On the first weekend of 2018, we made an exciting announcement at Compass Bible Church. We were planting another church! This is the 3rd time in the last four years we have announced that a pastor from our church was leaving to go start a new one.
While these announcements have been thrilling and inspiring, they have also been painful. Each church plant means saying good-bye. Good-bye to a pastor that has served at the church for years. Good-bye to some committed core families at our church.
Why do we do this? Why is planting churches a distinctive of Compass Bible Church? Why would we put ourselves through these painful good-byes on a somewhat regular basis?
Here are three reasons.
1) The World’s Biggest Problem is Sin
Whether you go online, turn on the television, or (like me) open up a newspaper to find out what is going on in the world, we could broadly summarize the news in two words: not good.
Violence. Injustice. Corruption. Sexual assault/misconduct/immorality. Addiction. Broken nations. Broken families. Broken lives. These are the headlines we read on a daily basis.
What is wrong with us?
We can summarize the problem in one word: sin.
The simplest definition of sin is “missing the mark.” Along with society as a whole, each of us has missed the target. We do not reflect the character of God as we ought to. In fact, we have outright rejected his authority as king. Our own sin will bring havoc and destruction into our lives and sets us on course to face the judgment of our holy creator God.
2) The Solution for Sin is the Gospel
In a world full of bad news, there is good news. God so loved the world that he sent his only Son into the world to break the curse of sin by living the perfect life we could not live, dying on the cross in our place, and rising again from the dead.
This good news brings great change in this life. As people turn from their sin to find forgiveness and freedom through Jesus Christ, they become a new creation. The old is gone; the new has come. Broken lives are made whole. Those who are trapped in self-destructive cycles of sin, greed, or anger are set free. The stranglehold of pride and selfishness are broken.
The gospel also gives hope for the life that is to come. Those that believe in Jesus will not perish, but have everlasting life. The redeemed look forward to an eternity with God in a perfect creation. All that is broken will be fixed. All that is wrong will be made right. Peace and justice will reign forever in the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.
3) The Gospel is Spread by the Church
So how does God plan to spread this good news in a world of bad news? Smoke signals? A military conquest? A big social media campaign?
He started an international organization known as the church. It exists to make disciples by pointing people to Jesus and teaching them how to follow him. It is led by pastors charged with teaching the truth of the Bible. It is full of fellow-Christians who are meant to be more than a community, but a family.
Our world desperately needs the gospel. Therefore, it desperately needs more churches that will preach it clearly and boldly. I am so thankful that Compass Bible Church is one of those churches, and I can’t wait to launch a new gospel-outpost in this world.
I’ll be chronicling parts of our journey here at this blog, and I look forward to sharing how God is working to build up a new church.