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

‚ÄúChristians are more than willing to give sacrificially; however, they must be given the opportunity and the vision.”¬† Dr. Jeffery Farmer