In case you have missed the Sunday morning announcements recently, NewBranch is all about Church Planting. We’re kicking it up a notch with two initiatives over the next few years.
- Start a Bible Study in Auburn, GA with the long-term goal of planting a church there.
- Sending me (Kevin) and my family to the New England area to plant a church
You’ll read about those in upcoming posts. But first, what’s the biblical basis for church planting?
The command of Jesus to go is the basis for all missionary efforts. Matthew 18:18-20 says
 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Ed Stetzer gives 3 reasons the Great Commission is a church planting commission:*
1. The Great Commission is church planting because the church is to disciple:
“God expects the church to provide discipleship. Discipleship is not just a course or a series of studies. Discipleship begins with conversion and continues as an ongoing process. ‘Male disciples’ means that the church is to win people to Christ and grow these new converts in the faith. That process is meant to take place in the local church”
2. The Great Commission is church planting because the church is to baptize:
“Baptism is an ordinance of the local church. Baptism takes place in or among the local church… Baptism takes place wherever we can gather the church and wherever there is enough water to perform the ordinance. The Greek word baptizo means ongoing baptizing- immersing each new believer. Baptism is a local church ordinance with local church purposes. The Great Commission is given to the local church.”
3. The Great Commission is church planting because the church is to teach:
“We observe the fulfillment of this command to teach in Acts 2:42: ‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching’ which was the basis of their growth and fellowship. The Great Commission is fulfilled in churches through the planting of new churches, and by the teaching of biblical precepts.”
“The early church fulfilled the Great Commission by planting churches. The first believers heard the commission, left their homes, and went out to plant. When we hear the Great Commission, we should also be motivated to go out and plant new congregations. The best indication of what Jesus meant can be found in how the hearers responded.”
NewBranch’s desire to plant churches is not a desire to multiply ‘NewBranch’ it’s a desire to humbly and joyfully obey the command of Jesus in the Great Commission, taking the gospel to those who have not trusted in Christ.
*From ‘Planting New Churches in a Postmodern Age’ by Ed Stetzer. Pages 35-36