By Keith Allen, RCA church planter in Providence, Rhode Island
Planting a church is challenging, regardless of context. I’m no expert on urban planting, but as we work on planting our third church in an urban context, here are two truths and a dare that have shaped us.
Truth #1: The kingdom is at hand.
Jesus began his ministry by calling people to repent, “for the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Matthew 4:17). Jesus didn’t just come to die for sinners and provide a way to reconcile with God. He also came to reconcile us to one another and called us to the ministry of reconciliation to our world. Why? Because he’s making all things new! God is bringing reconciliation and restoration to my city by his Spirit and through his people! Does your church embody this truth?
Truth #2: People are empowered.
Our greatest asset is the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that empowered Jesus for ministry empowers us for ministry. After my faithfulness to God and family, my chief responsibility is to equip others for ministry. The greatest gift we give our city is people who are being transformed by the gospel and are committed to seeing the kingdom come. As we grow in our gospel-identity, we grow in our love for our neighbors. How are you equipping your people?
The Dare: Take action in your city.
If God were to do a miracle, what would it be? One of our members is a teacher at a continuation school. He posed this question to the students and teachers at the school. The unified answer: food. Many of his students come from homes with limited access to food. So we’re working with the school and businesses to sponsor a cooking class and help provide nutritious meals. If God did a miracle in your city, what would it be? Dare your church to find out and take action.