Here was an encouraging article in the WSJ by an older Anglican believer who rather than holding on to “his” church, followed the call of God to be used to plant a new body in the same community. Praise God for Christians and for pastors who still realize that the Body is not their corporation to run executive roughshod over, but that the mission of the Church is still about making disciples.
I appreciated this article, because in it you hear the heart of a man who is learning how the Kingdom grows and expands and he conveys what he is learning through the process as though these truths are new to the world. Certainly from the Episcopal/Anglican tradition, aggressive church planting is new. Would that more elder saints in more traditional congregations learn these same lessons first hand. Here’s an excerpt.
In 2007, my wife Barbara and I left The Falls Church, which we had happily attended from the time we became Christians a quarter-century ago. It’s a 277-year-old church in northern Virginia well-known for its popular preacher, the Rev. John Yates, its adherence to traditional biblical teachings and its withdrawal in 2005 from the national Episcopal church. Our three grown daughters and their families stayed behind at The Falls Church.
We didn’t leave in anger. We didn’t have political or theological anxieties. Rather, we left for a new church because our old church wanted us to. The Falls Church has become entrepreneurial as well as evangelical. It’s in the church-planting business. And we were encouraged by Mr. Yates to join Christ the King, the church “planted” near our home in Alexandria. We were a bit ambivalent about the move, but when Christ the King opened its doors in September 2007, we were there . . .
. . . Mr. Yates was strongly influenced by the Rev. Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian in Manhattan. Mr. Keller has led in creating new churches — Redeemer has planted more than 100 churches in New York and other cities around the world. Innovative new churches, he has written, are “the research and development department” for Christianity, attract “venturesome people” as fresh leaders, and have the spillover effect of challenging existing churches to revitalize their ministry.
For all you Church planters out, Grace and Peace and God’s Increase to you today!