March 20, 2022 – and the Celebration is…
We celebrate to remember. Have you ever thought about that? One of the big reasons we celebrate certain days is to remember something. Whether it’s the 4th of the July in the United States or Passover in ancient Israel, “red letter” days, as they used to be known, are a pause for remembering. And so it is that we have made the effort to take one Sunday in the spring and celebrate Church Planting Sunday. This year that Sunday is March 20, 2022.
This is a day in which we intentionally remember Jesus’ call to take the gospel to our Judea and Samaria. Often, it’s easier to focus in on our Jerusalem (evangelism) or to turn our eyes to the end of the earth (missions) than it is to consider our Judea and Samaria. One of the reasons for this is that our strategies for evangelism and missions don’t work as well in these in-between areas. They are too far from us for normal evangelism practices to work, and yet the context is not so different that a pure cross-cultural approach is appropriate. Church planting, however, solves these difficulties by reducing distance and adapting to the micro-context of the area. If we are going to take seriously the call of Jesus to reach our Judea and Samaria, we must remain committed to church planting.
So, as we approach Church Planting Sunday and the remembrance of the “middle” part of our Great Commission, perhaps it would be a good time to consider two things. First, does your church have a strategy for engaging in church planting? If you do, fantastic! May this Sunday serve as fuel on the already lit fire! If your church doesn’t, perhaps it could spark a conversation with your leadership team about what it might look like to take a step in that direction.
Secondly, would you consider doing something tangible to help share the vision of church planting with your church? In another post we shared a few ideas about how to bless and encourage a church plant. In addition to those thoughts, here are a few more ideas you may want to consider:
- Take the planter out to lunch to connect, listen, encourage, and pray for him. Church planting can be very lonely and discouraging work and something like this can be so encouraging.
- Donate gently used equipment. Church planting budgets are tight, so any unexpected gifts are a real blessing. Consider items like sound equipment, children’s and nursery supplies, and office equipment.
- Offer childcare for a leadership night. Maybe that means an evening of date nights for their team, or maybe it assists in helping them pull off a leadership training.
- Ask the planter what their greatest needs are and then see how God could use you to help meet them. I know, mind-blowing thought here, but sometimes the best approach is to simply ask how they need help.
We presently have two church plants in the RMD that would be a great place to start – Williston (ND) Alliance and Billings (MT) Central Community. Additionally, perhaps there is a like-minded church plant in your city that you could partner with and bless. Whichever way the Lord leads, don’t miss this opportunity to take a step toward reaching your Judea and Samaria. As always, please feel free to reach out anytime if you have questions or needs, or even if you just want to talk through some aspect of this.
Together with you,
firstname.lastname@example.org or (406) 647-2764