As I was looking through J.D. Payne’s book Discovering Church Planting: An Introduction to the Whats, Whys, and Hows of Global Church Planting I came across a sidebar which lists “some benefits of being a mother church.” Though this is by no means an exhaustive list, it does draw out some important benefits of being a church dedicated to planting. This topic is close to my heart these days as my church prepares to send out some of our members to plant a new church on the east side of Toronto.
Here is the list:
At least thirteen things (the “lucky thirteen”) happen within sponsoring churches when those churches become actively involved in planting new churches.
- Sponsoring keeps the church fresh and alive to its mission and vision and challenges the church’s faith.
- Sponsoring reminds the church of the challenge to pray for the lost.
- Sponsoring enables the church to welcome other people into the kingdom that it would not otherwise have assimilated.
- Sponsoring creates a climate open to birthing a variety of need-meeting groups within the sending church.
- Sponsoring provides evangelistic vitality and activity.
- Sponsoring encourages the discovery and development of new and latent leaders.
- Sponsoring encourages coaching, mentoring, and apprenticeship in ministry while providing a renewed understanding of how we are all part of a team effort.
- Sponsoring provides an occasion for church members to get to know missionaries personally.
- Sponsoring builds on the past and insures the future.
- Sponsoring minimizes the tendency toward a self-centered ministry.
- Sponsoring provides an education in missions and serves as a stimulus for young people’s dedication to Christian service.
- Sponsoring provides a visible proof that God is still working through people and that some are responding to his commission to go out and evangelize.
- Sponsoring provides a new opportunity for personal involvement in missions.
The list is taken from Spin-off Churches: How One Church Successfully Plants Another by Harrison, Cheyney and Overstreet. I haven’t read the book, so can’t comment on whether it’s worth the purchase.