My wife wants to have a little garden and I’m building her planter boxes to help with her gardening desires. We aren’t sure what to plant, but the seed thoughts have got me thinking about how seeds work. It brought to mind this verse in John:
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 12.24)
In context, Jesus is talking about those who would follow him. They need to come after Him. They need to die to self. When they die to self they’ll produce more than they ever dreamed. This is an amazing truth. However, I think we limit the extent here too much. I think the principle applies broadly. When we die to ourselves as churches we can bear much fruit in church multiplication.
Churches can die to themselves by sacrificing in these 6 practical ways:
Setup a Church Plant information area. Maybe you’ve got a bulletin board or an information center. Use those areas to share information about church plants that your church is supporting or prayer cards for church planters that you are familiar with.
Take up a planned, special offering for church plants. Set aside a percentage of budget for church plants. This is something that CityView has since its inception. All the churches we plant also set aside money for churches. Many of those churches are giving 5% of their tithes and offerings and giving them towards our Collective of churches that exists for gospel-centered church planting in the Houston area. If you are looking for a place to give church planting dollars to, this is one I personally believe in deeply.
Take a week or even just a weekend and go do a short term mission trip with a church plant. We’ve had some GREAT churches come and help us in our first few years. They’ve surveyed for us, passed out fliers, put on block parties, held sports and dance day camps, helped with setup and teardown, and a hundred other things. These teams help us go further faster.
Regularly share stories of church plants from the pulpit. Bring a church planter in to preach for you. One church we’ve worked with does a month devoted to church planting (and not a Summer Month, a good one like September).
5) Prayer Time
Regularly pray for church plants in your prayer gathering, groups ministry, or Sunday School classes. You can contact your denominational or favorite network. Here’s our network. Here’s our Collective of churches.
Encourage the membership of your church to go help a church plant. Maybe they go for a few weeks to help get a plant off the ground through helping in hospitality or children’s ministry OR maybe you encourage them to join the core team of a church plant.
These are ideas that I share in my new book Proliferate, A Church Planting Strategy for Everyday Churches. It is available in both Kindle and Paperback formats at Amazon.