A Church that Plants Churches

November 25, 2020

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been discussing some of the things we believe God is calling us to as a church. So far, we’ve discussed being Gospel-focussed, transformational, multi-generational, multi-cultural, and releasing. In the final part of this series, Dave shares about why we believe we are called to be a church that plants churches.

Our vision as a church is simple, and succinct: to know Jesus and make him known.

 

If it sounds familiar, that’s because it is—it’s the Great Commission:

Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
– Matthew 28:18-20

But the question is this: how do we fulfil the Great Commission? And why is church planting a part of that?

Look at John 15:1-8:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
– John 15:1-8

In this passage we see that Jesus is the vine, we are the branches that sprout from the vine, and God the Father is the gardener who cuts off every fruitless branch, even pruning those that do bear fruit so that they would be more fruitful still. What Jesus is telling us is that we cannot bear fruit unless we remain in Jesus. If we remain in him—in other words, if we are truly Gospel-focussed—we can’t help but be fruitful.

What is that fruit? It’s when we are transformational as believers. When we are Gospel-focussed, we will bear fruit, and experience transformation both internally and externally. Part of that fruit is spiritual in nature (Gal. 5; John 5:8), but part of that fruit is numeral growth. This is the focus of today. My point is this:

When we are gospel-focussed (we remain in Jesus), we will experience transformation (we will bear fruit), which will result in fulfilling the Great Commission we are called to in Matthew 28.

 

Can you see how the things we have been called to as a church align with our overall vision and the Great Commission? We are expecting growth, which is exciting. What about when growth happens?

There are a number of directions we could take. We could choose to follow the model of CrossRoads, a wonderful and enormous church in Red Deer. We could strive to be like Yoido Full Gospel Church in South Korea that, in 2007, had a membership of 830,000! However, while we admire the Gospel impact of those churches and certainly would not have a critical word to say about either of them, we believe God is calling us in a different direction.

In the opening verses of Acts 13, we see prophets and teachers raised up in the church at Antioch. As they are worshipping and fasting, the Holy Spirit breaks in and instructs some of them to be sent away to pursue ministry elsewhere. The church in Antioch epitomized the ‘releasing’ church that we are striving to be at Trinity.

We want to be an Antioch-like releasing church!

 

We want to raise up worshippers, prayer-warriors, prophets, teachers and preachers in our midst. We want to raise up people who are deep in their faith, in tune with the Holy Spirit and strong in the Word of God. But we don’t want them to stay with us forever. Why? Because we believe the Holy Spirit will prompt us to send people to start new churches elsewhere.

When? We don’t know? Where? Not sure yet. We don’t know, but God does. We believe He’ll make that clear in the future.

HOLD ON. PAUSE FOR A MOMENT.

 

…You might be thinking, “but we’re only a small church. Why are we talking about planting churches already?”

Great question. Here are three reasons:

  • We believe God is doing something big in Red Deer, and we want to have a plan for when He does.
  • We believe God is calling us to be pioneers—that people need Jesus more than ever, and that the traditional understanding of hero-pastor, cookie-cutter, rigid and stuffy church is not what an unbelieving, troubled world needs most right now. We value family over formality. Relationships over rigidity. Community over corporation.
  • We are growing. That’s exciting – we want it to continue! Not because we care about numbers or personal kingdom building, but because we want people to be transformed by the power of the Gospel.

So with all that in mind, we hope you are ready for the epic journey ahead of us. We believe that when we are released to be a Gospel-focussed community, we will necessarily be transformational, reaching a multi-cultural, multi-generational city, training worshippers, leaders and teachers, and becoming a church that plants churches.

 

Put simply, we believe that we are called to know Jesus, and make him known.

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5301 50 Ave
Red Deer, AB
T4N 4B6

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T4R 2M1