Posted by: everynation | December 1, 2008

The Death of a Church Plant

by Greg Mitchell

I haven’t been blogging much lately because I’m writing a book, and my brain struggles with having more than one train of thought at a time. But I had to write about yesterday’s sending off service for our church planting team to Ottawa. In all the literature I’ve read on church planting, I’ve never read about how to leave one community before starting a new one, and how mourning the change in relationship is a death-like experience. Yet scripture is clear that life is always birthed out of death, for a seed can’t multiply unless it first dies (John 12:24).

So whether I’ve read about church planting, church growth, or personal growth, the aspect of death preceding life is rarely mentioned. But I witnessed what should be at the heart of every church plant endeavor: love. Not love for the lost or for the new city, but love between those staying and those going. If there were no tears in the leaving, then I would be very afraid of the quality of the new thing being birthed. But as it is, I witnessed a quality of relationships that struggled with the cost of advancing God’s kingdom. So we had what felt like a funeral service yesterday, but the sadness confirmed what is at the heart of this church plant: the multiplication of love.

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