MBC church plants inch closer to record number
By Allen Palmeri
July 20, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – Church planting for the second quarter of 2004 was down from a record first quarter, leaving the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) with 36 church starts. However, Jerry Field, MBC state church planting director, said the third quarter is likely to yield enough new churches for the MBC to top its record of 47, set last year.
Reaching the MBC goal of 100 church plants for 2004 will be difficult, Field said, if not impossible at this point. But in the process of attempting great things for God, he said, the convention has pushed itself to a level where everyone involved with church planting should feel good.
“If we started 66 churches, that’s way bigger than we are,” Field said. “It’s a God-sized thing.”
The MBC was on target to meet its goal with 25 new starts over the first three months. But April and May brought a total of only four new works. June was considerably better with seven new starts, but the second quarter left Field musing about the ebb and flow of a number that is ultimately, and exclusively, controlled by God.
“We worked real hard in 2001 and only had about 16 starts for the year,” Field said.
MBC Executive Director David Clippard said that Missouri Baptists must “raise the temperature” on church planting and evangelism.
“I don’t think they’re going to make 100 this year, so we’re going to have some more meetings,” Clippard said.
Missouri Baptists are attempting to be a part of a church planting movement. Strides have been taken in that direction, but more need to be made, Field said. The church planting climate in the state is heating up, he said, in that more people have been approaching him about starting new churches. The frequency of calls to Field’s office has definitely increased.
“A church planting movement is an act of God,” Field said. “We have to set conditions that are conducive to that. It’s also an educational process.”