CP Philosophy, Part 11: Missionary Church Planting and Beyond

16 05 2009

This series of posts has dealt primarily with traditional church planting that seeks to develop a self-supporting church rather quickly. But a vibrant church planting movement in Southern California would have two other significant aspects  beyond these traditional church plants.

Many places in Southern California need missionary church planters because it would be very difficult to quickly establish a self-supporting church. The residents in some areas have very low incomes; some areas have very high turnover, making it difficult to establish a stable core group; some areas are just especially challenging (downtown LA, downtown San Diego, Hollywood, ritzy beach enclaves like Malibu). Many of these areas need missionary pastors with longer-term support.

Southern California is also packed with opportunities for narrower outreach ministries. Here are a few examples:

  • College ministry: There are over 300,000 students in the University of California and Cal State schools in Southern California (11 major universities, and that doesn’t include any of the private schools or community colleges).
  • Military ministries: Southern California has about 15 military installations of various types, processing and training hundreds of thousands of soldiers each year. Major bases include Camp Pendleton, MCAS Miramar, 29 Palms, and Fort Irwin.
  • Mercy ministries: Our area of Southern California, with a population well over 300,000, is just getting its first homeless shelter. I spent two years volunteering with youth in the state dependency system (children in foster care or group homes). There are nearly unlimited opportunities here.
  • Senior citizen ministries: We have at least 15,000 seniors that live in Menifee.
  • Substance abuse help.

Frankly, we have hardly begun to scratch the surface of these opportunities in missionary church planting and other outreach ministries. But we are committed to two basic concepts:

  1. These ministries are an important part of a church planting movement.
  2. These ministries are the result of a vibrant movement planting local churches.

We’ve already been talking to other pastors here about how exciting it will be when we see our first missionary for Southern California (ministering in one of those communities that needs a missionary church planter) from Southern California (discipled in one of our churches and supported by our churches).

What about foreign missions? First of all, there is a huge amount of “foreign” missions to be done in Southern California. Beyond that, another dream is to see a foreign missionary discipled here in Southern California and sent out with financial support primarily from Southern California churches. Church planting increases the support base for foreign missions.

We love church planting, and we believe that ministry in any community starts with planting local churches. But as you can see, a vibrant church planting movement involves much more than traditional church planting.



One response

22 02 2010
Redux: Church Planting Philosophy « L.A.Hope

[…] Independence and Church Planting Movements Attracting People The Church Planter The Facility Missionary Church Planting and Beyond What Really Matters Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)GBC Church Planting Update […]

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