ChurchETHOS

Plant a Church. Yeah, That Means You!

Posted in church planting, discipleship, theology by Nathan Creitz on July 29, 2006

So, if you’ve read much of my blog, you know I am a church planter in Boston. I didn’t know much about being a church planter before I started, but I have learned a lot in the last two years. I now realize that there can never be a professional church planter. I also now realize that every follower of Christ should be involved in church planting.

That’s hard to understand because there are a lot of things that every believer should be encouraged to do: caring for the homeless, looking after orphans and widows, having concern for the nations, loving our neighbors, promoting love and non-violence, etc. How can we have our hand in every one of those things? Honestly, there are only a few homeless people near Boston University and I don’t know where to begin with orphans and widows. In reality, some believers, using their strengths and passions are involved in different things. One believer might open a homeless shelter, while another believer owns a business and is ethically responsible. We give to our communities in different ways. We express our love by our involvement in the community.

Church planting is different. I always thought of church planting as a vocation. A team of people see a need in a specific community where there is no church and they work together to meet those needs. The church planter is the guy. He’s the leader. He’s the guy with the vision and the direction. Recently, I was teaching about church planting to a group of teenagers in Chicago. There was a guide that I was supposed to follow as I taught over a period of five days. The guide said that most church planters have three things. They have a definite call from God. They are called to a specific people and they are called to a specific place. True, there is a vocation for people who want to lead new church growth in an area, but that’s not all church planting is meant to be.

It’s ironic because my move to Boston was after a long time of frustration with how the church sets it’s pastors up as the ministers. My view shifted along time ago to realize that everyone in the church is meant to follow Christ and serve their community. Not just the pastor. And here I was allowing the same deception to creep in to my view of a church plant. Sure, we were basing our church on the idea that we were all there to serve each other and serve our community, but I still had the concept that the church planter is the man. He calls the shots.

I’ve found the truth. You may have found it already. I have a definite calling from God: to love God and to love people, and, to make disciples of all nations. That’s my call, but that’s not my call as a church planter, that’s my call as a follower of Christ.

I have been given a specific group of people to reach out to. For me it’s college students and young adults, but for you it might be a family member, a co-worker, a classmate, a roommate. It’s whoever God has placed in your life. That is your specific group of people.

I have been given a specific place. Boston. I had to move from where I used to live and from what was familiar to me, but that’s not the case for everyone. You don’t have to go to another nation to make disciples of all the nations. You may not be called to move to another city.

My realization of church planting is that we all have a definite call, a specific place, and a specific people. Churches need to be planted in your community. They need to be planted in Boston. They need to be planted in Istanbul and in Chicago. And I need to be involved in planting churches. We just need to understand and apply the following:

I am the church and I have been planted with a definite call, in a specific place, to a specific people.

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3 Responses

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  1. Wallace said, on July 30, 2006 at 12.12 pm

    hey dude…. i read your blog (when you update it)! it was great to see you this summer. come and see us sometime…

  2. Sara said, on July 31, 2006 at 8.09 am

    “Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers” a.k.a. the 5-fold ministry. I get the last 4, but I’ve always wondered about the first because we don’t use the term anymore. I’m pretty sure now that it’s fairly synonymous with Church Planter, and that it sort of encompases the other 4. The rest of the verse says those 5 are supposed to equip the saints to do the ministry. Some Christians are called to the “office” of those 5 things (Dad is a Teacher, Kurt is a Prophet, Rob is an Evangelist). All are called to do what God tells them to do when He tells them to do it. We all might have to evangelize or teach if the situation arises in obedience to God. So you’re right that we all have to do things that church planters do when God tells us to, but I think the office of Apostle is specific to certain people (like missionaries, and you).

  3. Sharon said, on July 31, 2006 at 12.46 pm

    I hear the cry of the hungry
    the displaced
    the broken
    the unredeemed
    The cry of Multitudes
    Nations
    My heart cries
    Longing
    Yearning
    to feed
    to clothe
    to heal
    I seek God’s face
    Eyes to see
    Ears to hear
    Across the street
    My neighbor
    Cold water in a cup
    My hands are His
    I heard His Call


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