By Clare Jewell
God’s story is rarely stagnant. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible records the epic movement of God as He engages with man to fulfill His mission in the world. In those uncommon moments when history does stand still, it is usually the result of sin. Disobedience leads to death, wandering, and captivity. Obedience means following, which leads to progress, growth, and renewal.
It’s revealing to compare the rare instances in the Bible when God says “stay” with those life-changing moments when He says “go.” It soon becomes evident that God favors movement, growth, and multiplication. The primary command of Genesis is to go forth and multiply and fill the earth. The priority of the Gospels is to go into all the world.
Movement, church reproduction, and an outward focus are the goals of the Genesis Initiative, Regular Baptist Church Planting’s endeavor to plant 100 churches in the U.S. The plan’s “movement” element started in October with its From Our Knees prayer campaign. Several churches and dozens of individuals committed to pray for the unsaved, churches being planted in the U.S., and people groups around the world for 30 days.
For Pastor David King of CrossPoint Fellowship Church, Jasper, Indiana, the prayer campaign’s focus on outreach opened a door to lead a Muslim prisoner to Christ. Tim Capon, state representative of the Iowa Association of Regular Baptist Churches, says, “This prayer campaign was used of God to increase my awareness of people in my life who need the gospel.” A pastor near San Francisco shares, “The prayer challenge has broadened our perspective in realizing that there are so many various people groups in our community.” Kerry Watkins, associate pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Toledo, Ohio, adds, “It has me thinking about what part our church should have in this church planting effort.”
This broadening of perspective is exactly what was intended when Regular Baptist Church Planting launched its Genesis Initiative and From Our Knees prayer campaign. Being involved in church planting, whether by praying, giving, or starting a church, pushes our focus outward toward the harvest. It opens our eyes to see the lost who live in our neighborhoods, serve in our restaurants, and work in the office next door. Church planting is designed to help us see the people who will likely never darken the doors of our existing churches. It rejects our tendency to accept the status quo. It embraces the command to go, to move, to follow Jesus into the dark corners of our communities, where there is a tremendous need for the Light.
Regular Baptist Church Planting is eager for you to join the church planting movement. No one can plant a church alone, and no one should settle for stagnation. Together we can move our churches to begin focusing outward and start new churches that are committed to fulfilling the Great Commission.
What’s the next step? You can join the From Our Knees 30-day prayer campaign, either individually or with your church, by going to www.rbChurchPlanting.org/prayer. You can also join the dozens of churches that have accepted the challenge to give $30 in 30 days to help train church planters and to help start several new churches this year. Donate online at www.rbChurchPlanting.org/donate.
Your involvement doesn’t stop there.
- Commit to pray for a specific church plant.
- Consider parenting or planting a new church.
- Partner with a parent church (pray, encourage, provide resources, send people to help).
- Help support a church planter.
- Identify potential church planters in your congregation.
Visit www.rbChurchPlanting.org and start moving in a new direction. You can also contact Clare Jewell, national church planting coordinator for Regular Baptist Churches, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 260-466-9678. He is ready and willing to coach you and connect you with the resources you need to get moving.
Clare Jewell is national church planting coordinator for Regular Baptist Ministries.