Start with Scripture
In the case of a pastor who wants to introduce a focus on church planting in his church and doesn’t know where to start—first of all, amen. Just start. Pick a place. The best place to start is Scripture. I'd encourage that pastor to preach the Bible—and to develop an instinct for seeing the spread of the church in the Bible—with unbridled excitement .
Pray that the gospel would be so plentiful . . . that it would be impossible for lost people not to bump into it.
An obvious place to begin is the book of Acts. Begin talking to your people about how the gospel spread in the early church. Explain how churches were planted from the center in Jerusalem, where the apostles and the early church first gathered, and then exploded to the ends of the world.
Another option is to work through a book like Titus, which is perhaps the closest thing we have to a New Testament manual on church planting. Paul says to Titus, "I left you in Crete. You put things in order. Establish elders in every city, in every church." You might take an epistle like Titus and teach that to your people.
Get Acquainted with Other Churches
The other thing you can do is to begin to acquaint your church with church planters, with new gospel work going on in your area. Pray for or financially support these congregations as a church. Begin to build friendships with other congregations.
Pray, Pray, Pray
Then, finally, pray. In public prayers and in small groups, begin to have an increasing concern for the establishment of churches around the world. Pray for unreached people groups and for churches to be established. Pray for churches to reach changing neighborhoods. Pray that the gospel would be so plentiful through the spread of churches that it would be impossible for lost people not to bump into it.
- Why Your Church Is Not Exempt from the Work of Church Planting (Thabiti Anyabwile)
- Lessons on Church Planting from the Prince of Preachers (Dave Harvey)
- 10 Things You Should Know about Missions and the Local Church (Andy Johnson)