Planting the Joy of New Daughter Churches
The following is a post by one of our elders, summarizing the content from this past Sunday's Adult Bible Study Hour. In the class, we are going through eight different aspects of our Planting Joy vision. Consider joining us this Sunday at 9:30am in the sanctuary.
When we talk about the Planting Joy vision campaign, it might not be immediately clear what church planting has to do with it. If we’re planning on building on this site, why would we plant a church elsewhere? The elders believe church planting has a vital role to play in the carrying out of Planting Joy because it follows a Biblical pattern of God building His Church so that His glory and presence covers the earth as the waters cover the sea. Where do we see this in the Bible?
First, God’s will was for Adam to fill the earth with image-bearers so that God’s glory and presence would fill the earth. When God gives Adam the mandate to multiply and fill the earth in Genesis 1.28, He was not just telling Adam to have babies. He was calling Adam to fill the earth with image-bearers that knew God. It was God’s initiative in creation to fill the earth with people who knew Him and were in perfect relationship with Him so that His presence would fill the earth. However, we read in Genesis 3that the first Adam failed and sin entered the world, resulting in division in the relationship with God. He drove Adam and Eve from the garden, away from His presence. As redemptive history moves through the Old Testament, God manifests His presence with His people in different ways as we move towards the Word becoming flesh, Immanuel, God with us. Third, we read in Ephesians 2.19-22 that God’s dwelling place, His glory and presence, is now in the community of the redeemed by the Spirit through the person and work of Immanuel, Jesus Christ. So what we see in Jesus’ ministry is the multiplying of disciples, or God knowers. When we hear Jesus’ Great Commission in Matthew 28 and then we look at how the disciples carried it out from Pentecost through the end of Acts, we come to realize that the Great Commission is not only for individuals but to peoples and nations that are unreached. Our mission as Christ’s disciples is to see churches planted throughout the earth so that God’s presence, which is now in the Church through Christ by the Spirit, would fill the earth… which was God’s will from the beginning seen in His mandate to Adam.
One exciting piece of this church planting vision is beginning to understand that where Five Points Community Church plants churches where there are no faithful congregations presently, both in our area and around the world, we are swimming in the stream of redemptive history that is moving towards a great congregation (Revelation 7) where God dwells with man (Revelation 21.3) and we will see His face (Revelation 22.4)! We are being used by God to fulfill His design for creation and for redemption, namely to see his glory and presence fill the earth as the waters cover the sea!
Would you join us in prayer as we seek to be faithful to the Planting Joy vision God has given us in all its facets, including church planting? God is building His Church. He who promised is faithful. We long to be faithful, by His grace, with the great tasks He has called us to.