Church planting is hard. Much time, attention, and writing is given to the reality that it is a difficult path for a leader to accept. However, we rarely acknowledge how challenging church planting is on the members of the church too!
Most people do not realize what they are getting themselves into when they decide to become a member of a new church. You must prepare to give more of yourself than what is asked for at a traditional, established church. In church planting, there’s always an “all hands on deck” mentality. When you are part of a young congregation, there are no bench warmers. We’re all on the field!
All of this being said, I wanted to write this short reminder on why we are choosing to persevere and to continue plodding along in this endeavor to plant a church.
First, Jesus called us to go.
Both the Gospels (Matt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15; Lk. 24:45-49; Jn. 17:18) and Acts (Acts 1:8) are clear that salvation comes with a commissioning. When we receive the gospel we are also signing on for a mission to take that gospel to our neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, and cities. Church planting is a core component of fulfilling that mission.
Second, Lafayette needs more gospel-centered churches.
If you have spent any amount of time in Acadiana, then you know that our culture is not typical of the Deep South. Lafayette resides beneath the “Bible Belt,” which means that it has the same potential for mission and church planting as other post-Christian cities in America.
One of Redeemer’s partners, Lane Corley, has compiled a list of statistics on the religious state of Acadiana and Lafayette:
- Population of Acadiana: 675,207
- Evangelical population: only 9%
- 229,049 UNAFFILIATED with any church
- Lafayette Parish population: 221,578
- SBC churches in our parish: 20
- Church to population ratio: 1/11,079 (Corley remarked that this is the widest margin that exists in the entire state of Louisiana.)
There is a great need for church planting in Lafayette. This need provides Christians seeking to live on mission with a great opportunity! This Sunday we are preparing to move into our third location in three years. I know that moving is exhausting. I know that moving is risky. I know that being a member of a young congregation is a challenge.
Conclusion: Keeping Our Focus
This is why we must unite together in this moment around the gospel mission that we have been called to. Over 200,000 of our neighbors do not know Jesus. Let us keep our focus on why we exist as Redeemer City Church: we are a church for the skeptic, the curious, and the committed. On Sunday, we will continue that same mission in a new facility.
10:15 AM | 1700 E. Willow St (Christ Church Academy)