I was sat having a drink, enjoying my water (I don’t do hot drinks) with another leader, updating them on our plans to start a new church in our town Chesterfield, when the following question came.
“Well can’t you just join an existing Church? Why do we need another one?”
It’s a good question and one that has been asked before and no doubt will be again. If you’re thinking of church planting you can bet it’s a question you will get hit with.
I think that nearly every town or city in the UK needs more Churches. Whether they are brand new church plants or re-planting a dying congregation, revitalising it for 21st century life, there is room for more. Just give some thought to strategic planning and apply common sense when doing so…
Our town of Chesterfield is the second largest in Derbyshire, and although there are many churches of every flavour, e.g Methodists, Anglican, Pentecostal and Independent, there is still and always should be room for more…
In fact, whenever I hear about the start of new Churches, I think it is worth celebrating. It is worth noting that when I say Church, I don’t just mean the name on a building, I mean God’s people being mobilised to do His work. When Jesus people get out into the world and start gathering in new places it should be met with excitement, not scepticism.
The Church in the UK is in decline, but I don’t think that’s reason to despair. It should spur us on to planting and growing more churches and stopping the rot. We are locked in a spiritual battle for the very heart of our towns and cites and of course our nation.
We are not going to see changes by replicating the old way of doing things, clearly that is not working. The church as an institution has to change. It needs to be able to engage in a new context without compromising on its message. Without the hope of Jesus, we have nothing to give.
Church is not a building, that’s why it is useful us meeting in a school, but that’s a side issue. Church, the people have to be the mission.
If mission is just something that we do where we support ‘mission’ in far off places with special missionaries in a disconnected way, then we have lost before we have begun. We need to equip people to be living out their faith day to day on the ground, being God’s people at home, work and school. We have to take the bull by the horns and see the good news of Jesus spread wherever we find ourselves.
So does a town of 100,000 people need another Church? Well until they have all heard about Jesus and many of them brought into the kingdom, then yes, it does. It needs Churches that plant Churches so that the mission of God will grow and
expand and banish the darkness that covers our towns. We don’t have all the answers- in fact no one church or denomination is the answer.
The answer is Jesus.
We just have to faithfully show him to the world, joining with other gatherings in seeing God’s kingdom grow, to be kingdom builders not empire builders.
If the Church actually got on with it we would see many more churches and I think less scepticism.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”