Why church plant?

    Access Church

    503 Johnston School Rd
    Asheville, NC   28806
    t. (828) 337-2254

    Our vision is to plant churchs.

    1. We want to be true to the Great Commission. 
    Planting new churches is the most effective evangelistic methodology known under heaven.

    2. Jesus' essential call was to plant churches. 
    Virtually all the great evangelistic challenges of the New Testament are basically calls to plant churches, not simply to share the faith.

    3. Paul's whole strategy was to plant churches. 
    This was the result of every missionary journey he undertook.  

    4. New churches best reach new generations. 
    Younger adults have always been disproportionately found in newer congregations. Long-established congregations develop traditions (such as time of worship, length of service, emotional responsiveness, sermon topics, leadership-style, emotional atmosphere, and thousands of other tiny customs and mores), which reflect the sensibilities of long-time leaders from the older generations who have the influence and money to control the church life. This does not reach younger generations.

    5. New chuches best reach new residents. 
    New residents are almost always reached better by new congregations. In older congregations, it may require tenure of 10 years before you are allowed into places of leadership and influence, but in a new church, new residents tend to have equal power with long-time area residents. 

    6. New churches best reach the unchurched. 
    Dozens of denominational studies have confirmed that the average new church gains most of its new members (60-80%) from the ranks of people who are not attending any worshipping body, while churches over 10-15 years of age gain 80-90% of new members by transfer from other congregations. This means that the average new congregation will bring 6-8 times more new people into the life of the Body of Christ than an older congregation of the same size.This means, of course, that church planting is not only for 'frontier regions' or 'pagan' countries that we are trying to see become Christian.  Christian countries will have to maintain vigorous, extensive church planting simply to stay Christian! 

    7. New churches renew the whole body of Christ. 
    It is a great mistake to think that we have to choose between church planting and church 
    renewal. Strange as it may seem, the planting of new churches in a city is one of the very best ways to revitalize many older churches in the vicinity and renew the whole Body of Christ

    8. New churches bring new ideas to the whole body. 
    There is no better way to teach older congregations about new skills and methods for reaching new people groups than by planting new churches. It is the new churches that will have freedom to be innovative and they become the 'Research and Development' department for the whole Body in the city.

    9. New churches are one of the best ways to surface creative, strong leaders.
    New congregations, on the other hand, attract a higher percentage of venturesome people who value creativity, risk, innovation and future orientation. Many of these men and women would never be attracted or compelled into significant ministry apart from the appearance of these new bodies. These new leaders eventually benefit the citywide church.

    10. New churches challenge other churches to self-examination.
    The "success" of new churches often challenges older congregations in general to evaluate themselves in substantial ways.

    11. New churches may be an evangelistic "feeder" for the whole community.
    The new church often produces many converts who end up in older churches for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the new church is very exciting and outward facing but is also very unstable or immature in its leadership.  Sometimes the the new convert quickly discovers that he or she does not 'fit' the socio-economic make up of the new congregation.  Ordinarily, the new churches of a city produce new people not only for themselves, but for the older bodies as well.

    12. New churches require us to be kingdom-minded. 
    A new church in the community usually confronts churches with a major issue--the issue of 'kingdom-mindedness'. New churches, as we have seen, draw most of their new members (up to 80%) from the ranks of the unchurched, but they will always attract some people out of existing churches. That is inevitable. At this point, the existing churches, in a sense, have a question posed to them: "Are we going to rejoice in the 80%--the new people that the kingdom has gained through this new church, or are we going to bemoan and resent the three families we lost to it?" In other words, our attitude to new church development is a test of whether our mindset is geared to our own institutional turf, or to the overall health and prosperity of the kingdom of God in the city.

    • These twelve reasons have been pulled from Tim Keller's classic essay on church planting.   
    • For thoughts about why we should plant chuches in the South, see Ed Stetzer's more recent article.