God has blessed Joel Comiskey Group with board members who are actively planting churches.
Rob Campbell was never content to have a cell church of 1000+. Rather, Cypress Creek Church has planted many churches around the world. Rob and his team understood from the beginning that the heart of cell ministry is multiplication, not only on a cell level but also on a church level.
Steve Cordle, another board member, has seen Crossroads UMC grow into multiple campuses in Pittsburgh, but Steve realizes that the DNA of making disciples goes beyond one large church. Steve and I recently talked about his vision to plant 100s of churches around the world.
Board member, Mario Vega, testifies of Elim Churches springing up all over the world. Why? Because cell leaders from El Salvador are so immersed in the cell vision that wherever they move, they insist on starting cells that grow into churches. They simple open their homes and multiply cells, jsut like they were taught in the Elim mother church.
But what about female church planters? Although Roselen Boerner Faccio is not part of the JCG board, I’ll never forget speaking in her church in Milan, Italy. The church she founded has exploded to more than 1000 people, but she has also planted some fifty cell churches throughout Italy. The last night of the conference, at her insistence, I spoke on church planting, and a multitude flooded the altar.
Leading a cell group is the perfect breeding ground for future church planters. It provides the atmosphere for church planters to lead “the church” in miniature form, coach new leaders, and eventually to do the same in another location (overseas or in the homeland). Some cell church plants will grow into megachurch status but most will stay simple with the goal of reproducing themselves into new church plants.
What about you? Are you leading a cell group? Have you multiplied one? Maybe God will call you to take the next step and be part of a church planting team somewhere in the world? Or maybe you will be the lead pastor of a church plant?
Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18). Jesus is interested in more church plants because he has chosen the local church to disciple the nations. While parachurch ministries have an important role in God’s kingdom, Jesus chose the local church to make disciples. And there is a desperate need for more church plants since 7.5 billion people live on the earth, and only 2.3 billion call themselves Christian. Jesus longs for more people to answer the call to plant new churches.
Some people wrongfully think the priority is to plant large mega churches and that this is the best way to complete the great commission. The research of Christian Schwarz‘s debunks this myth. Schwarz writes,
“If instead of a single church with 2,856 in worship we had 56 churches, each with 51 worshippers, these churches would, statistically win 1,792 new people within five years-16 times the number the megachurch would win. Thus we can conclude that the evangelistic effectiveness of minichurches is statistically 1,600 percent greater than that of megachurches! (pp. 46-48).
During the month of November, we’ll be blogging on the theme of taking the next step as a church planter, whether the plant is in your own country or another one. If you’d like to receive this blogs in your email inbox, please click here. We’ll cover:
- Week 1 (November 04-10): the biblical base for church planting as well as the need to plant new churches.
- Week 2 (November 11-17): characteristics of effective church planters (e.g., character, great relationship with wife, team builder, persistence)
- Week 3 (November 18-24): Planning to plant (submission to lead pastor, further training, fruitfulness in current ministry)
- Week 4 (November 25-December 01) Stepping out to plant (building the team, starting first cell, growing into celebration services)
Please feel free to share your experiences here.