Why Plant a Church?

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One of the questions we get more than any other is, “why do you want to plant a church?” This is a great question.  There are so many churches in our cities so why would we need another one? This is a question that every church planter needs to have an answer to. 

For us it comes down to two things: (1) a belief about the nature of God, and (2) a belief about our role in His work on the earth.  

We are convinced that God has always been in passionate pursuit of the hearts of all humanity. He’s not distant, angry or uninterested in the affairs of people but, rather, He’s close, loving and deeply interested in the lives of people.  John 1:9-14 says, “He was in the world, the world was there through him, and yet the world didn’t even notice. He came to his own people, but they didn’t want him. But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves. These are the God-begotten, not blood-begotten, not flesh-begotten, not sex-begotten. 14 The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, generous inside and out, true from start to finish.” (MSG). 

I love that line in the Message translation that says, “The Word (Jesus) became flesh and blood and moved into the neighbourhood”.  What a picture of the heart of Jesus.  He became like us.  He came close.  And in doing so He showed us what God is really like and He showed us who we really are. 

People have so many doubts and questions about God.  It might be that their idea of God was developed from a Facebook feed, from late night talk shows, or from misinformed people who called themselves Christians.  All of these things can leave us with massive questions about what God is like; we might even question if he’s even real.  In coming to earth Jesus showed humanity what God is actually like.  He’s good, loving, patient, just, forgiving and compassionate. He also came to show us who we truly are.  We’re all in search of our true identity and want to find the thing that gives us meaning and purpose.  The great thing is,  Jesus shows us the way to be our true-selves; our child of God selves,  by modelling what it looks like to be truly human.

So, we can see that God is pursuing the hearts of people.  He made a way through his life, death, burial and resurrection for all people to be reconciled to Him.  Then He entrusted us, His people, to carry this message (the gospel) to the world.  If I were God (it’s usually a bad idea to start a sentence like that but work with me) I would have chosen a better way to share my good news with the world.  Because, let’s be honest, people are unreliable, flawed and mess things up all the time—surely, there could have been a better way.  But, for whatever reason, Jesus chose to use people like you and me to join Him in His work of seeing people who are far from Him to come into relationship with Him again.  

So, that’s why we’re planting a church.  We believe God is closer than we realize, that He is pursuing the hearts of people and that he’s invited us as His people into this work.  As far as we know, there is no better strategy for reaching people with this message than by planting new churches.  To move into a neighbourhood and work together for its good.  To do everything we can to show the people of that neighbourhood what God is like so that they can discover their true selves. Their child of God selves. 

Jason Eliason