Why Church Planting?
Jesus spent most of his time with two groups of people: disciples that he was developing, and lost people he was loving and reaching. He was regularly criticized by religious people for hanging out with lost people.
In response, in Luke 15 Jesus exposes his heart for the lost, and his priority of reaching them. In the story of the lost sheep Jesus said, "In the same way, heaven will be happier over one lost sinner who returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven't strayed away!
Effective church planting makes loving and reaching the lost the highest priority while also developing devoted disciples. Church planting is the most effective means of reaching the unchurched. Planting churches is a key strategy for multiplying disciples and leaders to grow God's kingdom!
-by Paul Root, Converge PacWest Church Planting Director
The Vision of Converge PacWest Church Planting
Our CPW Vision is to work together here, near and far away, (Acts 1:8) as a network of congregations to reproduce new disciples, new leaders and new congregations that tranform lives and communities.
Our Rich Variety of Church Planting Opportunities: Northern California, Northern Nevada and Hawaii are as diverse as any mission field gets!
- World Class Urban Centers of the Bay Area: San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and their surrounding cities provide a moving canvas of cultures and, trade and industry from shipping to Silicon Valley.
- Metro Sacramento area is approaching 2 million in population, and is the Capital city of the largest state economy in the US. Its size and diversity creates some unique challenges to reaching its' population. A network of ethnic and multicultural congregations is needed.
- The Central Valley is
California's agricultural heartland, with the largest single concentration
of fruit and nut farms, vegitables and vineyards in the United States. A huge hispanic population presses toward 50% of the population while some towns are 80 and 90% hispanic. The hispanic population is growing and extremely receptive to the gospel, for a great harvest of souls.
- The Central Coast from Solvang to Atascadero is another world within Northern California, with wineries and other agriculture, tourism and retirement communities, but a great lack of effective churches.
- The North Valley and Mountains have many small towns, with all the social ills of large cities, but few of the resources. People head for the hills to hide from the world or be closer to nature.
- Northern Nevada There are several cities in Northern Nevada near the border of California that are otherwise isolated from the rest of Nevada; Lake Tahoe, Reno, Sparks, and Carson City. We currently do not have any planting projects there, and are watching for opportunities that God may provide to plant there.
- Hawaii is the only US state whose church attendance kept up with population growth. About 8% of the population attends a Bible believing, gospel teaching church. Because of the cost of living, Hawaii is a challenging place for planting unless the planter already has strong roots there, but we are staying alert to the planting opportunities God opens.
Vision for the Future
Current Goals: As part of Ignite 2010-2015, a national church planting initiative, we are asking God to plant at least 25 Churches in our region. Those projects will include several planting approaches: parenting, new campuses, network planting, and establishing church multiplication centers. In 2010, we deployed 5 church planters, and trust God to provide our network of churches with vision, and to raise up leaders to plant. Our planting efforts in the Northern California region are a part of the Converge Worldwide goal of planting 335 new churches all across the U.S. during this same 5 year period of time.
Interested in starting a church with Converge? "Planting with Converge"
Interested in parenting a new church? "Churches Planting Churches"