Plant Midwest

Today I am speaking at Plant Midwest in St. Louis on the subjects of shepherding our own hearts as well as the hearts of our people. This is a regional gathering of pastors, church planters, leaders, and those interested in planting churches. Tomorrow I will be doing the same back in Chicago. If you are local and interested, show up! It will be a good time, but most importantly we believe it will be a time of strengthening and encouragement in the gospel. Times and places are listed below. For more detail hit the Plant Midwest website.

plantSTLOUIS Date: August 20th, 2012 Time: 9am – 1pm Location: August Gate Church 2601 Minnesota Avenue, St. Louis 63118

plantCHICAGO Date: August 21, 2012 Time: 10am – 2pm Location: Armitage Baptist Church 2451 N. Kedzie Blvd. Chicago, IL 60647

Come to Plant Midwest in St. Louis & Chicago

If you are a pastor, church planter, or are headed that way, you should come and check out the Plant Midwest quarterly this month in either St. Louis (Aug 20) or Chicago (Aug. 21). I am speaking at both gatherings on shepherding our own hearts, as well as the hearts of the people we lead and serve. It is easy for those who of us who serve the church to focus on ministry, goals, and the need to "produce," but if we are not careful to watch over our own hearts we are setting ourselves up for burnout, or something far worse. As John Flavel wrote, "The keeping and right managing of the heart in every condition, is one great business of a Christian’s life." This is what I want to focus on in our time together. The Plant Midwest quarterlies are great opportunities for encouragement and to meet others in your area who are praying and working toward planting new churches. Registration is free, so if you are in the area I hope you will join us!

plantSTLOUIS Date: August 20th, 2012 Time: 9am - 1pm Location: August Gate Church 2601 Minnesota Avenue, St. Louis 63118

plantCHICAGO Date: August 21, 2012 Time: 10am - 2pm Location: Armitage Baptist Church 2451 N. Kedzie Blvd. Chicago, IL 60647

Persuading Others To Plant Churches

It's Valentine's Day, so you know what I'm doing! I'm in Chicago today, hanging out with various leaders, pastors, and church planters for the Plant Midwest (Chicago) gathering. Of course I'll be home in plenty of time to take my wife out on a very special date. But before that it's church planting. Yes, our established, healthy churches need to "excel still more" in all they are doing for the Kingdom. Other churches need  to "strengthen what remains," and some need help in seeking revitalization. And yet in the midst of all of this we must all encourage the planting of more churches.

On April 23, 1865 Charles Spurgeon said to his congregation at the Metropolitan Tablernacle,

We have never sought to hinder the uprising of other Churches from our midst or in our neighborhood. It is with cheerfulness that we dismiss our twelves, our twenties, our fifties, to form other Churches. We encourage our members to leave us to found other Churches; nay, we seek to persuade them to do it. We ask them to scatter throughout the land to become the goodly seed which God shall bless. I believe that so long as we do this we shall prosper. I have marked other Churches that have adopted the other way, and they have not succeeded.

- C.H. Spurgeon, The Waterer Watered

Spurgeon didn't just say this. While pastoring the Metropolitan Tabernacle, and seeing tremendous growth, he played a vital role in the planting of over 200 churches in and around London. What a beautiful example of Kingdom mindedness, missional focus, and gospel passion.

I'm looking forward to this gathering, and working with others to plant more churches.

For more on the "prince of preachers" check out Dallimore's biography on Spurgeon. You can also visit The Spurgeon Archive to read many of his sermons for free.