A Vision of the Future – Thoughts On Church Planting From Michael Gatlin

Earlier this week the Vineyard USA send out a newsletter highlighting our committed to plant 750 new churches within the next ten years. One of the articles linked to from the email was from the leader of the Vineyard USA Church Planting Task Force, Michael Gatlin, detailing his vision and passion for planting new churches.

I don’t have time to fully comment on the article…but I do want to pull out a few items real quick. The first thing is that I LOVE Michael’s heart for the local church as captured in this quote:

“I believe in the local church, even though I’ve been hurt in the local church. Who hasn’t? But I honestly believe that in the end, why you’re here is because despite its problems, the local church really is the best thing going on our planet. It’s the followers of Jesus joined together in community, living out what he’s called us to do in our neighborhoods and in our towns.”

Secondly, it’s kind of sad that out of the 554 Vineyard churches in the USA, only 99 of them have committed to sending out at least one church plant over the next ten year. That means that 82% of our churches are not on board with this calling… 🙁

I know that church planting is hard and scary…yet, come on folks, let’s go! Let us take the message of Jesus into all the unreached places of the USA and the world for that matter. Let us raise up and release people to follow the path of Jesus into the scary unknown parts of life. Let us not try to hang on to folks, but send them out!  (and yes, the PRV church is committed to sending out a church plant; granted, we signed up after this article was written, so make that 100 churches!)

Thirdly, towards the end of the article Michael summarizes the four steps we talked about earlier this week. While it’s nothing ‘new’ per say, it was cool to hear the heart of the man who drafted the steps. 🙂

I definitely recommend reading the full article as it covers a lot of good ground!