The Big 3:
In Acts 8:6-8, we see at the end of that passage of ministering in the city, it says, "so there was much joy in that city." The gospel is the best way to bring more joy to Charlotte! Pastor Alex has often said that 10 churches of 500 can be much more effective than 1 church of 5000. We serve a sending God---it is His nature. He sent Jesus, who is mentioned 44 times in the NT as "sent". As disciples of Jesus, we are "sent ones".
In Matthew 28-18-20, we see that it says "Go...Baptize...Preach". All of that is pointing to the main thought of "making disciples". The church is made by Jesus who has ALL AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN. Our most basic component as a church is that the individuals within that church are making disciples.
1. Planting is FIRST a discipling enterprise and then we can see it move from addition to multiplication.
2. Planting churches is the primary strategy in the NT for fulfilling the Great Commission. There was order within the communities. It wasn't haphazard.
3. Church planting is the most effective way to reach new people.
A. Make one church bigger and bigger
B. Satellite campuses with a single pastor
C. Church plants as a new expression of the gospel
New churches are 6-8 X's more evangelistically effective than exiting churches.
It takes 3 people to produce a baptism in a church plant...95 in an existing church.
Every spiritual gift serves the larger purpose of making disciples. The gifts are varied, but the mission is the same!
But do we really need more churches?
In the next 7 years, 55000 church isn the US will close their doors.
Only 20% of churches are growing
Only 1% of churches are growing by reaching the lost
We need 7200 new churches every year just to keep pace with population growth!
Carmel has been a part of 13 church plants/replants. #14 is coming in January.
Our Ukranian partnership was started in 2014, and they have planted 27 churches!
Our goal is to plant/replant 25 churches in the next 10 years!
This only comes through the blowing of the Spirit of God and open-handed people.
To Discuss Today:
Here are 3 Habits to prepare yourself to be a part of this goal:
1. Pray for our church plants - pick a pastor to pray for
2. As you drive by churches, pray for them.
3. Habitually ask yourself if you're a part of the next plant.
4. Would you consider being a part of a church plant? What causes you reservation?
5. C.S. Lewis said, "The only way to know you are living by faith is that what you are doing for God scares you." "If it doesn't," he said, "there is no faith involved." What are you doing for God that scares you?