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I DIDN’T DO ENOUGH

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At the end of the movie Schindler’s List, the man who was personally responsible for saving 1,100 from the concentration camps is being thanked by those he rescued. They give him a ring that is engraved in Hebrew saying, “He who saves one life saves the world entire!” You would think he would have been very satisfied and maybe even a little proud of what he had accomplished. Instead, he says, “I could have got more out! I could have got more!”

Oskar Schindler begins to weep as he considers how he could have sold his car to the guard and maybe gotten ten more out. He then realizes he could have sold his lapel pin and gotten one more out. He is burdened and brokenhearted with the reality that he could have gotten one more person. While being thanked for the sacrifices he made and the generations he has preserved he is overwhelmed with the thought of how much money he had wasted and says, “I didn’t do enough!”

Three years ago we cast the vision to plant 100 churches in three years! The deadline has come and gone with a grand total of 88 churches planted. This was only possible because of so many working together to accomplish this goal. There are many exciting stories of God doing great things in the lives of many communities but let me say it loud and clear, it’s not enough! We can and should desire to do far more because people are lost, hell is real, and Jesus is coming back some day!

In Church Zero Peyton Jones says this, “Why did God hardwire each piece of fruit for multiplication, yet when we bear fruit, we see it as the endgame? If we were following God’s design for fruit, we’d know that like fruit, churches are packages for spreading seeds—for planting multiple churches. One seed becomes a tree, which becomes another seed factory….That’s what disciples do—they reproduce.”

Jones goes on to say, “Staying focused is a challenge, but if you keep breaking off church-planting seeds, seeking like a piece of fruit to be a seed-bearing package, then you’ll have no problem. Whether it’s the birds, wind, or weather, something will carry those seeds to another destination where they will be needed. Stuff doesn’t grow where it’s not needed, and this world is one needy place.” Here are some observations about our on-going church planting efforts:

First, let’s celebrate the victories! Let’s make sure we stop and praise the Lord for what He has done and for what He is doing. Sometimes we are not the best at celebrating but 88 new churches is something to celebrate. These plants are not only reaching English speaking people groups but also Russian, Spanish, French, Creole, Erdu, Arabic, and the Deaf! Hallelujah!

Second, let’s pray and ask God to send the next great awakening to America! Revival comes when we begin to cry out to Him with a holy desperation. All of the other great awakenings were birthed with people on their knees crying out to God for their nation. Oswald Chambers said, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; it is the greater work!”

Third, let’s remain committed and passionate about our church planting efforts! The temptation is to think we have enough churches and we should focus on strengthening the churches we have. We need more churches (estimated 650,000 more by 2050 just to keep up with population growth) and we need healthy churches to reach their communities with the gospel.

Fourth, let’s encourage one another and help one another! We really are better together and we must be careful to not see this as a competition. It takes all kinds of churches to reach all kinds of people! If a gospel preaching church opens next door to us we should rejoice in the truth that more people will probably hear the truth and respond to it in faith.

Fifth, let’s make sure our churches are outwardly focused! There is always one more person out there that you can reach. We can make a difference for Christ! If we are not burdened for lost souls we need to ask God to burden our hearts once again. Every church must get out of their foxholes and once again get out on the offensive. Pew sitting is not a spiritual gift no matter what you may have heard!

Sixth, let’s be willing to give and sacrifice more! Have we done all that we can and is there not more we can do? Should church planters be struggling to meet salaries and budget while so many churches have far more than they will ever need? Is there a planter that has been by your church that would be greatly encouraged by your generosity? Has our prosperity caused us to become complacent?

Last, let’s do more in the next three years! Let’s pray more, witness more, give more, and plant more churches. If we were totally transparent and honest would we not say just like Oskar Schindler, “I didn’t do enough!” C. T. Studd put it this way, “I pray that when I die, all hell will have a party to celebrate the fact that I am no longer in the fight.”

Healthy churches reproduce and we are never more like the church in the book of Acts than when we are directly involved in church planting!