We planted Redeemer Fellowship over 8 years ago, and since then God has allowed to to send three other planters out to start new churches. Four new churches in 8 years? That sounds like a lot. In fact it might lead some to think we are a big church with a big budget. The truth is we are a relatively small church with 230-250 people gathered on any given Sunday. That's counting the babies. We don't have a lot of money or programs, but we do have a burden and calling to make disciples and plant churches.
In 2009 we sent our first church planter and his wife, Pastor Jamie and Cherron Page, into Dekalb, IL to plant The Church in DeKalb. At the time we had around 100 people and they had four in their core group if you count their babies. The second church planter we sent was Seth Williams with his wife, Jaqui and their core team of around 10 people. In 2013 they planted Ransom City Church in Evanston, IL. This past Sunday we officially sent Tom Schmidt, his wife Rachel, and their core group over over 20 people to launch Cross of Christ Fellowship in Naperville, IL. Tom preached and their worship band led us in music. Their first public worship service is this Easter at the Dupage Children's Museum.
It is incredibly exciting to see God bring people to Redeemer who want to go on and do the hard work of planting churches. When Redeemer Fellowship was born church planting was in her DNA. We hoped we would be able to train and send people, but we knew that in whatever way God allowed church planting would be a real part of our church life.
Many churches and church leaders who are open to the idea of church planting don't know where to start, or they have some magic number in their mind that must be hit before they can get involved in planting. "When our church is big enough, then we will plant." "When our budget is big enough we can get serious about planting."
Let me encourage you to not adopt the posture of waiting to be involved in church planting. And if you aren't sure where to start, here are three possible ways to get going.
3 Ways to Get Involved in Church Planting
The easiest step toward involvement in church planting is to get to know solid church planters and plants and help promote them. Pray for them during corporate worship. Invite the planters to come and preach at your church. Send people who are looking for a church to the new church in their area. By building relationships with church plants you will find yourself in a better position to get involved.
The second step is to put your money (or your people) where your mouth is. You can participate in church planting through financial support, encouraging your church members to join a plant, and to offer help as an established church. Church planters need coaching, and your experience could prove very helpful to them. Your church might not be sending a planter, but you can partner with a sending church in a variety of ways.
Some of your churches could be planting a church in the next few years if you really want to. As you seek out and raise up future leaders in your church, and walk them through the options training and pastoral ministry, you may find yourself men called to lead a plant. You will need help in this process, and can find it through good networks like Acts 29 and denominations like the Southern Baptist Convention.
We need more partnerships between churches, and we need more churches. Working together to plant churches is a biblical way to fulfill the cooperative commission to make disciples.