The following post is an excerpt from our church planting email list from May 2019. To sign up for our email list for updates and prayer requests, see the bottom of this post.
A daunting task
Part of what is so daunting about church planting is the many unknowns that are ahead of us. Church planting is new to us at NSCBC, in almost 200 years of existance NSCBC has not planted a church. So you could say we are lacking in experience!
So what makes us think we are able to do it?
Here are two reasons that give us confidence that planting a church is possible.
1. Jesus promises he will build his church
The word church does not appear many times in the Gospels, only three times, but this doesn’t mean it wasn’t a concern for Jesus. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus gives us a guarantee about the church, as he says to Peter,
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. (Matthew 16:18)
These words to Peter came after his profession that Jesus was the Messiah, the promised savior and redeemer from God. Up to this point the disciples had been lacking understanding of who Jesus is, but finally there is a remarkable moment of clarity and it is revealed to Peter that Jesus is the Christ. Jesus highlights the significance of Peter’s words by saying this is the starting point for the church he will build. Jesus will build his church, what an exciting promise!
This promise must have stuck with Peter as he passes it on in his epistle to the Asian churches,
You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)
Peter (whose name means stone) was the first piece of Jesus building the church, but Peter knew Jesus wasn’t stopping there. The master builder would place more and more spiritual stones, like you and me, into the church he is building.
When we think about the daunting new task of church planting, remember we aren’t the ones doing the building of the church, we leave that to the master builder with over 2000 years of experience! Our own experience may be lacking, but that is not were our confidence should be. Our ultimate confidence and trust should be in Jesus and his exciting promise to build his church.
2. Jesus is currently building his church in Essex County
The best way to gain confidence in a builder’s work is to see examples of it. If 2000 years of church history isn’t enough of a portfolio we have plenty of local examples of church plants to be encouraged by. Within the North Shore Gospel Partnership Antioch Church Beverly and First Presbyterian Church North Shore Danvers Campus are recent plants that Jesus has built and in their short existences already used to further his kingdom here. I recommend you read the story of how Antioch Church Beverly was planted and be encouraged by how Jesus has been building them. Click here to read their encouraging story.
Church planting is new to us and we have very little in house experience, but that shouldn’t knock our confidence because ultimately it isn’t up to us! Jesus promises to build his church, so let’s work on being confident in that promise.
- Pray that we would be growing in confidence that Jesus will build his church in Essex County
- Pray that Jesus would reveal who he is to people here, just like he did to Peter, so that there are more “stones” to build the church here
- Praise God for the church plants already in our area and pray that they will be protected and will flourish as they make Jesus the Messiah known
- Praise God that we aren’t alone in church planting. We have local partners, but most importantly we have him!
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