by John Gross
Just as we think we have to be fully grown before we can produce fruit, sometimes we think we have to be a large church before we can plant another church. Let us remember the command for making disciples and sending people out is to all churches large and small. The book of Acts teaches us that the early church grew and multiplied extensively. How did they grow so rapidly?
Most of these churches were not much more than a few families gathered in a home or marketplace for the purpose of practicing and teaching the apostle’s doctrines. I’m afraid our small churches often feel inadequate to start other churches because of their small numbers. However, we must be honest with ourselves and admit sometimes we just don’t want to give up members to another group starting a church in our city. Sometimes our small size allows us an excuse not to plant another church.
Someone said a newly planted church will win more people to Christ than any other tool we have today. I believe this to be true, not only because it is the Lord’s plan but because of the enthusiasm and pioneering spirit derived from a newly formed congregation.
We’re completely thankful for large churches and the support they give to starting churches, but let it not be our excuse that we are too small to plant another church. Acts 12:42 teaches that these early churches increased and multiplied because they were reaching, discipling, and sending people out to start new churches. We can do this!