the shape of leadership

Church Planters: The Church’s Best Hope

Breaking new ground for the kingdom of God

Chris Railey on August 28, 2017


I love the television show Shark Tank. There’s something about the entrepreneurial, anything-is-possible spirit that inspires me. The people who walk into the shark tank identify a problem in the world then develop a solution.

In fact, that’s what good leaders do. They see opportunity where others see problems. The best leaders understand that to change the world, you must become great at solving problems.

The church planters in the Assemblies of God embody that same entrepreneurial spirit. They see opportunities where others see problems in communities all over the world, and right here at home. They demonstrate radical faith and believe anything is possible if God is in it.

Church planters want to change the world, and the truth is, they are the Church’s best hope.

The Assemblies of God is seeing incredible growth in the number of new churches. In fact, 2016 was the best church-planting year in our 103-year history, with 406 new churches opened.

Church planters want to change the world, and the truth is, they are the Church’s best hope.

Church planters connect us to our pioneering roots; they represent the missional and Spirit-led work of expanding the kingdom of God that has always defined our movement.

The Assemblies of God began with a group of men and women touched by revival, moved by the Spirit, and abandoned to the cause of Christ.

Now more than ever, we need a generation of leaders ready to rise to the occasion to solve the problems of the world by putting gospel-centered, Spirit-empowered, healthy churches in every community.

The critical nature of this work was described prophetically in the 1960s by the late R.L. Brandt, a gifted author, pastor, district superintendent, college president, and executive presbyter of the Assemblies of God.

In the introduction of Handbook of Helps for the Pioneer Pastor, Brandt said, “Pioneering and progress are quite inseparable. Future expansion of the Assemblies of God on nearly every front will be determined largely by the Movement’s pioneering pastors. Without them we die. With them we grow.”

That’s a powerful statement and testament to the need for more men and women planters.

This article originally appeared in, and was adapted from, the August/September 2017 edition of Influence magazine.

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