Why did you plant a church?

pablo-12Since we pulled the trigger on planting Neighbourhood Church, I have been asked many questions about the months leading up to planting. I have been asked about strategies, how we picked our team, how we found our building and on and on. But the one question that people tend to skip is the heart behind it all, why did you plant a church? That question might be the single most important one. Why not join a larger church and help their work? Why not join a struggling church and pitch in there?

What a great and real question! Why do we do what we do. In church planting there has been a predominant response to that question, a response that is sometimes negative and perhaps a bit arrogant. That is response is “because we can do it better“. Maybe those words were hidden inside other comments like “we are relevant, more casual, only focussed on the unchurched”. If that is who you actually are, cool! But these comments  sound like fighting words to those already in the trenches and cliche to the lost. These words all point to the conclusion that no one else can do church better than us. They often wave a banner that says we rule and you drool. As someone who has said these things and veered far away from them, I can tell you that they are dangerous! Comments like that create division inside the body of Christ. They are also dangerous because they say that what God has called other churches and leaders to be is not good enough. Just because we plant new churches, that does not mean we have cornered the market on the Holy Spirits innovation.

So let me make clear what I am saying. Amberley and I did not plant a church because we thought we could do it better. We were not fuelled by thousands of hours of tears and offence caused by  the established church. Lastly, we did not think we were called to be God’s answer to the morality problems of society and religious injustice of the church.

So when asked, why did you plant NHC, our answer is a bit different than some expect. It is  maybe a bit more honest to who we are as leaders and people. We planted NHC because WE LOVE CHURCH! We love what God is doing right now on planet earth and want to see it celebrated on a larger level. We love this new form of revival that is happening through the church planting movement. We love that we are helping grow the heart of Jesus on planet earth. We are excited to be putting the church of Jesus in place to become everything she was meant to be, glorious and bright. We love saturating our city with love, grace and transformation. We love joining arms with other churches, sharing resources, ideas and prayer. We love Jesus and his church enough to want the world to know who he is and how he can change their life forever. WE LOVE JESUS & WE LOVE HIS CHURCH!


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