This article is an excerpt from a forthcoming resource I’m working on titled “Why Church Planting?” Stay tuned for more as this resource develops!
The present task of church planting is fraught with challenges on all sides. From within the organized church itself, many leaders, networks, and denominations have caused significant harm in the name of Jesus and for the work of church planting. With the continued trends of people leaving the church in staggering numbers, many Christians have turned inward, trusting in strategies like Christian Nationalism to protect those who remain in the pews rather than engaging in outward, Kingdom-oriented ministries. As Christians leave churches deeply wounded, and our culture becomes progressively less Christian, the soil for new churches to grow becomes increasingly difficult to cultivate. New strategies for church planting will require longer support and more creativity from churches and Christians than any previous generation in the modern era.
Yet, despite these challenges, the work of church planting is not only essential for the faithfulness of God’s people and the multiplication of Christian witness, but also central to Jesus’ plan for social justice that orients this world toward the kingdom of God. In this article I’ll briefly respond to failures of the Evangelical church to live into the gospel of the kingdom. I will also suggest four ways we see in the Scriptures that church planting, when it is robust and healthy, advances social justice in our communities.