MBC sets new record with 55 church plants
By Allen Palmeri
December 22, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) planted a record 55 new churches in 2004, breaking the old record of 47 set in 2003.
“Our church planting guys are doing a great job for us,” said MBC Executive Director David Clippard during the MBC Administrative Committee meeting Dec. 13 at the Baptist Building.
The MBC had a goal to plant 100 churches in 2004. That goal will remain the same for 2005. One of the keys to ultimately achieving that goal, according to MBC State Church Planting Director Jerry Field, will be to increase the number of “strong sponsoring churches” in Missouri. Right now that number is around 20, Field said.
Picking up on Field’s point, Wayne Isgriggs, pastor, First Baptist Church, Lincoln, and a member of the MBC Executive Board’s church planting work group, said that more Executive Board members ought to be a part of planting 100 new churches in 2005.
Field said First Lincoln has served as a strong sponsoring church for Osage Ridge Baptist Church, Warsaw. This relationship originated, in part, from a strong desire by Isgriggs to put into practice a December 2003 resolution by the Executive Board to “become increasingly sensitive to and directly involved in the planting of new churches.” Isgriggs addressed the board Dec. 14 to remind his fellow board members of their year-old pledge.
“I understand that we have about $200,000 readily available toward the goal of establishing 100 new churches next year,” Isgriggs said. “That sounds a lot better when we say we have $200,000 and 50 churches represented by our Executive Board members that are going to join the struggle.”
Jeff White, an Executive Board member who serves as a co-pastor at the elder-run South Creek Church, Springfield, an MBC church that was planted in 2003, said Missouri Baptist churches, in general, ought to cultivate more of a church planting mentality.
“I know at our church we plan to take however many people we can get and start a church, as a rule of thumb,” White said.
MBC President Mitchell Jackson, in the context of his devotion for the board Dec. 14, agreed with the spirit of what his fellow board members, Isgriggs and White, said about the convention’s church planting efforts.
“Let’s lead by example in church planting,” Jackson said. “Every one of us ought to be trying to plant a church.”