Every generation needs new churches, or as Jesus called them, “new wineskins,” to meet the spiritual needs of their present generation.
Tim Keller, who pastors Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York, in his article, Why Plant Churches, says, “The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for 1) the numerical growth of the Body of Christ in any city, and 2) the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city. Nothing else—not crusades, outreach programs, para-church ministries, growing mega-churches, congregational consulting, nor church renewal processes—will have the consistent impact of dynamic, extensive church planting. New churches best reach new generations, new residents and new people groups. New residents are almost always reached better by new congregations.”
People everywhere and of every age need Jesus and community with other believers in a local church. But there are people of all ages who have difficulty relating to an established church. There are various reasons. Some people have had hurtful experiences, which hinder their ability to trust the leadership of the church. Some do not like structured services or the formality of it. Some find it difficult to build relationships with others within large congregations. And some people are simply unmotivated to get up Sunday mornings and attend church services. Whatever the reason, a large segment of our population is unchurched.
New unique churches, sometimes meeting during the week, provide a place for many who are unchurched to connect relationally to other believers in Christ. Some new churches meet in homes, while others meet in other locations. They focus on authenticity and relationship, with God and with others. I am convinced that starting new communities of faith is one of our Lord’s top priorities. He said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
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