Ray Ortlund speaks into what it means for a church to be “ready” to plant.
Here is an excerpt:
Immanuel Church is small – growing but small. We’re about two years old and averaging around 150 people on Sunday morning. And we are involved in a church plant. Jeremy Rose is pioneering The Axis Church, another Acts 29 church, in downtown Nashville. Jeremy served with us at Immanuel the second half of 2009, and now we are committed to his new work in prayer, fellowship and money – 10% of our regular offerings. At Immanuel, we’re stoked about this.
Why not wait until we’re bigger before committing to another church plant? Well, why not wait on every aspect of obedience? I don’t know about you, but I almost never feel ready to obey the Lord Jesus Christ, except in those routine areas of obedience I already have some handle on, like “Ray, read your Bible and pray each day” – and I’m not even good at them! But real obedience, new risks for the name of Christ – that’s part of the “newness of life” the Bible calls us to (Romans 6:4). If all the obedience I offer the Lord is stuff I’m already okay at, where’s the newness? What am I, what are we, doing in obedience to him that we’ve never done before and that we don’t feel entirely ready for? That’s newness. That’s our real growth. We always want to be out there on that edge. Church planting is one way to stay there. So it doesn’t matter how small or how big our church is. If we believe that church planting is a matter of obedience to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for his greater glory in our time, then right now is when we should start taking steps toward jumping in. He will be with us.