LOS ANGELES, CA – When you decide, as the pastor, to lead your church for the first time to be a Sending Church and take responsibility to start a new church, it’s likely you will receive objections from your people. This is common. Any time a pastor attempts to shape and lead a church in a new direction, he is sure to face opposition.
A critical thing to consider is how you, as pastor, respond to those objections. Will you respond harshly or will you respond confidently with compassion that will help you lead your people to be passionate about multiplication? There are, of course, numerous objections that could be raised, but let’s just take a look at a few in this series of blog posts.
“It costs too much.”
This most common objection in most people’s mind is the cost. The reality is there are few churches with massive vaults of resources just sitting around waiting to be spent. Most churches are living lean — attempting to conserve their resources and do what they need to in order to meet their annual budget. The thought of adding something new, particularly something that is unlikely to produce any immediate dividends to the church, can be daunting to many.
Most people feel this way because when they think of starting a new church, they only have your church in mind. Your church may have a building, programs, and maintenance that cost money to maintain. They think about the challenges your church faces each day and cannot comprehend starting another church and doubling the same challenges financially.
Here are three ways to counter this objection:
First, the truth is not all church planting costs a lot of money. Some church plants may not cost any money, depending on the model and the context. It’s entirely possible for a church plant to live lean for a number of years as it strives to engage the lost and make disciples. It could be years before the church has the type of financial needs that typically come to the mind of most.
While a new church will contain your DNA, it will not be a mirror image of your established church. We have to lead our church to understand that the new church may not look like us. If you need an illustration, consider my two daughters. Thank the Lord they don’t look just like me. They would be ugly girls if they did! My wife gave birth to daughters, not duplicates. Help your church members understand that when you start a new church, you are birthing a daughter, not a duplicate.
Second, even if the church wanted to be a part of something requiring high financial costs, partnering with other small churches can spread the burden of resources. The SBC is a denomination of small- to medium-sized churches. For these churches to engage in church planting, they must think beyond a model that requires a singular sending church to do all of the work. Instead, multiple churches can work together to help the church financially.
Third, financial risk, while intimidating, requires the Sending Church to assess the current use of its resources and discern how it might conserve or save in order to fund what is truly important. Without the external pressure of a church plant, many would-be Sending Churches are never forced to ask hard questions about their current spending and find ways to give to planting endeavors. Though this type of self-reflection is rarely fun, it’s necessary for a church to truly embody its Great Commission identity.
In summary, the cost of becoming a Sending Church is only one aspect of creating new avenues for reaching our world with the Gospel. How do you put a price on that?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shane Critser lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jennifer, and their three kids, Chase, Chloe and Charley. Before moving to Los Angeles, Shane served as the director of church and missionary discovery at NAMB. He previously served as the mission pastor at Hope Baptist Church in Las Vegas, Nev. You can follow Shane on Twitter @shanecritser. Courtesy of NAMB #Send Network Blog