As I visited a collegiate church plant – Church at the Oaks in Tuscaloosa – I was so encouraged by the number of students seeking to be disciples and make disciples of all nations. During prayer time, this was on the screen:
Pray that every college student on campus would have to step over the Gospel before they graduate.
As I read it, prayed it and thought about it, I was reminded that every church has to have a clear Jerusalem community God has called them to reach.
Church at the Oaks is focused on the 40,000-plus undergrads at the University of Alabama. Each planter is to look and see the community as their parish, where God has called them to plant the Good News of Christ.
Paul, in Romans 10:1, would share that his prayer was for the salvation of the Jewish people. Prayer is the first and only recourse for mobilizing, planting the Gospel and building up a new church.
Prayer is essential in standing in gap on behalf of a people, that the Lord would bring spiritual revival and awakening.
For a long time, we in the church planting world have depended on systems, resources, reports and goals/pathways.
Sharing the Gospel that brings salvation is a spiritual battle. In 2 Corinthians 4:4, Paul remarks that Satan has blinded the eyes of the lost from the glory of the Good News.
Believers are called to live and breathe the Gospel so that, as others are impacted by it, transformation can happen.
Please note: There is no internal transformation without a washing of the Spirit of God as one trusts in Christ for His provision.
The primary plea and job of the planter is that all people in the focus community would have the opportunity at least once to hear and respond to the Gospel.
Then as there is always a response, new believers are discipled and gathered in a body. The planter is always asking the question: How can I get the Good News to all the folks in our area? What is the best way to share the Good News? Who are the bearers of the Good News? Who will follow up with new believers?
The work of planting is not for the faint of heart. It is the boldness and assurance from the Lord that He is about raising up a people through the power of the Gospel for Himself.
This was expressed by Christ when He shared that there is more joy in heaven for a lost sinner who has come to Him than 99 who have stayed. One at a time, one share at a time, one prayer service at a time and one seed planted at a time that many would know eternal life.
“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!’” Romans 10:14-15 (CSB)
State Missionary Brian Harper is lead church planting strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions. He may be contacted at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 2332, or (334) 613-2332, email@example.com.