MBC church planting steams along familiar pattern
JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) has planted 32 churches this year through the third quarter, which is similar to the level of production the previous three years.
The MBC has established records in church planting from 2003-2005 with totals of 47, 55 and 61, respectively. MBC State Church Planting Director Jerry Field expects good numbers in the final quarter of the year.
“We’ve got a whole cluster of them set to launch in October and November,” he said, acknowledging that typically it is difficult to plant churches after Nov. 15 due to the flurry of activity that surrounds Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The stated goal for MBC church planting since MBC Executive Director David Clippard arrived in 2002 has been 100 a year. The final total for 2006 has yet to be determined, but extending the record-setting trend to a fourth year by achieving a number like 62 may prove to be elusive.
Field has noticed a trend where churches that the MBC has planted in the last 3-5 years are now planting churches themselves. He also is encouraged by the number of baptisms that are occurring in the new church plants.
“The theme of our display in our booth at the annual meeting is going to be baptisms in the church plants,” he said.
The number of sponsoring churches continues to grow, he said. One church became the main sponsor for a plant in the St. Louis area and had such a good experience that it is now sponsoring a Filipino work in the Ft. Leonard Wood area.
“I’ve been really pleased with the number of new churches that are stepping up to say, ‘We want to be a part of planting a new church,’” Field said.
A launch that is planned for November in a rural setting is an example of the type of healthy church start that the MBC likes to see happening.
“It’s like when the first domino fell, they’ve all fallen very quickly—all the stuff in place you’ve got to have to do a good launch,” he said. “It’s just exciting to see.”