Why Plant Churches?

Why Plant Churches?

LEADERSHIP MATTERS by Roger Yancey, D.Min.

The 19th Annual TEBA Golf Tournament benefiting Church Planting will be held on April 29th at the River Plantation Golf Course.   This is always a great time of fellowship and is open to golfers of every capability because after all, not all tournaments are created equal.  You will be glad you’re not going to play in the Elfego Baca Shootout.  I read about this tournament in an article by Jay Busbee entitled, “The World’s Toughest Golf Tournament: One Hole, Three Miles Long” which was published on June 3, 2009. 

Busbee said in his article, “Held in Socorro, New Mexico, the tournament consists of exactly one hole, and the target is a 50-foot circle. Easy, right? Not so fast. The tee to that hole is 2,550 feet up the side of a mountain, and nearly three miles from the green…The rules alone should give you an idea of how hard the course is. You’re allowed ten balls and must finish with at least one of those. If you can’t find one of your balls in 20 minutes, it’s a stroke. You can tee up every single shot because the terrain is so rugged. You’re even allowed three spotters to watch where the heck your ball goes.

And they’ll have plenty to see. Hazards include abandoned mine shafts, remote canyons, rattlesnakes, mountain lions, and much more. No need to take a full bag; many golfers get by with only a driver and a five-iron.

 Named for Elfego Baga, a local peacekeeper during the Old West, the one-hole shootout is part of the larger Socorro Open and was first played in 1960. Since then, about the only difference is that the players have begun using laser rangefinders. The hazards haven’t changed one bit. Oh, and the course record? Nine strokes to cover three miles.”

 You can read more about it at https://newmexicogolfnews.com/toughest-golf-hole-in-nm-the-elfego-baca-golf-shoot/

 The good news is you won’t have to face rattlesnakes to be part of the church planting challenge, but for those who answer the call to the needs of planting churches, it is just as daunting.  Some have asked why we need to continue planting churches – aren’t there enough churches already?  Let me share with you some basic information to consider:

 FIRST:  The Population Needs within the TEBA are immense.  Each month more than 2500 people are moving into the geographic area of the Association.  We live in one of the 50 fastest growing areas in the nation and the nations of the world are coming to our area.  Houston is the most diverse city in the USA and the TEBA has more than 75 languages present– we need more churches.

SECOND: New churches are one of the best strategies we have to Recover the Formerly Churched or the Completely Unchurched.  New churches tend to reach people faster and have higher baptism and salvation rates than almost 90% of existing churches.

THIRD: Churches Plateauing, Declining, or Dying.  One-quarter of SBC churches reported “0” Baptisms, 60% said they had baptized no youth (ages 12-17), and 80% reported one or fewer young adult baptisms (ages 18-29).  We need to help churches recover life, but we can’t reach all the lost without planting churches too.

 We need new churches, we need healthy churches, and we need to do whatever it takes till everyone can be part of God’s family.  Join us for a day of golf – it may change your neighbor’s eternity.

In Kingdom service,

Executive Director, AMS

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The Case for Church Planting

The Case for Church Planting

LEADERSHIP MATTERS by Roger Yancey, D.Min.

Church Planting is a primary ministry focus of the TEBA.  Last week our annual TEBA Golf Tournament raised more than $10,000+ to assist in planting churches.  With the increasing number of people moving into our area, the need for new churches being planted continues to be a pressing need in our Association.

 David Smith, the DOM in Austin, and I have been friends for several years.  He too serves in an area where the need for new churches is pressing.  I recently read an article David wrote about the impact of on churches who plant churches based on the work of Dr. Jeffery C. Farmer, and below you will find 3 of the objections he noted related to sponsor churches.  Dr. Farmer is the Professor of Church Ministry and Evangelism at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and he conducted extensive research on behalf of the North American Mission Board regarding the impact of church planting on sponsor churches. 

Farmer’s research determined church planting largely had a predominantly positive impact on sponsor churches.  He looked at 15 factors related to people (including membership and attendance) as well as additional financial factors.  All the factors studied either grew or remained stable during the 10-year period Farmer studied.  There are three common objections churches have when it comes to church planting and Farmer’s research addresses each.

Objection 1: The church does not have enough money to plant a church.  This study showed the financial areas to be impacted the most, as you would assume.  But the impact was positive in each area.  Of course, designated gifts increase most likely because of the financial obligation to the church plant.  The study also showed a shift in the attitude of missions giving as participation levels for the Annie Armstrong and Lottie Moon Offerings increased in the five years following the church plant.

Objection 2: The church cannot afford to give up members to a church plant.  This study showed that worship attendance increased for the five years after the church plant was launched.

Objection 3: The church is concerned with the proximity of the church plant to the current congregation.  This study showed that the proximity of the church plant did not appear to have a significant impact on the sponsor church.

As Farmer said, “It appears as though the sponsoring of church plants creates an interest in mission in the local church.  This study showed that members of the sponsor churches increased financial support of missions and more people attended the worship services.  [Farmer] believes that a mission-focused atmosphere in the church aids the members to be more receptive to the Holy Spirit, which allows the members to see their community from a kingdom perspective rather than a parochial perspective.”

In Kingdom service,

Executive Director ~ AMS

“Christians are more than willing to give sacrificially; however, they must be given the opportunity and the vision.”  Dr. Jeffery Farmer