I have been a church planter my entire adult life. I have planted-directly or indirectly-12 churches here in the States. Along with our partners, we have seen over 30,000 churches planted internationally. Those who know me well will tell you it would be difficult to be more passionate about church planting than I am. That’s why what I’m about to say may sound a bit shocking:
It’s just not there. Paul never told us to plant churches, nor did Peter, James or John. And, neither did Jesus! What Jesus did command us to do was to MAKE DISCIPLES (yes He commanded it…there is no ‘please’ in the Great Commission). That is why I believe our focus should be on training Christ Followers to make disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples. If we do so, the end result will be the planting of churches, lots and lots of churches. Why? Because when people come running into the Kingdom they naturally desire to gather together. When they assemble they find themselves worshipping the Father, studying the Scriptures, praying and fellowshipping together, as well as observing the Ordinances.
And, IF the DNA of disciple making is at the core of that new fellowship, it will in essence become a church-planting factory, constantly churning out disciple makers who in turn plant more churches, which in turn produce more disciple makers, who in turn plant even more churches.
That is why I believe the best way to plant churches is by making disciples and the best way to make disciples is by planting churches!