Ecclesia Plantanda–“the church must be planted”–was the motto of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, the patriarch of American Lutheranism. I learned it at Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary, but that was the only reference to church planting in my seminary career–and it didn’t get that much mention in my undergraduate education at Atlantic Union College.
Times have changed. Church planting is the hottest topic in evangelism today, getting 1,190,000 hits on Google.
The Texas Conference is the leader in church planting in the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, it has been said. It’s central to the vision of my senior pastor, Kendall Turcios. During my first staff meeting with him, he handed me a half dozen books, including Russell Burrill, Rekindling a Lost Passion: Recreating a Church Planting Movement. Today we hosted an area wide church planting conference, and heard testimonies from several new plants. The main speaker for the day was that same Russell Burrill.
I’ve been giving some thought to this, as I’ve noticed that our English speaking churches are in the suburbs–yet Houston’s young adult population is in neighborhoods like Westchase, Galleria, Uptown, Montrose, Medical Center, and Rice Military. Time for us to plant a church within the loop if we are serious about evangelizing young adults.