|Pastor Noah Oldham baptizing new members at August Gate Church in St. Louis, Missouri. Source: Baptist Press|
Church planting is hard work, but with proper support and mentoring, it can be an enriching experience that glorifies the kingdom of God.
One church to receive such support was WALK Church of Las Vegas, led by Heiden Ratner. His church plant received support from Las Vegas’ Hope Church which has started more than 60 churches since its 2001 founding.
Ratner was an apprentice at Hope Church receiving mentoring and development before planting WALK Church in 2014.
“It was in that season where I got to learn under Pastor Vance Pitman about the kingdom of God and how the kingdom of God is so much bigger than just one church,” said Ratner. “He showed me that it’s going to be churches planting churches that actually reaches the city. That shifted our thinking. We didn’t come to start something. We came to be a part of something God was already doing in Las Vegas.”
Since its launch in 2014, WALK Church has even planted two churches and is working collaboratively to support an additional eight congregations. This led the church to be recognized by Outreach Magazine as one of its 100 Reproducing Churches.
Reviewing the list of 100 Reproducing Churches, almost 30% of the congregations listed were a part of Send Network. The Send Network is comprised of Southern Baptist congregations committed to reproducible church planting that includes both long-standing, established churches and relatively young church plants.
The list is one of three published in the magazine’s September/October issue. According to Ed Stetzer, editor-in-chief of Outreach Magazine, “We know that church planting, done well, is about reaching people. We know statistically that new churches reach more than established churches. So, at Outreach Magazine, we want to celebrate churches reaching people – and you can’t do that without church planting!”
Pastor Noah Oldham of August Gate Church in St. Louis, Missouri was also one of the congregations to appear on the list. He said, “It’s the task Southern Baptists have given us…We have the collective calling of taking the Gospel to every man, woman, girl and boy in North America. We believe that happens not only in evangelism, not only through compassion ministries like Send Relief, but it happens through church planting. It is healthy churches planting healthy churches. Great Commission churches planting Great Commission churches.”
August Gate has helped to plant six churches in the past twelve years and provides financial assistance to more than a dozen more.
“If you put those two things together, you get harvest St. Louis,” Oldham said. “So, we gave it that name because we wanted, from the very beginning, every time someone asked, ‘Hey, what’s your church about? What’s the name about?,’ we could tell them God called us not just to plant a church, but to plant a church that would plant many churches.”
To learn more about Send Network resources checkout their Multiplication Pipeline free digital resource center to find planting churches and resources through North America that can help spread the gospel.
Source: Baptist Press