“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you ” (Matthew 28:19-20 KJV)
Fundagelicals are big on missions and evangelism. They take the “Great Commission” seriously. Fundagelicals love home missions as well. That’s why you can walk around any city in the United States and find hundreds of churches.
There are twenty-one churches less than a mile from my home. There are two Catholic Churches, One Lutheran church, one Episcopal Church, two assemblies of God churches, one Mormon Church, two Calvary Chapel churches, three Baptist churches and several non-denominational or unknown churches.
During my time in the Southern Baptist church, several church plants were started. These were “home missions” meaning these churches were being planted in nearby communities; even though these nearby communities had dozens of churches already. So why plant churches there?
Here’s how a Fundagelical thinks: There are twenty-one churches in a one-mile radius, the Catholic, Lutheran, and Episcopal churches don’t count. They are all too ritualistic and don’t preach the Gospel. The Mormons are out; they are a cult! The non-denominational churches are out; they are “name only” Christians. The Pentecostal and AOG churches are out because they teach false doctrine. Ok, what about those other two Baptist churches? They are either the wrong kind of Baptist churches, or they are backslidden churches. So, a REAL BIBLE BELIEVING GOSPEL TEACHING church is needed. Let’s plant one!
Here’s the dirty secret about church planting. Church growth is not accomplished by the addition of new converts; it is accomplished by the movement of disgruntled Christians from one church to another. This is known as poaching sheep or the rotation of the saints.
The new Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Church rolls into town; Pastor Harley Brimstone let’s lose with a set of fiery sermons. The new worship band/choir/men’s gospel quartet/organist plays whatever style of music the church will be known for. Soon disgruntled Bobby Baptist wanders into the new church, to check it out for doctrinal purity. He likes the preaching/music/coffee, and lets all the other disgruntled people know that a NEW REAL BIBLE BELIEVING GOSPEL TEACHING church is in town. Rapid church growth follows until a new disgruntled group forms, and a new Fundagelical pastor sets up shop. Cue the rotation of disgruntled saints.
Church plants are often more about bringing the “right” kind of church to an area than about serving an area that doesn’t have a church. I mean it’s more fun to church plant in Huntington Beach near a Starbucks than some rural Kenyan village that has never heard of a cappuccino.
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