Every church you’ve ever been a part of was once a church plant. And All Saints is no exception. Fourteen years ago, a group of thirty-plus people committed themselves to one another in the Anglican tradition, and a church was planted. Fourteen years later, miracle after miracle, God has grown this church to a place where we’re now making disciples of almost 300 people. Church planting and making disciples—they go together.
Since our Vestry made the decision to pursue church planting back in the Fall of 2017, we’ve mistakenly been viewing church planting as one of two projects we’re setting out to complete, the other being the development of our property.
But since then we’ve realized, with the help of the Rev. Canon Dan Alger, that church planting is not a project one pursues, but is rather integral to Jesus’ Great Commission to make disciples. If you’re going to make disciples, baptizing them into the Church, then you must be about the work of church planting, because they go together.
That’s why it’s extremely important for us not to wait to pursue church planting until after we’ve developed our property. Because every church in every season is called in one way or another to be about the work of church planting. Indeed, it is said that every church is born pregnant, birthed to one day give birth to another church, and then another, and then another.
One day, God willing, we will complete the development of our property. That project will be done and finished—check! But we must never put a check next to the task of church planting, because church planting is fundamental to church mission. Keep in mind that there are lots of ways to pursue church planting, and there is no set timetable we must adhere to, but rather a range of possibilities to stir up and explore.
To this end, the Vestry is in the process of forming a team who will serve as a catalyst for church planting at All Saints. This team will not necessarily be the core of a future church plant, but rather a group of people passionate about how All Saints might become a church-planting church. They will study church planting, stir up possibilities, communicate its importance to the parish, and pay attention to what the Spirit is doing among us to see where God might be forming a possible new plant.
Our hope is that this will be an important first step toward playing a role in the birth of new churches. Remember—we’ve already planted a church: All Saints. We are a church that was planted to plant churches. It’s part of our story. So let’s keep it up!