Three Elements of an Explosive Church Planting Movement
March 13, 2018
Developing better systems to reflect the best in kingdom expansion
Church planting is an important and broad topic. It seems that most people have an opinion on church planting—some have several opinions! If you want to see some excitement, ask a group of church planters or church leaders in general what an explosive church planting movement looks like. Many are praying for and developing practices that would encourage such a movement. At the Billy Graham Center, we even have an institute dedicated to church planting leadership and missiology—the Send Institute.
I have planted multiple churches, and written much about church planting. And, sometimes people ask me what a movement looks like.
Successful church planting is built upon spiritual principles and practices such as prayer, biblical leadership, etc. But there are also natural observations we can make about what works well in church planting movements. We’ve been doing this for a couple of thousand years. So it is smart to recognize best practices, even if they don’t mesh with what we are doing today.
A few months ago, I was the guest editor of a history journal, the American Baptist Quarterly. You can find the issue I edited—focused on missions—at this link. In that article, I wrote a very long analysis of Methodists and Baptists on the western frontier. You can order the issue at that link, if you are so inclined. There are several excellent contributions there.
In that article, I explain how, from the late 1700s into the early 1800s, there was a move of God in the growing American frontier that resulted in the planting of thousands of churches over the course of approximately 15 years. This primarily occurred though the Methodists and Baptists. This was before church planting conferences, church …