Several of you who check this site are members or attenders of our local church. Others may not know that our church here in Lafayette, Indiana, is hoping to daughter another church in the nearby vicinity. Because the type of church planting we're heading into will be different in nature than others we've been involved in recent memory (simply because of the proximity of the two congregations), several have wisely asked, "Why church plant? Why not simply continue the ministry as it is now?"
The session puts it as simply as this: We need to church plant because we are outgrowing the type of ministry that we are passionate about reproducing. Not that we're against big churches, but that a church focused on discipleship and man-to-man/woman-to-woman/family-to-family ministry is hard to manage once it gets above a certain number.
Well, there are probably more good answers to "why?". I came across this article today by Tim Keller, pastor and church planter in New York City. It's worth a read, especially if you're a part of our church family here. He makes a good argument that church planting is essential to fulfilling the great commission and that it's the single most effective method of evangelism and cultural transformation. You may have some quibbles here and there, but it's quite the engaging and motivational article.