We welcomed guest speaker David Swanson, our Central Conference director of Church Planting. Linda led us in corporate prayer and shared a moving Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child video. It showed how we can be Christ hands and deeply impact children’s lives with a shoebox of small gifts. Michael rendered a passionate offertory on acoustic guitar and Vanessa’s worship team led us in lifting up our God & Lord.
David informed us about his responsibilities with the conference and his role as a pastor of church plant on the South side of Chicago.
Why do we plant churches? 1) All churches had a start 2) Typically newly planted churches are more effective at reaching those who are resistant to existing churches 3) Demographically, less than 20% of people are regular church attenders. 4) Far-and-away most importantly…it is God’s plan, the way He has deemed His Body will grow…and it is what we were created to do.
The Old Testament stories of Abraham and Jonah demonstrate how God’s covenant and plan was to bless others through us. But like the Israelites, we forget our vocation, and our instincts seek to draw us away from serving God…and towards idolatry.
Jesus’s unique life, death, and resurrection repositioned our place in this huge overall story. Through Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit we ARE a transformed people. We may feel we are precluded from this because there is so much more sanctification left to reach our ideal selves. But we literally have become the temple of Christ, and are the Body of Christ.
Even now, God’s ancient plan continues to be for His mission to be advanced through His vulnerable, broken, messed up people: us. We were made to work with God…even in the Garden before Sin entered our world. We are made to be tending God’s creation.
We are blessed with the opportunity and have the inescapable responsibility to grow The Church. How can we do this?
- Pray for new churches (this is a very real front of spiritual warfare) & Pray more
- Give support (through the Covenant)
- Identify opportunities (new planters, new locations, who is not being reached) and be in communication (such as with David’s blog)