This is based on an article from Hal Seed (accessed here on February 13, 2014).
Hal Seed writes, “A quick read of the book of Acts or the letters in Revelation proves that Jesus loves his church. He died for it, prays for it, lives for it and is going to return for it.
[But] let’s be honest: It’s not easy to love the church. It’s easy to love Jesus. Loving His bride is another story. Churches are filled with frail and fault-riddled people. Every church has a unique personality. All are loved by Jesus, but not all are loved in equal measure by each of His people.”
I agree, loving Jesus is so much easier than loving His bride, the Church. But just like the love of a spouse in marriage, love of the church is more a choice than a feeling.
Based on Hall Seed’s ten reasons that he loves his church, I have ten reasons that I choose to love Jesus’ bride, the Church. They are in no particular order – this is not a ranked list. This week, reason number nine:
9. Commitment to church planting.
Why do we need more churches? That is a fair question. Where I live there are six churches with a radius of five miles.
Do we really need to plant another church?
Well, let’s take a look at some numbers.
There is estimated to be 350,000 churches in the United States (according to a survey in 2010 here).
The population of the United States is estimated to be 3.18 million people (as seen here).
One poll puts the number of people who attend worship weekly at about 64,000,000. (20% of the U.S. population, see that information here).
That leaves approximately 254 million people not worshiping each week.
Do we need more churches? It can’t hurt!
I love my church because she is involved in “church planting.” That doesn’t mean we are right now starting a new congregation (although “church planting” can mean that). But what it means is that we have a mindset that we are learning how to be active disciples of Jesus Christ and sharing the Gospel with other people – which “plants the church” wherever those people go!
“Planting” has the idea of seeds and growth. We – as a Church – are surely planting the seeds of faith. The Holy Spirit has given us the seed – the Gospel. We share it with others – plant it in them – and the Holy Spirit causes it to grow.
Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:26-29)