Starting Fresh: The Effectiveness of Church Planting

By Joel Comiskey, Planting Churches that Reproduce, Spring 2022

I was encouraged to read the headlines in Christianity Today (February 2022) “Southern Baptist Missionaries See Baptisms and Converts Surge With COVID-19.” Most of us have been inundated with bad news of church closures and stagnation in the last two years of Covid-19, so church growth is a welcome sign. But where did the growth come from? Former Southern Baptist missionary, David Garrison, explains that the exciting growth came primarily from an explosion of church planting. Garrison’s book Church Planting Movements highlights the effectiveness of planting simple churches worldwide.

We at JCG believe that traditional churches should make the transition to a more biblical, disciple-making model, and we explained how to transition in the month of February. Yet, transitioning a church can be a painstaking process that can easily become sidetracked if the lead pastor leaves or allows other priorities to crowd the church’s agenda.

Planting a new church compels the pastor and members to start fresh, evangelize more, and reach new people for the gospel. Jesus says in Mark 1:38 “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.”

One way that Jesus goes all over the world is through church planting. In fact, the hottest “small group” movements in the world are called Discipleship Making Movements (DMM) and similar micro church planting movements. The common thread among these movements is simplicity and multiplication.

Again, I’m delighted when a church transitions to the cell church model, and we at JCG are committed to helping churches make more and better disciples in every way possible. However, there’s something fresh about planting a new church that can start immediately with cell values.