When I first met Clint Clifton and heard about his passion for church planting, I didn’t get it. “We have ENOUGH churches in America, don’t you think?” I argued. “If you want to plant churches, why don’t you go to India?”
We were at Ci-Ci’s with our families and I threw out my opinion like a hand-tossed pizza onto our table already stacked high with crust-filled plates.
My cynicism wasn’t even entertained. “There are lots of churches here…but are they all GOOD churches?”
I took a bite of my Hawaiian pizza and tried to think of a rebuttal. “Well…Bad churches are better than NO churches…” My logic was waning.
Who was I kidding? This guy had read every book there ever was on church planting, been a part of multiple church plants, and was now trying to make the case for why our current church, Stafford Baptist, should plant a church.
“Just imagine if you had a really healthy church that reproduced itself over and over again. And those churches planted churches. And THOSE churches planted churches.”
I knew multiplication created more than addition, and had seen multiple episodes of the Duggers on TLC (okay, that’s not true…their show didn’t exist back then), but…why hadn’t I ever heard of THIS before? After all, I had been a Christian for 19 years. If church planting was so great, why had I never seen a church do it before?
That question I cannot answer. All I can say is that eight years and many pizzas later, I am becoming convinced that church planting is a great way to force people in your church to step up and mature and –of course– spread the gospel.
Why? I’ve watched it.
Stafford Baptist did, despite my criticisms, plant a church and that church, despite the odds, has survived. Pillar Church is the church my husband now pastors with Clint Clifton (also called Cliff Clinton by various people in the congregation who should probably know better by now). Pillar set out from the very beginning to not measure her success by how much she gathers, but rather by how much she scatters. We are not interested so much in the seating capacity as we are in our sending capacity.
Over the years, men have come to Pillar, matured in their faith, and left with some church members to start another Pillar church (Think: Healthy Church Split). Once they leave and their core team grows to a congregation, the prayer is that they would grow and breed future church planters as well.
It’s a beautiful cycle. Disciple. Plant. Repeat.
Recently, the dream and vision has been taking more shape. Our church is located two miles away from a major Marine Corps Base (Quantico), so our congregation naturally has many military families. As men at Pillar grow and feel a call to plant, some will inevitably move to their next military assignment. We want to take advantage of this movement for the sake of the gospel. The goal is to plant more and more healthy gospel-centered reproducible churches near the other major Marine Corps Bases around the world.
If you have read this post all the way here to the end, kudos to you, and you should probably head over to OUR WEBSITE and read more about this project. We’ve named it the Praetorian Project after the Praetorian Guard that Paul ministered to while he was in prison. Through Paul’s witness, many of these “military men” became Christians and spread the message of The Way throughout the Roman world. Lastly, check out the video (If you watch until the end, you’ll see our little five year old as the star of the show!)