Here is an article which is a recent re-post of an one posted nearly two years ago by R Scott Clark. It is interesting for a number of reasons, but the matter that grabs my attention is the sheer number of pastors there seems to be to apply for vacant charges in reformed churches in the US. Clark asks the obvious question: why are there not more wanting to plant new churches in needy areas?
I could add to this question another: why, if there are so many, are so few willing to go to other parts of the world that need missionaries to plant churches cross-culturally? Here in England and Wales I think the numbers are even worse. Our denomination (EPCEW) has 13 churches in E & W. Our total membership would not even half fill one US minimally “mega” church! Our sister church (IPC) is in about the same situation. We are the only confessionally reformed/presbyterian churches in the E & W!
So why so few willing to do the pioneering work? What are the blockages? Is there a prevailing mindset? Is there a need (to use Apple-speak) to “think different”?
3 thoughts on “Where Are the Confessional Church Planters?”
I think most of these men would be happy to plant churches. The problem is lack of funding, which is a problem of the whole church, not the men themselves.
This is rather tangential, but it’s so important let me say it anyway: when we do send people to plant cross-culturally, it should as a rule be those who are tried-and-tested; your best men; not the beginners.
David, yes, I take your point. I am being a little provocative. Of course men have to be tested. The PCA has quite and extensive ‘proving’ system for foreign missionaries and I know of some men that did not get through it. I even know of some who got through but who proved unsuitable in the longer term. Nonetheless, I still wonder why there are so few in the first place.
Pete, I know funding is the perennial problem. But I just wonder at what point it becomes an excuse for not being willing to take a risk. It may be idealistic, but wouldn’t money follow a tried and tested pioneer, rather than having pioneers trying to follow the money? I always think of that quote of Hudson Taylor of China – something like “God’s work done in God’s way does not lack God’s supply”.
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