This week, I saw the same quote twice. Normally, that would not strike me as odd in our 24 hour news culture. But, to see the same quote from a man who has been long dead, and about a specific topic, it captured my attention. The quote is from Charles Haddon Spurgeon, from 1865.
I received this quote (it is coming, just be patient) from an email sent out to a larger group, of which I was a part. I saw it also on the blog for the National Center for Family Integrated Churches. Whether the two are connected, I do not know, and truthfully, am not entirely sure I have the energy to establish a link. Regardless, the quote was at a minimum noteworthy, if not instructive:
“It is with cheerfulness that we dismiss our twelves, our twenties, our fifties to form other Churches. We encourage our members to leave us to found other Churches; nay, we seek to persuade them to do it. We ask them to scatter throughout the land, to become the goodly seed which God shall bless. I believe that so long as we do this, we shall prosper. I have marked other Churches that have adopted the other way, and they have not succeeded.”
I could pontificate on the implications of this quote, but I’ll spare you that for now. However, I will say that I heartily agree that a greater priority needs to be placed on church planting. I would humbly, but passionately, ask churches to be far more eager to plant churches than: to become the next mega-church in their community (or ask established mega-churches to be far more intentional in church planting); to start other “felt need” programs or ministries; to persist in neglecting their responsibility of planting churches. I’m sure the list could go on, but I’m just using generalities for the sake of time and readability.
Whether you are church staff member, volunteer, member, attender, whatever, my prayer is that you will develop a similar passion for seeing the church grow and expand, and that your heart, in some way will be drawn towards church planting. Whether by prayer support, financial support, joining a church plant, or leading a church plant (or any combination), I would ask that you seek out ways to support the birth and growth of more churches.