In this second blog post examining our Mission Profile at Gilnahirk Baptist, we throw the spotlight on church planting.
What is church planting?
As a church that is moving OUT we want to plant and/or replant a church by 2020. But what is church planting? Church planting is the establishing of brand new gospel-centred churches where no such church previously exists. Church replanting or church revitalisation is similar – restoring a dead or dying church to becoming a strong and vibrant gospel-centred church once again.
In his great commission, Jesus left his disciples with the following command:
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all I have commanded. (Matt 28:18-20)
When we turn to the book of Acts, we see that in response to this Great Commission, the apostles went around preaching the good news about Jesus and planting churches across the known world. The expectation was that each church would continue this missionary work after the apostles had died, sending out more missionaries to plant churches that plant churches.
We at Gilnahirk Baptist Church exist because a group of faithful believers met for prayer and decided to plant a church in our community. Like our faithful forefathers, we want to be a church that listens to the Great Commission of Jesus and be a church that plants churches that plant churches.
How does this affect us at GBC?
As a church that wants to plant and/or replant a church by 2020 (and hopefully many more after that) we realise that all of us will have a part to play in church planting – we will all be church planters in one sense. Whether it is the training up of new leaders within our own ministries so that we can send them out, whether it is focused and faithful prayer for fruitful new plants, whether it is giving money to equip and resource church planters and pastors, whether it is being part of a core team that gets sent out to establish a new plant or replant, everyone has a part to play.
Whether we go or stay, we will be making a sacrifice for the kingdom of God, and yet we will all share in the blessing of seeing gospel fruit in our own congregation and our plants.
How can we do this practically?
We are giving prayerful consideration to joining Acts 29, a diverse global church planting network, for practical support, training and guidance. There are over 488 member churches in the network, spread across every continent of the world, and that number is growing rapidly. Acts 29 Ireland was founded in 2015 and has a large vision for much needed church planting across the island of Ireland and into Europe. For more information on Acts 29, click here.
As a church we will also partner with church plants and church planters in our own country and beyond, supporting in prayerfully, financially and even visiting our partner plants!
David Varney, Mission Profile Coordinator for Church Planting
For more information, you might like to read the following books:
Church Planting is for Wimps by Mike Mckinley
Total Church by Steve Timis and Tim Chester
Church Planter by Darrin Patrick
Replant: How a dying church can grown again by Mark Devine