The New Testament model for spreading the gospel is churches being planted by other churches (Acts 14:21-27; Titus 1:5; Matthew 28:18-20). As the gospel is proclaimed, men and women come to faith, the number of Jesus’ followers grows and new churches begin. This has been the model throughout the Scriptures and Christian history.
At Redeemer Lubbock our desire in planting churches is to see men and women equipped, trained and sent to places where the gospel is at best misunderstood and at worse not known. In our Sending program, we seek to develop men who aspire to lead and care for the church by shepherding a new fellowship. It is our commitment to train up these men and then send them to collegiate cities to focus on reaching the next generation. The Lord has used statistics to convict and convince us that we should leverage our time, space, people and resources to reach and influence those in their most formidable years.
“We have the chance to raise, reach, mentor, and disciple the next generation of Christians in such a way that 22 million of them take hold of their identity in Jesus Christ.”
The Great Opportunity: Making Disciples of Jesus in Every Vocation
The next 30 years will represent the largest missions opportunity in the history of America—35 million youth who were raised in Christian families will say by 2050 that they themselves are not Christians. God is going to gather them on campuses all over the nation ready to engage with the gospel.
Our heart behind planting churches with a strong collegiate focus is laser pointing our time, energy and resources to reach this generation and meet the missional need. College campuses represent the most unique opportunity for evangelism of 18-25 year olds in North America and the highest potential for influence. Our aim is to leverage this unique season and see the gospel believed and received.
For this to be accomplished, we need church planters, men who have a passion and the training to begin a new work and see a healthy church planted. We will seek to target men who have been in collegiate ministry and understand this generation’s needs for equipping and discipleship and are ready to lead in that direction.
We also will need core team members. While we desire to be on mission to collegiate focused work, that does not mean we are looking to start collegiate churches. We seek mature men and women who see the call of their lives to wrap around and nurture the young men and women who will be reached. This desire for a multi-generational church is the design of a healthy and thriving church.
Lastly we need senders, those in the existing congregation who see their role as supporting the new church plants. This will include men and women committed to praying for the new work and standing in the gap against the hurdles and schemes of the enemy. It will also take men and women who see their role to use their God-given resources—both finances and practical experience—to support the local church. The desire to plant churches in collegiate contexts meets a real need in our culture. It seeks to fill a gap that is often seen as a ministry and places the missional focus on preaching, teaching and training the next generation to love and cherish the gospel and see their kingdom assignment clearly.
For his glory and the good of his people, may we press on and engage where the Lord is calling us.