by Roger Thomas

Top Ten Reasons for Planting New Churches
Roger Thomas
Matthew 28:18-20

Why plant new churches? That's the $64,000 question that is asked over and over again. Congregations near the target site of a new church ask that question for very real and personal reasons. Established churches confronting the issue of how to best reach their community face the same question. Individuals and churches bombarded with constant requests to financially support an endless parade of causes deal with it. Groups like the CMCE that have taken up the banner of new church evangelism must ask it. Why plant new churches is at the heart of our existence.

This is not a new cause for me. I think it began in the church where I grew up in Central Illinois. Our church supported and talked about "new church evangelism." When I went to Bible I college, I discovered many of our professors involved in preaching for new church starts on weekends. My first full time preaching ministry was with a new church that was still in temporary facilities and on outside support. While in that first ministry over thirty years ago, I remember walking door to door in Keokuk, IA in preparation for the beginnings of the New Testament Christian Church there. The pioneer spirit caught on. For several years I helped launch new campus ministries.

When I returned to the pulpit ministry from campus work several years later, I went to a new church in Champaign, IL. While there I worked with the statewide Project 300 effort. I spent the last fifteen years preaching in Northern Illinois and working with the Chicago church planting effort. I served on the CDEA long-range planning team, edited the CDEA newsletter, and helped work the telemarketing phones for plants in Carol Stream, Bolingbrook, and Grayslake. I have seen new church work at the grassroots. I have seen what can happen. But most importantly I believe in it.

So why plant new churches? I know I may be preaching to the choir ...

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