In late April, SendNC hosted its first church planting gathering. Reflecting on the event, hear from SendNC Director Mike Pittman as he shares with us six takeaways for your church from The Gathering. 

1. Church planting is not the goal — the goal is God’s kingdom 

When God births a church, He invites us to join in His kingdom activity. The kingdom of God is God’s sovereign activity in the world, resulting in people being in right relationship with Him. While SendNC is a movement of churches on mission together planting churches everywhere for everyone, we do this to join God in the Kingdom work that He has already initiated.

“‘The kingdom of God is in your midst!’ You can miss it, like Nazareth did when they wanted to throw Jesus off the cliff,” said Tony Merida, pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh and Send Network vice president. “When Jesus is present, the kingdom is present.”

2. Prayer is the work

It is so easy to get into a rut of only praying for the work, while we forget that prayer is the fuel behind a white-hot movement of God. Pastor Clint Darst reminded us that as leaders, we must deepen our devotion to our Savior. We need the truth of the Word and a love for the saints. As Darst said, “Don’t hide your need! Seek accountability. Pastors, we need people to minister to us, and make sure that you take advantage of rich gospel relationships in gatherings like this.”

3. We need a stick-together culture

“We need brotherhood and sisterhood in church planting because we are on the frontline of the battle against the kingdom of darkness,” said Noah Oldham, executive director of the Send Network. 

You don’t find community by looking for it —  you find it by building it. Being a movement of churches on mission together means we are united by a mission and need a “stick-together culture.”

4. “When God plants a church, He has the nations on His heart”

It is important for new churches to not see themselves as the mission, but that God birthed these churches for the mission. The nations are here in North Carolina — just as we saw at The Gathering, where we were joined by over 40 representatives from international church plants. The nations are moving to North Carolina, and we have the opportunity to reach every nation and tongue by planting churches everywhere for everyone.

5. Engage the city with the gospel

“There is a temptation in church planting to love the crowds but not the people of our city,” said James Roberson, pastor of Bridge Church in Brooklyn and Send Network planter team lead. “We can do all the ‘stuff’ and miss the people in our city. God loves all of them.” 

The order isn’t to plant a church, make disciples and engage the city, but the reverse — engage the city with the gospel, make disciples, plant a church. The order matters. When we unleash God’s people to meet people’s needs, it’s a powerful movement.

6. The harvest is plentiful and there are laborers 

All across our state there are people who need Jesus. This need is great, and we are grateful for the many faithful men along with their families who are taking the next steps to plant churches so those who do not yet know Christ will be reached. The work of church planting is hard yet fruitful work. We need churches all across our state to join these church planters by supporting them through praying, participating in, and providing for the work they are doing. 

Does your church feel the call to support church planters who are taking the gospel to their community? We would love to talk with you about how you can become a supporting church! Let’s be on mission together to plant churches everywhere for everyone.