by John Alwood
One of the things I love about PlantLB, is that it is a collaboration between many different kinds of churches toward the same goal of planting more Christ-centered communities for the good of the city. We have non-denominational pentecostal churches working with Reformed churches working with Baptist churches working with Foursquare churches… (you get the idea). It is really a Kingdom effort
Often times, I meet pastors and churches who love the idea of this sort of collaboration, but don’t know where to start. The great thing about a church planting movement like this is that there are numerous ways to get in the game. Your church can start being a contributor who also receives the blessing of being involved helping see churches start.
This year, I would love to see as many churches as possible in the greater Long Beach area get involved with PlantLB in some way. I read an article several years ago by my friend, Dave Reynolds, on 10 ways you and your church might consider being involved. It has served as a great guide over the years. I’ve edited and tweaked them a bit for this newsletter:
1. Pray intentionally for a planting couple and their team. This is probably the most practical and simple way for your church to get involved. If you don’t know a planter, we can get you connected with one. You and your church can partner in this vital way by encouraging a new plant through prayer. Would your church consider “adopting” a local church planter and pray regularly and intentionally for them as a church?
2. Invite a planter to share his vision with your Board/Church. With a couple of the churches I started, I was able to not only gather a few core team members and some support dollars this way, but it was invaluable for the churches who had me come speak to cast a vision and the value of church planting, and that this mission we are on is bigger than just us. Which planter is planting in your vicinity? Consider this option as a great way to encourage them, and benefit your people in the process.
3. Pick a planting couple and financially support them with what you can. Salaries are rarely stable or substantial in church planting. Sacrificial and generous giving from churches and individuals, up and above our regular offerings would be an amazing gesture of Christian unity. We dream of seeing a culture of collaboration strengthen among the many churches in Long Beach around new planters for the sake of supporting their work in our wonderful city.
4. Pick a church plant and give them a one-time gift (childcare equipment, A/V equipment, office supplies, computer, etc.). There are always equipment needs in a new church. The best thing to do, is get on the phone or email with a church planter and ask what their current needs are, and then see what needs your church might be able to meet. When the last church I planted was about four years old, we really wanted to get involved in helping support another new church start. We had some extra sound equipment and projector that we were able to give a new local planter. I think they are still using this equipment today for their Sunday worship gatherings!
5. Send a planting couple out to dinner or on an overnight retreat as a gift of encouragement. Planting is difficult and lonely work. The simple act of sending a gift like this to a planter can really help encourage them in what God has called them to do. Plus, you never know what kind of friendship you might be able to build with a planter through a kind and generous gesture like this.
6. Encourage your congregation to hold a “baby church shower” for a church plant and give them gifts for their startup (office supplies, a/v equipment, etc.). Again, planters can put together a “registry” for you, if this is something you’d like to do.
7. Plan to build church planting as a line item into your 2016 budget. I know several churches in the Long Beach area have adopted this practice, and the effects have been substantial. I talked to a church the other day that is able to allocate 15% of its budget to the planting of new churches. Maybe you are just starting to consider this. Begin next year with something smaller, like 1-3% of your budget. One of the best ways to start encouraging church planting as a value in your church is to talk about it a lot, share stories, and start budgeting for it.
8. Partner with other churches in your area in planting a church. It is our dream that it would be normal for churches in our city to collaborate together for the purpose of planting more churches.
9. Send team members from your church to participate in a plant. Please consider sending your best, not just pawn off the people who annoy you.
10. Draw, develop, deploy a planter and team from your church to start a new work. If you are thinking about the possibility of birthing a new church out of your church, it is never too early to start talking and planning. This is where we can really help you get started. We offer assessing, training, and coaching for your planters, and we would love to partner with you.
If you have any questions about how to get involved, or need some assistance taking the next step, please contact me at email@example.com (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) .