationship to all missionary endeavors.
“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exist because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.” (pg 17)
“Worship, therefore, is the fuel and the goal of missions. It’s the goal of missions because in missions we simply aim to bring the nations into the white-hot enjoyment of God’s glory. The goal of missions is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God. ‘The LORD reigns, let the earth, rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!’ (Ps. 97:1). ‘Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy!’” (Ps. 67:3–4). (pg 17)
Every new church planted is a new lighthouse of God’s glory where the afterglow of God’s holiness is reflected, manifested and ultimately enjoyed!
Let our passion for church planting be driven by a passion for God! May our zeal for church planting be consumed by a zeal for the glory of God!
The glory of God is not only the motivation but the goal of God’s sovereign work among men. There is no more majestic theme, no more noble pursuit than the glory of God.
- Moses’ highest ambition and most noble request was to see the glory of God (Exodus 33:17–18:8).
- The first coming of Christ was a display of the glory of God (John 1:14; see also Matthew 16:27–17:8).
- The Apostle Paul was encouraged and sustained by his awareness of God’s glory (see 2 Corinthians 3:7-18; 4:3-6, 16-18).
- The apostle Peter found the revelation of the “Majestic Glory” of our Lord a witness to the truthfulness of the prophetic word revealed through the apostles (2 Peter 1:16-19).
- Our Lord’s second coming will be a revelation of His glory, and the cause for the saints’ rejoicing (1 Peter 4:12-13).
- Every supreme goal of our every action is the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). (HT)
At Converge MidAmerica we are sold out to church planting for the #1 reason, because we are sold out to God and his glory!
“To him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever” (Ephesians 3:20-21).