“Paul planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.“
1 Corinthians 3:6
“Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”
Church Planting Models
There are several models for church planting:
Daughter Church Planting: Some leaders and members leave the planting church to plant a new church in a new location.
Satellite Ministry: One church doing ministry on multiple campuses.
Day School: Offer high-quality Christian education while equipping and encouraging teachers and parents to be intentional about building relationships and sharing Jesus.
Daycare/Preschool: Begin with high-quality, Christian childcare ministry and intentionally connect with the users of the facility to build relationships and teach about Jesus.
House Gatherings: A group of committed members and interested neighbors meet face-to-face in a home for Bible study, prayer, mercy care, and fellowship under the supervision of the pastor and not in place of corporate worship.
Missional Community: Groups of disciples engage their community through neighboring and servant evangelist while practicing a regular rhythm of worship, discipleship and intentional community engagement. A video series on why and how to form missional communities can be found here.
The PT4TH team has identified three areas of focus for planting new ministries:
- Larger population centers
As the population of Nebraska grows and shifts, especially in the larger cities, there is a need for new ministries to care for and minister to these people. In 2014, only 1% of Omaha’s population worshipped in an LCMS church on Sundays. Increasing this number to 2% can have a significant impact on the communities of Omaha and in the kingdom of heaven. New ministries in the larger population centers will share the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ with those who are disconnected or who have never heard.
- Communities with significant immigrant population
God is bringing the ends of the earth to Nebraska as immigrants and refugees continue to settle in cities like Omaha, Lincoln, Columbus, Grand Island, Lexington, and many in between. The church has the story of Jesus Christ to tell, and new ministries will focus on sharing this story with immigrants and refugees in their languages while caring for them through mercy ministry.
- Rural and small community areas
According to the 2010 Census, 90% of the communities in Nebraska have a population under 5,000 people. However, the census also indicates that statewide only 65% of the population claims a Christian religious preference, and only about 40% of the population is actively participating in a church. Even though the numbers are small, many of the people in these small towns are newcomers and are unconnected to the community and its church. Ministry in these rural and small communities is important, and new ministries in areas that are underserved can help share the Good News of Jesus.
The Planting Today for Tomorrow’s Harvest (PT4TH) team is the church planting team for the Nebraska District. Made up of church workers in the District, they are committed to partnering with congregations and circuits to plant 70 new ministries in Nebraska by 2023.
⋅ Rev. Kenton Birtell
⋅ Rev. B.J. Fouts
⋅ Rev. Dustin Lappe
⋅ Rev. Elliott Lutz
⋅ Dcns. Panchita Portillo
⋅ Rev. Neil Wheeler
⋅ Rev. Rich Boring