Biblical Foundations for Church Planting

“Living things that are healthy reproduce naturally as part of their life-cycle. Churches often do not. They can grow to maturity, become numerically impressive, but remain sterile. Reproduction must be intentional if the local church is to accomplish the full purpose to which it has been called and created. For this reason, we emphasize the need to plant churches that have multiplication potential in their DNA, that stress organic rather than organizational values, that favor centrifugal rather than centripetal growth (outward sending rather than inward retaining), and that use reproducible structures and ministries.  The fulfillment of the Great Commission requires a Pauline-type of commitment to taking the Gospel and planting the church in outward concentric movements, always extending forward to regions it has not penetrated.”

Ott and Wilson, Global Church Planting, p. 65.

  • Matt. 28:19-20 – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Part of the Lord’s teaching that must be passed on is to make disciples, so the first generation disciples were not only to make disciples but teach others to make disciples.

  • 1 Thess. 1:8 – “The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia – your faith in God has become known everywhere.” The result of disciples reproducing was the rapid spread of the gospel. That spread was not dependent on the missionary (Paul) alone. Rather local Christians shared the gospel far and wide.

  • Acts 9:31 says “the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers (lit. churches were multiplied), living in the fear of the Lord.” This is a summary of the fruit of disciple and church multiplication.

  • Acts 11:21- “The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.” The multiplication of churches was the fruit of reproducing disciples.

  • Acts 13:49, 52 – “The word of the Lord spread throughout the whole region… And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Entire regions were impacted by the gospel. Evangelized cities became strategic centers from which the gospel emanated, and new churches were planted.

  • Acts 19:10, 20 + 1 Cor 16:9 – “He took disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the Province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.” Paul writes 1 Corinthians from Ephesus where God had opened up a door of opportunity. For this reason, Paul remained there over two years. From there the Word of the Lord spread with power into the entire region. Other churches were planted during Paul’s lifetime (1 Cor. 16:19), including the seven churches of Asia Minor named in Revelation 2-3. Churches were also started in Colossae and Hierapolis.

  • Rom. 15:19: ''so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.'' Paul saw church planting as his priestly ministry, v.14-17; accomplished by Christ in the power of the Spirit, v.17-19a; with priority given to places where Christ is not known, v.20; 24; assuming that churches would multiply to reach the entire region, v.19b; 23a

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Why plant churches? 

Here are 6 good reasons.