"Why do we need another church? Don't we have enough of those around here? "
These are questions church planters often hear.
As for me, the simple answer is, I have an incredible longing in my heart to plant a church. It's not a passing thought. For me, it's one of those "do or die" things in life. I can't imagine not doing it at this point. It's a burning call within me.
With that said, there are many things that God has used in my life to bring me to this point.
If you were to ask me why I must plant a church, my more detailed answer would go something like this:
I've seen too much.
I've seen too much of what the future looks like to go on living and never experience it. John Maxwell says, "Dreams don't work unless you do." I cannot let fear or love for my own comfort keep me from pursuing the dream in my heart.
I've seen too many people caught in a cycle of hopelessness, living day to day with no purpose or vision. I believe that the Good News about the Kingdom not only saves people from their sin, but also restores them to be who they were created to be and empowers them to do what they were created to do. This church will be a place for people can encounter God, discover their identity, and live out their purpose.
I've met people from some of the most poverty-stricken neighborhoods in the United States and have witnessed the struggle that is so misunderstood by those of us who don't know it.
On the other hand, I've seen the affluence that blinds the heart to its own need for grace. Hopelessness wears a mask better in some communities than others. But it seems every family, rich or poor, is plagued with it. I want to bring the hope of the gospel to our cities.
I've seen too much of the world to sit and do nothing. The need is so great. The nations of the world, including ours, need to see a demonstration of the Kingdom of God though the local church that makes evident the power of the gospel.
I've walked dusty streets in Central America filled with poverty, alcoholism, drug addiction, and utter hopelessness. In the same setting, I've seen God's miraculous power to heal, deliver, and save. I cannot settle for just talk anymore. I don't want to plant another church that only talks about God's power but never witnesses it. I've seen miracles. I've seen addicts set free. I cannot settle for a powerless religion any longer.
I've driven across an entire nation in North Africa, West to East and back again, and never saw a single Christian church or met another follower of Jesus. I cannot settle for a church that stays cozy in its light, while millions are in darkness.
There may be a "church on every corner" where we all live, but what good is a church on every corner that's not reaching the corners of the world, or even their own corner, for that matter?
I have seen God's faithfulness too many times to go on doubting Him. I've seen too many prayers answered to stop praying now. I've heard too many stories of God's using ordinary people to do amazing things to not believe He'll do the same with me.