How Can Existing Churches Help Raise Up New Churches?

“Upon all who believe, God has placed the burden of raising up churches, for the express purpose of educating men and women to use their entrusted capabilities for the benefit of the world, employing the means He has lent for His glory. He has made human beings His stewards. Gladly and generously they are to use the means in their possession for the advancement of righteousness and truth. They are to employ His entrusted talents in building up His work and enlarging His kingdom.” {Ellen White, in Medical Ministry p. 315.3}

As a new Seventh-day Adventist church is raised up in your area, here are seven specific ways your congregation can help.

    1.    Have a strong soul winning program in your church.

Because the Adventist message needs to go to every city, town and neighborhood, we need every church (and member) to do its part. This means every church, both new and long established, needs a strong soul winning program. This will help prevent church hopping or unhealthy transfers between churches, and will result in more people being added to every church.

    2.    Study and share inspired counsel on church planting with your church leaders and congregation.

We have been given lots of counsel on how and why to raise up new Adventist churches. Take time with your church board and congregation to become familiar with this counsel. In addition to the Bible (Acts, the epistles, and Revelation are excellent on this subject) here are several keys counsels by Ellen White—

· Christian Service, chapter 16 “The Church Extension Movement”

· Testimonies for the Church, volume 7, section 1

· Acts of the Apostles, entire book

· The Great Controversy, entire book

    3.    Take a vote at your church board and business meeting affirming your support and involvement.

Vote at a church board and business meeting to celebrate the advancement of God’s church into a new area or to a new people group. Include in the vote specific ways your congregation would like to encourage and support the new initiative.

    4.    Provide prayer support for this effort.

During the first year of new work especially, here are some specific things your church can pray for—

That God will…

…impress members in your congregation to assist the new work as able

… help the new church be strong and active in outreach & soul winning

… lead the new church to people who are looking for something better

Pray where? At the worship service, at church board & business meetings, in Sabbath School classes and small groups and as individuals.

    5.    Communicate with the congregation frequently what God is doing.

You can use church bulletins, inserts, newsletters, website, etc. to communicate frequently the news and needs of the new work so all can rejoice in what God is doing and provide prayer support.

    6.    Provide financial support as God impresses you.

There are several specific ways your congregation might help the new work financially—

  • Take up an offering for the new work
  • Provide a one-time gift of money and/or equipment to help the new work
  • Organize a “baby shower” for the new “baby” church
  • Make a monthly donation to the new church during its first year
  • Provide Sabbath School materials to the new group for its first year
  • During the start up phase (usually the first two years) allow children in the new church to apply for “worthy student funds” from your church to help them attend Adventist schools
  • Adopt the new group until it becomes an organized church, allowing it to qualify as a constituent of nearby Adventist schools.
  • As an established church avoid major church indebtedness, putting money instead toward helping the new group get into their own building sooner.
  • Assist with building labor and/or materials when it is time to build a church building for the new church.

    7.  Help provide spiritual accountability.

As new work develops sometimes there are misunderstands between churches. Established churches and their leaders can take the initiative to reduce misunderstandings by contacting leaders in the new work if there are problems or concerns. They can also provide training for new church leaders as needed. They can look for ways to help the new work become strong and vibrant so the new church can soon be actively contributing to the sisterhood of churches and the advance of God’s work in the area.

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