“The single most effective evangelistic methodology under heaven is planting new churches.” C. Peter Wagner
The great need of the hour is to plant new local churches. It really is. God has chosen the local church, with all of her faults, flaws, and failures, to represent Him in the world. God’s people are gathered through evangelism, the gospel is preached from the Scriptures, worship takes place, believers mature into faithful disciples, and the Great Commission is carried out in word and deed through the local church. The local church is the hope of the world.
“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38).
My role is to pray for, identify, and recruit laborers for the harvest to plant the scores of new churches needed to impact North America with the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I will work with local churches, presbyteries, and networks in finding men to plant churches in their area. At the same time, I will approach previous church planters, campus pastors, and staff pastors to challenge them to consider planting a new church, matching them up with the appropriate needed area.
Recruiting is one of the church planting services offered by Mission to North America (MNA). Ted Powers, Director of Church Planting, says, “Recruiting is clearly the most important factor in planting new churches.”
I will work hand-in-hand with Jim Hatch, Director of Church Planter Development. Jim is developing potential church planters. I’m recruiting men who are currently ready to go. To use a baseball analogy, Jim is working with the farm team, whereas I’m working with “free agents.” I will be looking for men who are currently campus pastors, assistant pastors, etc., men who have had ministry experience and could plant a church now. Part of my job is also to be increasingly aware of the core groups and the various church planting sites that need a planter so that I can effectively match a man to the site.
This is a new position for Mission to North America. Two stories illustrate the great need for this role.
As Ted Powers, the PCA’s Church Planting Coordinator, and I began talking about this new position, we of course agreed on the need to plant new churches. In one of our initial conversations, Ted said something like this: “Alan, there are planters out there; we just have to find them. We believe that God has provided the men; we simply must identify them.” Then, with some frustration in his voice, he said: “I have a list of 50 names on my desk of men that could plant a church, and I simply have not had the time to follow up with them.”
I was the chairman of the Church Planting Committee for the Georgia Foothills Presbytery for six years. Our committee identified 15 areas in our presbytery that needed a new church. To my chagrin, we were unable to meet that need. None of us, as pastors or ruling elders, had the time to find the men to plant those churches.
The PCA needs someone dedicated full-time to finding new church planters. That’s where I come in.
I would love for you to partner with me in this effort. I need you to pray. Pray for God to raise up called, gifted, and qualified men to plant the numbers of churches needed to impact North America with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I also need you to give financially. My salary, benefits, and ministry expenses – like those of other senior staff at MNA – are not provided by the PCA; they come from the generous financial support of God’s people. You can contribute to my role as Director of Church Planter Recruitment by clicking the DONATE link at the top of this page.
I would love to talk with you more about church planting. If you are considering church planting, want to plant a church in your area, or simply want to know more about the process of church planting and the resources available through MNA, please contact me.
MNA Church Planter Recruiting Director