This guest post is from Logan Wolf, pastor of NewMorningChurch.com. Logan and his wife are planting New Morning Church in Utah. See his bio below the post.
I am a church planter. As such I subscribe to the belief that America needs more churches. The first couple chapters of almost every church planting book present numerical and statistical data as to why that is, so I’m not going to rehash it here. Instead, I want to share a single observation that should be reason enough:
There are still people in our own country who do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
Beyond the walls of our existing churches there is an immense void where the Gospel has not yet taken hold. This fact should concern those churches, but I believe the solution begins with starting new ones. Church planting is an enterprise that delves into that void. A church planter goes beyond those familiar walls, past their realm of influence and in the thick, inky darkness strikes a match. While new churches may not have the financial resources or pooled experience of a large staff, they do have two advantages when it comes to shining the light of the Gospel.
First, new churches operate with an almost panicked urgency. It’s as if they are sitting in a crowded theater and someone has yelled, “Fire!” (Which is the second worst thing you can yell in a theater after, “Bruce Willis is a ghost!”) If a church planter wants to preach to someone on Sunday, he has to go get them. Whereas many established churches end up relegating outreach to a single night during the week, that’s all new churches have to do. And without a calendar full of committee meetings, choir rehearsals, counseling appointments, and Upward Soccer practices, that’s what gets done. New churches reach people.
Second, new churches are versatile within their communities. A new church is not encumbered in its methodology but can quickly adjust in order to take advantage of newly presented opportunities. (Thus, adhering to Michael Scott’s second rule of business: adapt, react, re-adapt, act.) They have a freedom that many established churches do not. They never run up against the dreaded, “We’ve never done it that way before,” because nothing has ever been done. A church planter is able to look around and ask himself, “How can I best get the Gospel in front of these people?”, and then go do it. New churches make the most of their circumstances.
Understand that I’m not saying every established church is lacking in these areas. However, while urgency and versatility may be a characteristic of an existing ministry, they are the definitive of new ones and necessary in our efforts to reach those around us with Gospel.
Logan Wolf abandoned his surfboard in order to start a church Provo, Utah. You can learn more about his ministry at newmorningchurch.com.