Excerpts from Greg Surratt’s session at the FIND Conference:
After a wonderful but busy weekend with Jonathan and Stephanie Suber at Faith Tabernacle in Shreveport, Bryson Phillips (my new intern) and I headed back to Little Rock to catch an early flight to Charleston, SC. We were going to attend the FIND Conference being hosted by Seacoast Church in a suburb of Charleston. The conference was sponsored by several church planting organizations whose goal was to meet potential church planters and also build a stronger relationship with each other. Some of the organizations that helped to sponsor the event were, Association of Related Churches, Acts 29 Network, New Thing, Church Multiplication Network (The Assemblies of God), And 20/20 (The Church Of God).
I found Seacoast Church to be a very interesting place, with a beautiful location and building, great leadership and very innovative. In fact Outreach Magazine says that Seacoast is one of the top 50 most innovative churches in the World. Lead Pastor Greg Surratt shared a wonderful opening session on planting life giving churches. Here are several of his major points from that session.
Why should we plant churches?
1. It is the best way to revitalize an existing church. Churches that plant churches or at least participate in the process show a definite benefit from the process of church planting, namely they grow! And they normally grow a lot!
2. Church Planting is the principle way to evangelize America. More people come to Christ in a new church plant than any other way. 80% of people who come to a new church plant are unchurched, while in churches 15 years or older, 80% of their growth is from church transfer.)
3. New churches tend to be more missional (purpose driven). Consequently excitement and enthusiasm is easier to create and maintain.
4. New churches are the research and development department for the Body of Christ. They tend to be more free to try new methods, styles and approaches to outreach and doing church with less discomfort and resistance in the church body.
His second segment:
Seven questions for church planters:
1. What is my motivation for church planting? Is it passion or dissatisfaction?
2. Do I sense God’s call to plant a church?
3. Am I wired for church planting?
4. Do I have the gift to teach?
5. Are my wife and family excited about this possibility?
6. Can I and Am I leading myself well?
7. Do I have a respected oversight leader in my life who affirms the call to plant in my life?
His session was outstanding some of the best nuts and bolts stuff I heard during the conference.