As Christians, we are called to expand the Kingdom of God and spread the good gospel to all people. There are many ways that we as advancers of the kingdom can do this in big and small ways.
Converge Northeast is dedicated to our mission of starting, strengthening and sending. We are passionate about planting new churches to reach those who do not know Christ.
Church planting is no small task and takes not only a dedicated follower of Christ but support financially and from the community along with God’s provision. Most of us will not be planting a church in our life here on Earth, but that does not dismiss our role in church planting.
Biblical Reasons for church planting
In the book of Matthew, Jesus sends his apostles on the Great Commission, and he says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:18-19).
It is our job as Jesus’s disciples embark on the Great Commission through the planting of more churches.
We see that Paul takes Jesus’s words to heart in the book of Acts when he is planting churches. “Every day they continued to meet together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:46-47)
Paul continues to encourage the creation and mission of the Church. Acts 20:28 tells us that the Holy Spirit has made us overseers of the Church and to care for the Church of God.
How to support church planting
I was able to sit down with Mike Ferrini, Pastor of Calvary Community Church in Dorchester MA, on how to support church planters without planting a church. Calvary Community Church was founded in 1875 and Pastor Mike stepped into his role almost 24 years ago.
Two miles down the road from Calvary Community Church is The Table, is a micro church that is in the process of being planted, headed by Josh Wilson. While Mike has never planted a church, he understands the importance of supporting church plants worldwide and in his community.
There is often a perception that there isn’t a need for new churches because there are already many existing churches, and this perception is widespread throughout many congregations. Pastor Mike explains, “If we do our job well, there is still going to be an unbelievable amount of work that still needs to be done. There are people that we will never reach. There are pockets of the community that we don’t represent. To foster a ministry that is geared toward people that we can’t reach seems to be the best way to reach them. If we can’t reach them, then we should send someone who can.”
Pastor Mike included a page on the importance of church planting in Calvary Community Church’s newsletter during Converge’s Church Planting Weekend. I asked him why he included this for a group that is not in a place where they are able to plant. Past Mike explained to me, “While it may not be transferrable in [physical] church planting, there are transferrable evangelistic mentalities. For established churches that aren’t established in church planting, there is a mentality that church planting is something that other people do, but if you look at Boston, there is more than enough people to fill all of the churches that already exist and a hundred more.”
I asked Pastor Mike how and Calvary Community Church can support church planting without planting a church.
“We can partner with Josh Wilson, pray for him, we can support Converge Northeast personally and as a church. We don’t have a lot of people, but we have a building. One of the things that church plants have difficulties with is that they don’t have the space for large scale or their rental space for the building.”
Calvary Community Church partners with church plants and existing churches who do not have the space and allow them to have a variety of events ranging from meetings, dinners, baptisms, and more. There are many ways that we can support church planting including giving, prayer and encouragement. We can also support through simple understanding the difference between the Capital C Church and lowercase c church.
We are all a part of one Church. God’s Church. While we may worship at individual congregations in our respective areas, we must continue to support the advancement of God’s church. One way to support church planting is simply through understanding its importance.
Church – pray, encourage and support church planters. It is our duty given from Jesus himself to go and make disciples.
Jenna is a Connecticut native on Converge Northeast staff as the Administrative/Communications Coordinator. She recently graduated from Sacred Heart University with her BA in Communication Studies and Theatre Arts.