No one starts a task intending to fall short of their goal. A lack of careful preparation, however, often leads to that result. On Dec. 13, several pastors and leaders from the Minnesota Association of Regular Baptist Churches and the Minnesota Baptist Association gathered at Fourth Baptist Church in Plymouth to consider the prospects of seeing new churches planted in their state. Clare Jewell, national church planting coordinator for Regular Baptist Churches, presented a path to success that starts with churches identifying and preparing people for the undertaking.
While Jewell spoke of opportunities for funding and finances through the Genesis Initiative, those in attendance found the ideas he offered to be the most valuable. “I am thankful for the presentation of important actions which a small church may take to help to plant another church,” says Pastor Nathan Lobb of Lakeland Baptist Church in Gilbert. Jim Goodew, pastor of Grace Baptist Fellowship in Sartell, agrees. “Some practical steps to begin taking now were offered that have the potential to really make a difference in this shortage of church planters—if our churches will implement and pursue them.”
The pastors, Jewell says, “were eager to better understand the Regular Baptist Church Planting initiative.” Jewell was encouraged by their desire to engage in church planting regardless of their church size or circumstances. “Their willingness to look beyond their own church to participate in helping grow other churches was very refreshing,” he says.
The time concluded with conversation regarding prospects for seeing new works started. As specific possibilities were considered, Darrell Friar, MARBC representative, echoed the appreciation of the reminders to prepare. “The meeting was time well spent in evaluating what we are doing and how we can improve our association through planting more churches for the glory of God.”
Greg Linscott is pastor of First Baptist Church, Marshall, Minnesota.