“Take my yoke on you and learn from me…” (Matthew 11:29).
Have you ever read something that Scripture calls us to do and felt a sense of dread? A feeling of “Here’s one more thing I really don’t know how to do,” or “Here’s something else that our church is not adequate for”?
This is a common response of many established churches to the idea of engaging in church planting. It’s seems like such a momentous commitment; how would we even begin? Only about one in five churches ever do.
And yet, there is something in our faith that convicts us that we need more churches, not fewer. New churches that can reach people that our church likely will not. In new places that we likely will not go ourselves.
I minister with a congregation of around 70 people. Like many church families these days, it is a challenge for us to meet budget for our own needs. Our personnel, time, and other resources are stretched pretty thin.
With regard to partnering in church planting, my prayer is that we will take this as a sign not to do nothing, but to offer what we can to the Lord.
In contrast to the way that many people in his time practiced religion, Jesus’ words in Matthew 11 are not a command meant to add to our burdens. They are a loving invitation to joy; to enter a larger, more fruitful life. Kingdom life. And he promises to teach us how to live that way. What a blessing it is to know that there is nothing that the Lord directs us to be or to do that he does not also guarantee to supply what we need to be able to do it! He shoulders the yoke with us.
National Church Planting Sunday is May 21.
I take this promise to heart this year as I share with my church family about National Church Planting Sunday this year. It is a day for believers across this nation to celebrate, support, and bring awareness to church planting.
Maybe this year, the best we can do is take the next small step in the right direction. That may mean seeking to become better acquainted with and informed by those who are active in church planting. It definitely means committing to praying more about how our church can become involved. (You can download a calendar of church planting prayers here.)
I want my church to take that next step.
I want my church to share the joy of partnering with others for the sake of the Gospel (Philippians 1:3-5). We don’t have to be on the front lines of church planting, but we sure don’t need to be on the sidelines!
I want my church to know the delight of seeing lives transformed through church plants that we’ve had some part in encouraging and supporting.
I want my church to experience the unity that results from coming together in prayer and planning and giving in order to participate in the highest mission we could ever be a part of.
If you have any questions about National Church Planting Sunday or how you can get involved, please contact Ron Clark.