The answer to this question is actually quite simple yet the discussion within our context makes it complex. I take my lead from Dr. Timothy Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York who has written a brilliant article on this very question. Following are excerpts from his article, Why Plant Churches? (2002).
There are numerous responses to the question worth considering.
- “We already have plenty of churches that have lots and lots of room for all the new people who have come to the area. Let’s get them filled before we start new ones.”
- “Every church in this community used to be more full than it is now. A new church will just take people from churches already hurting and will weaken everyone.”
- “Help the churches that are struggling first. A new church doesn’t help the existing ones that are just keeping their noses above water. We need better churches not more churches.”
These statements seem like common sense to many people, but they rest on several wrong assumptions. The error of this thinking will become clear if we ask, “Why is church planting so crucially important?”