Churches Planting Churches

"Churches Planting Churches"… Sounds great, right? Has a certain ring to it… but what does that actually mean? Is it a substantive statement, or a hollow promise? These are the questions that the Acts 29 Network, one of the most influential organizations for church planting over the last decade, is asking itself today. When I read it this week, it helped me take inventory of our journey over the recent history of my years at Randall Church.

When I joined the Randall Church family in 2013, I did so as the Worship Leader and Church Multiplication Strategist. We had a lot of big dreams, but the pesos change was even faster than I expected. Less than a month into the job, I was on the ground in North Tonawanda, meeting with a failing congregation about the possibility of breathing new life into a ministry that appeared to have run its course. 

Nearly 7 years later, I can attest that this church, Helen M. Randall Memorial Baptist Church, is not just committed to the general statement of "sending out workers into the harvest," but committed to the reality of "churches planting churches" coming to fruition. The work of starting something new out of the tattered pieces of what was left behind from a church that had lived out a full life cycle, is not an easy one. But we were well supported on the journey, and it was my honor to be part of the ceremony in 2018 that commissioned Renewal Church as an autonomous local church, with its own Pastor, Elders, and critical mass of people to sustain itself long into the future. To God be the Glory, great things He has done!

The commitment to be a part of "churches planting churches" doesn't end there. I'm excited to share with you this week, that we have entered into a formal partnership with another congregation in a similar situation. Renewal Church was planted approximately 20 miles to the north of our location. Harris Hill Baptist Church is joining us a partner to plant a new church in Clarence, approximately 10 miles to the east of our location.

The Clarence and North Tonawanda communities are quite different from one another. North Tonawanda is a blue collar town, and Clarence is a place of general affluence. There will be many things over the next few years that we will need to approach differently this time around in order to connect with people and be a bridge of God's love in this new context. However, two particular traits will remain consistent. 
1. We will prioritize the Gospel over Gimmicks. The only real enduring aspect of any of our ministries will be the Gospel of Christ. The Gospel is the power of salvation to everyone who believes. This is our true north. 

2. We will prioritize Kingdom over Castle. Jesus didn't just die for this church, he died for HIS church, and HIS church will have many expressions in our cities and regions. We hope to feel a connection to each of them. 

We are committed to seeing gospel-centered church-planting churches saturate WNY for the glory of God. Pray for us, as we carefully choose our next steps together in this new partnership. Prayerfully consider how God might challenge you to be part of the new story He is writing in Clarence!

The Best Is Yet To Come!
- Pastor Milo



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