Building vs. Planting, Part 3

We’re examining reasons that churches choose NOT to plant new churches…

Planting2 Selfish reasons…
Elaboration on this particular point could go on and on and cross over into the other reasons that churches choose not to plant, so I’m going to try to keep it relatively brief without letting us off the hook. Living in a consumer-oriented culture, we are all used to “having it our way.” Because of that, companies and manufacturers produce goods and services that will appeal to the consumer. If they didn’t do that, they wouldn’t make money. Period.

However, the problem arises when we as consumers transfer those same attitudes and expectations onto the church.

We expect this organization to cater to us and our needs and wants. If it doesn’t, then we will find one that does. If a particular church seems to be asking too much of us (i.e, it costs too much), then we will find one that expects little and exists to make us and our families happy. To entertain us. To provide for us. That’s great for
capitalism, but it’s death for faith.

Selfish

Because we are selfish people, we have projected onto our churches our own needs, wants, and desires. It’s difficult (and can I say rare?) that you find a family or individual who deeply comprehends that church is not about them. It’s about God. Every gathering of Christians is intended to be a strategic, influential, grace-oriented and others-centered community where lives are being transformed, hurts are being healed, addictions overcome, and true needs met. A church is intended to be a people whom God has planted in a community to demonstrate His character, power, love, and offer for forgiveness.

God’s plan and desire for His Kingdom to be built is lost to us in the selfish demands we have for church to be done “our way.” We choose the best children’s and youth programs over the group of people most committed to extending Christ’s kingdom. We choose activity over depth and information over transformation every time.

We are selfish.

Planting a new church requires incredible sacrifice and spiritual commitment. It requires that we look at our community first and our own church last. It requires us to continually resist the urge to measure our success by our size. (How many churches that are growing are adding new believers, and how many are just receiving members from other churches?) Planting a new church requires training new leaders, and most churches are deeply incompetent at training new leaders. The same folks run every committee, team, and task force.

We are selfish.

We’d prefer for our church to get bigger and bigger, thus proclaiming to other churches… “we’re the best!” Yay! We’re winning! Just look at what God is doing here!!… Is it God or is it consumerism? Before you build that family life center or that new sanctuary, ask yourself the tough questions…

  • Why are we doing this?
  • Is this biblically right?
  • Who are we not reaching already?
  • What would it look like for us to start a new church or new group?
  • How can we cooperate better with other churches?
  • What do we define as our needs?
  • Are we training new leaders?

We’ll continue with next two reasons that churches choose not to plant in a later post. Thanks for reading this far! I’d appreciate your thoughts and comments.

On this day...

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