by Will Oswald, Director of Multiplication
You may have noticed that Journey Church is fairly passionate about starting new churches! At the beginning of Vision 20/20 in 2014, we decided that one of our major initiatives would be to plant new churches. Here is an update on our progress:
One of our goals was to plant 5 churches in 7 years. At the beginning of 2015, we helped launch The Pines Church in the Knightsville area. While launching the Pines Church, we were also preparing to send a team to launch a new campus of Journey Church in Goose Creek. It is amazing to see that the Ladson campus has continued to grow in numbers even in the midst of launching a new church and a new campus!
We have 4 more churches to plant by the year 2020. By the end of 2015, we want to identify the location and the pastor of our next church plant. We are also working on a more defined plan and process for how we are planting churches.
Another goal was to give away $250,000 to church planting by the year 2020. As of now, we have given $60,753 to help plant new churches. At this pace of giving (adjusting for the anticipated growth of Journey Church), we could surpass our goal and give close to $500,000 to church planting by the end of 2020.
We also had a goal to train 150 church planters each year. With our church planter coaching center (The Cypress Project), we have seen 213 church planters and/or pastors trained in the last year in 6 cities and 2 foreign countries. We are currently working on ways for The Cypress Project to be packaged in multiple formats and to be live-casted to other locations. By the end of this year, we will also have the basic framework in place to launch an internship and residency program at Journey Church for church planters and other leaders.
Our last goal was to assist and encourage Charleston Southern University to develop a major in church planting. Currently, CSU has a minor in church planting and we have helped them start 2 courses in church planting taught by 2 of our staff members.
So, you may ask the question: why do we care so much about starting new churches? Why not invest the money and time into simply growing Journey Church?
If we look back at the history of the church, the most effective and efficient way for the gospel of Jesus to spread is by planting new churches. Also, the healthiest churches are usually multiplying ones. New churches seem to reach new people from the harvest at a much higher rate than existing churches.
When we look at the greater Charleston area, we also recognize that it is one of the fastest growing areas in the U.S. It is predicted that we will need approximately 100 new churches in the new 10 years just to keep up with the growth in the Charleston area.
The most important reason we need to plant new churches is because every man, woman, and child needs to clearly hear and see the gospel of Jesus.
It is not about Journey Church; it is about the kingdom of God. We will continue to selflessly and courageously send people and money to start new churches! Thank you for your investment in Vision 2020 and your investment in God's kingdom!