Throughout all my life of 23 years, my parents’ full-time job has been to plant churches. Back home in South Korea, my house was the only church in our town. As missionaries in China, the first thing my parents do when they have met several people is to gather as a church. I have always known it is a good thing to plant churches, but I have only started to gain an understanding of its importance since being part of Equip in New York City.
What is a church?
During our missionary training, my team and I have learned that, according to the New Testament, churches were often formed in people’s homes and other settings with their families, friends and neighborhoods (“Oikos” in Greek). The church is the gathering of believers to study God’s Word, worship, encourage, sharpen, confront with love, and serve through the spiritual gifts given to each and every person.
I do not know if you would agree, but living out one’s faith alone is very hard. I am incredibly thankful that Jesus calls “the Church” his bride, not just me as an individual person. We all have unique parts that are to become unified as one body.
Why, then, is it so important to plant churches when there are already many existing churches?
Why is planting churches important?
We believe that these transparent communities where every single person is actively growing and serving can happen with the people near to you in smaller numbers. Especially for new believers, we want them to know that church means gathering people for his name and not necessarily the building down the street.
Among the unreached people groups in New York City, there are many barriers standing between some of the local churches and their community. This means new believers and spiritually interested people do not have a community to reach out to or to grow as a body together. This also means they are in need of people to come alongside and help them to gather and grow as a new church with their own Oikos.
The urgency of planting churches
At International Project, we want these unreached groups of people, who are coming to us, to know Christ and to simply be empowered to reach out and gather their own people. They are in need of committed missionaries, who are willing to step into their guarded culture here in New York City to love on them and share the love Jesus has for his bride throughout all nations, cultures and languages.
Over 2,000 years, Jesus gave us the Great Commission. Today, there are still thousands of unreached people groups in the world and in the United States. Join us in carrying out the Great Commission and planting churches to reach these unreached people.