Acts 11:19-30 God Uses Church Planting To Accomplish His Purposes


If you could cut the heart of God, you would find that God bleeds church planting. Let me explain. God’s passion is that His kingdom will spread to all peoples. His plan is that His kingdom increase through church planting. Fred Herron makes this case following a careful study of the Word of God.

God’s heart for the expansion of his kingdom is revealed throughout the Old and New Testament. God intends the church to proclaim and demonstrate the kingdom so that his kingdom will spread to every people group on the earth. The passion in God’s heart for the expansion of his kingdom is a desire for all nations to glorify God the eternal King. He has given the church a kingly commission to go into the entire world and make disciples who are loyal worshippers of the King. The heart of God for kingdom expansion is the foundation for planting new churches.

Authors David W. Shrenk and Ervin R. Stutzman also see the kingdom link with church planting. They have written, “Church planting is thus the most urgent business of humankind. It is through the creation (or planting) of churches that God’s kingdom is extended into communities which have not been touched by the precious surprise of the presence of the kingdom of God in their midst.”

Missio Dei is a Latin phrase that has been helpful in reminding the church that mission is not the invention, responsibility, or program of human origin, but flows from the character and purposes of God. Historically, the term “mission” was used to describe the acts of God, rather than the activities of churches. Mission is not something the church does for God. It is the church getting in sync with the heart of God and cooperating with the activity of God on Planet Earth.

The church of God is to be on mission with God. It is the reason the church exists. When a church ceases to be on mission, in a real sense, it ceases. Emil Brunner has memorably stated, “The Church exists by mission, just as fire exists by burning.” David Borsh concurs, “. . . it is impossible to talk about church without at the same time talking about mission. Because God is a missionary God, God’s people are missionary people. The church’s mission is not secondary to its being: the church exists in being sent and building up itself for its mission.”

Our God is the Missionary who sent His Word, His Son, and His Spirit into the world. God is the One who defines, directs, energizes, and accomplishes mission on planet Earth. Therefore, God must be the originator, catalyst, architect, and engineer of church planting. Church planting is merely cooperating with Him in fulfilling His global mission initiative.

The very first command in the Bible is “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:22). We fulfill the first command by multiplying churches. We take the hands and feet of Jesus into the lives of needy people by planting churches. We cooperate with God’s global initiative by planting churches. We expand God’s kingdom by planting churches. If God bleeds church planting, why shouldn’t we do the same?

Dave Earley

Heart Preparation
Read Acts 11:19-30. We see in this passage the example of the early church planting other churches. What is your role in serving this church plant? How are you preparing yourself for the role you will play in the birth of a future church plant out of CLC?

Posted on: October 3, 2013 - 8:10PM

Comments are closed.