Learning How To Birth a Restart-Based Church Plant


The word itself implies and instructs that we humans don't always know what to do.


Often times we are lead to learn, taught, by those who have gone before. Those who know what to do. Nonetheless, the best coaches allow us to fail, and therefore learn even more on our own.


When we learn something new, discover something unique, find something long missing, or create something from scratch we find an overwhelming joy of learning. Of having learned. Of having risked.

I am in the process of learning how to birth a restart-based church plant. As I posted recently, God has opened doors for me to join the leadership teach at Randall Church as the Worship and Church Multiplication Pastor. The plan was that I would be part of formulating and executing a plan for Randall to plant a church in the Buffalo-Niagara region within the next 2-3 years. God however seems to have had an accelerated timeline.

First Baptist Church North Tonawanda approached Randall a few months ago and asked for help in regard to the direction and means of carrying out the sharing of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the North Tonawanda and Wheatfield areas of Niagara County. Randall feels led by God and has the desire to help FBC  in this regard by coming alongside FBC as a “mother” church to lead and help in
the rebuild and restart of what will amount to a new work in the community.


Randall Church is more than 180 years old. Randall has sent out tons of missionaries, however Randall has never planted a church before.

FBC is more than 125 years old. For most of this history the church grew. However, its most recent decades have been year after year of decline. Now they face the reality of a coming church death.

I, Milo Wilson, have been part of planting two churches, Ridgeview Church and theWELL, over the last eight years. However, I have never been the lead planter. I have never felt the full weight of what it means to be individually responsible and accountable for His sheep. And, I have never been part of birthing a restart-based church plant.


God showed me something yesterday from the book of Joshua that I shared with the people of FBC as we discussed the terms of the Restart Agreement between the two churches. In Joshua chapter 4, the Israelites are about to cross the Jordan river into the new land God has promised them. They have suffered through a difficult 40 years in the desert where those who didn't want to follow hard after God have fallen away one by one, and all that remain are those whose hearts are right before Him. God command Joshua to cross the Jordan river, and miraculously stops the water flow so they can walk across on dry ground, much like their fathers did when they crossed the red sea. Joshua commands the Israelites to carry 12 smooth river stones from the floor of the Jordan and build a standard at their lodging place on the other side. He did this so that

“In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea[b] when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. 24 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.” 

When the new work God allows us to birth... re-start... plant... at Meadow Drive grows and God begins to soften hearts in the North Tonawanda and Greater Buffalo Region, the facilities themselves will be this standard. The structure itself looks a great deal like the Gateway Arch out west which was built as a monument, a memorial for the hunters, trappers, and frontiersmen who dared to explore and go further. Similarly, the structure, the church building at Meadow Drive will be a standard, a monument for all future descendants to remember what FBC was willing to do for God's Kingdom. Remember how they paved the way for what God is doing now.

Discussions last night at FBC progressed incredibly well during our 2nd night of information sharing, vision casting, and general Q and A. Excitement is building on all sides, and all lights are green for a signed agreement in the immediate weeks to come. Won't you pray with us? Pray that our Restart Ministry Team (aka Church Plant Team) proceeds with wisdom, care, and respect. Pray that the vote by FBC is no only a vast majority as it appears to be now, but a fully unanimous vote to rebuild, rename, and restart what will amount to a new work in the community. I believe God receives the greatest honor when his people, the body of Christ, work together unified to further His Kingdom.

Pray that we learn.

Pray that we learn more about the heights, the depths, the greatness of God's heart for this city.

Pray that we continually learn to give Glory to God!


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