As we look towards starting a church and reaching the region, our desire is for gospel growth. The whole enterprise would be an unmitigated disaster if all that it involved was geographical transfer of thirty or forty people from westside to southside. Yet we are asking members of unichurch to consider being part of the launch team!
It is a big ask! It is right that we feel some reticence about leaving. The level of commitment to and love for our fellow believers expected by our Lord is huge… and it is just what he has produced among us through his Spirit empowered word. We love those with whom we regularly meet with the goal of spurring one another on to love and good deeds; speaking the truth in love to one another; and acting with the prayerful goal that we will stand together, forgiven in our Lord Jesus, when he comes (Hebrews 10:24-25, Ephesians 4:15-16, 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13). We love one another by doing these things and our hearts are committed to one another.
So why would we ever make the move of leaving one fellowship to form another?
The very same love drives it. The same love directed towards those we do know and those we don’t yet know. That gospel generated love drove Paul to enter city after city where he knew he would face suffering and persecution if he opened his mouth and spoke about Jesus. It is love that spoke regardless, desiring that God would display his mercy (1 Thessalonians 2:1-4 cf. 3:12-13).
So, the reason for starting a new church is not to reduce personal travel time but to facilitate serving the men, women and children of our city by making the gospel known to them. We long to see our generous God glorified as he saves, keeps, matures, equips and deploys men, women and children around our city and beyond. We long to see the gospel grow.
Pray for wisdom and a gospel heart as you talk it through and weigh up where you can most effectively serve the Lord Jesus as we await his return.
Stay? Transfer? Whatever you conclude… love the believers and love everyone else. Partner in the congregation you’re a member of: calling one another to stand firm in Christ and calling everyone else to give up their rebellion and submit to the Saviour.