Why should we plant churches?
First, making disciples and gathering them into local churches is the biblical pattern we see from the New Testament. So, we should be engaged in church planting efforts because of the Great Commission and biblical mandate.
There are also some strategic reasons for church planting. For example, new church plants better reach unchurched people than established churches. Research indicates that new church plants gain 60-80% of their new members by reaching unchurched people. Approximately 90% of new member growth in established churches come from Christians who transfer from other churches.
There is also a multiplier effect for the kingdom of God by planting churches that plant churches. Churches that multiply themselves by planting new churches increase their kingdom impact. In addition, new churches are needed simply to keep up with the population growth, especially in urban areas.
Where is MacArthur Blvd going to plant churches?
Part of our church planting vision statement says that we want to plant “wherever God leads”. This could mean in our backyard in DFW, other places in North America, or across the world. With that said, we sense the Lord leading us to some opportunities in urban areas within DFW and North America. We are focusing on pockets of these urban cities and people groups that are far from God. We need to continue to pray and depend upon the Holy Spirit to reveal the places and people among whom he is calling us to plant.
How do I know if God is calling me to be a church planter? What is the next step?
If you are interested in being a part of a church plant, then your next step is to start praying about it with your family. Then start a conversation with one of the pastors and reach out to Pastor John at email@example.com. Simply get the conversation started.
Another next step could be for you to attend “The Call” retreat. This retreat is designed to help assess and facilitate where you best fit and flourish in your call. If there is not a retreat scheduled, then feel free to reach out to one of the pastors and we can look at getting one scheduled for you. Click here to learn more about “The Call” retreat and becoming a church planter.
I don’t believe God is calling me to be a church planter. How else can I support church planting?
The three main ways to support church planting are to pray, give, and go. We know that the harvest is plentiful, so pray for laborers. Pray for existing church plants and for the Lord to protect them and move through their church. A church plant usually does not have members that regularly give at first, so financial gifts to a church plant can be a great way to support a church plant. Lastly, you can consider going on a short term mission trip to assist a church plant in their ministry. There are opportunities for a few days, a semester, or taking a year to go on these mission trips.
What kind of churches do we want to see planted?
We do not want to put too many rules on the strategies of how a church should be planted. Our mission and core values help shape church plants, but some churches might grow numerically larger than others. The gathering spaces might look different for some. We want to plant churches in pockets of the city and other places that have people far from God. Our desire is that church plants are birthed from a movement of the Holy Spirit.
Does MacArthur Blvd partner with any other church planting networks?
Although not required for us to plant churches, we envision partnering with the Send Network. The Send Network is the church planting division under the North American Mission Board. There are robust systems and resources available to us through the Send Network. They do a great job at assessing church planters, as well as training and coaching. Additionally, they do a great job of working with local churches to plant churches.
What training opportunities are available for potential church planters and team members?
A lead church planter and team members will be identified through the assessment process that most likely will begin at “The Call” retreat. Once a lead church planter is identified, they will start a 12-24 month residency at MacArthur Blvd. During the residency they will receive training in the necessary competencies to successfully plant a church. They will also be building their core team during this period and providing the necessary training to their team members.
How can I be in prayer?
Pray for church planters to be identified to start in a residency at MacArthur Blvd. Pray the Lord leads us to the right place and people to plant a church. Pray that disciple making will be at the forefront of our church planting efforts.
If you have questions or would like to talk to a pastor about whether or not being a part of a church planting team could be for you, please reach out to Pastor John Williamson (firstname.lastname@example.org).