Lessons from Church Planters

My ministry has always been in long established churches. Our first congregation was in Monticello. I was asked to preach at the 100th anniversary of this church last year. We now live in Meridian were I serve on staff of one of the oldest churches in our city. For five years I was the pastor of the Truitt Memorial Baptist Church in Pearl. It is the oldest church in the city of Pearl but Pearl is not that old. There are a couple of charter members still alive and I loved to hear them talk about the days when the founded the church in a tent. These friends are old but their stories are still fresh and full of passion. These charter members helped me see the important place church planting has in the work of God.

Church planting is a gift to the whole Christian community. There is a definite place in the Kingdom for old churches. It's simply arrogant and a little dumb to deny this. New churches are also a vital part of what God is up to in the world. Old and new churches need each other. I like church planters and I want to thank them for a handful of things.

1. Church planters remind me that only God can do God's work. They are forced to live by faith. We all should.

2. Church planters tend to be a grateful group.

3. Church planters "read" their communities so that they can reach people.

4. New Churches celebrate what God is doing.

5. Church planters remind us that the message is more important than the method.

This list could go on and on. Tonight we will vote about giving a bus to Church Arise in Decatur. They are a new church, serving their community in creative ways. We should become friends with churches like Church Arise. It will be good for us!

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