Our Guidelines for Church Planting
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” - Matthew 28:18-20
"His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ " - Matthew 25:21
As Jesus’ witnesses, we are called to continue his work of spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth. The church making disciples is Jesus’ plan A for accomplishing this, and he doesn’t have a plan B. Therefore, we will follow in the footsteps of the apostles and seek to do all we can to make as many true, mature disciples as we can. An important strategy in our disciple making efforts will be to begin new churches, and thereby multiplying our efforts throughout the South Puget Sound region.
Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:21 are the driving force behind all of the principles laid out in this philosophy of ministry. We believe that Jesus cares about what we do and how we do it. For this reason we have established guiding principles to help us plant a church in a way that honors God and loves people. Our desire in creating this church planting philosophy of ministry is to do the right things, in the right ways for the right reasons - all for the glory of God and the good of his kingdom.
If at the end of the day we see more people attend and more people are baptized but it happens via unjust, unhealthy, or unwise means, at best it wasn’t as faithful as God calls us to be, and at worst it was all in vain. Therefore, we pledge that the ends do not justify the means, rather the means and the ends must honor Christ. As such, we will strive to lead with humility, love with passion and distribute authority appropriately. To make this happen we will seek to have a broad distribution of leadership across multiple teams and a culture of empowerment.
We foresee two temptations the enemy will use to destroy us: First, there will be a temptation to build a name for ourselves instead of God’s kingdom. And second, there will be a temptation towards bigger, better, faster, rather than deeper, richer, and eternal. To remain faithful and reject these temptations (and others) we believe all our church planting endeavors must be saturated in prayer and dependent on the movement of God the Holy Spirit.
James 4:13-17 (NIV) says “13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” It is in the spirit of James 4:15 that we strive to plant churches. If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and plant churches.
The principles that follow exemplify our commitment to being faithful to God and his word. These principles will guide us in how we plan for the hopeful future of planting churches and being a multi-city church.
Act like a family, not like a business
Ephesians 2:19-20 says, “19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.”
Humility and Empowerment, not pride and control
In Mark 10:42-45 Jesus said, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Unity and Diversity, not Uniformity
1 Cor. 12:12-14 says “12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many.”
Love not fear
1 John 4:18-20 says, “18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”
Spirit Empowered Discipleship, not worldly ‘success’
Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Radical Generosity, not scarcity mentality
2 Cor. 8:1-5 says, “And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.”
We envision Resurrection Church being one church across multiple cities through the South Puget Sound. For this reason we will have a regional vision that is expressed through local mission.
Romans 12:4-5 says, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” We understand the context and application of Romans 12:4-5 to be for the church as a whole and the individual members (or people) within the church. However, we have allowed the biblical principle of Romans 12:4-5 to shape and influence our approach to being a multi-city church.
Though we are many, Resurrection Church is one church body, but we do not all have the same function. As different parts of the body (church locations), will strive to minister the gospel in their specific city.
For Resurrection Church to be one body in different cities we will need to have a unified identity as one church and a culture of love and legacy. The temptation will be towards individualism and self preservation. However, we will strive to embody the spirit of “Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno” which means, “one for all and all for one.”