Why don't we plant churches?
God provided us with this land and we have the space to build. Land is not a resource that is very affordable right now, nor is it readily available. Research also shows that churches that do plant other churches still have significant growth in their original churches. Does this mean we should not consider this?
When God led us to this piece of property, it was very evident that we were just beginning a work here. He would not bring us here and then ask us to not finish what He started. This land has space to effectively and efficiently accommodate more growth and we should continue with what we started through to completion.
To be sure, our vision is for all Central Alberta to have an opportunity to come into relationship with Jesus and so we would do well to work with many of the surrounding churches in Central Alberta rather than compete with them. And that is what we currently do, mentoring and partnering with other church bodies. We have and continue to make invitations to support, mentor and work with churches in the surrounding communities.
In a congregational meeting in 1995 we passed a defining motion together that has set the course straight for us as we have been moving forward. Our Church History Story book reads:
“God has been completely faithful to His people and His purposes in Red Deer and so we continue to grow. The congregation together discussed several options to accommodate growth and agreed unanimously to ‘stay together and grow together’. Then they sang ‘Bind us Together’ and from that point forward to this very day they have been united in mind, heart and purpose.”
On that day we all said together that it seemed good to us and the Holy Spirit that we grow together and stay together. From that time forward, we have taken strategic steps remaining obedient to that decision, one of which was purchasing the 21 acres where we now find ourselves. Until we have fully developed this property we have not completely fulfilled what we knew God called us to in 1995.
We started staffing for the larger growing church many years ago and this is what we are today. When we started Phase 1 we have no idea the extent to which God would use CrossRoads and it has resulted in a greater influence on children, youth, local impact in schools and social agencies, global impact with compassion and outreach results. Since we started on this path, we’ve discovered that God has entrusted more and more to us.
Does this all mean that the planting of churches or developing multi-sites is off the table? We honestly do not know that. If we truly believe that there are many more that we can envision coming to Jesus in Central Alberta, then we need to have open hearts and ears to what God is asking us to continue to do well into the future. We know that we will always be engaged in multiplication of some kind because that is the Great Commission. If we feel that the statement of Stay together and Grow together is from God, it means that if and when we plant or create multi-sites that this thought remain in our hearts and it shapes how we move forward in those specific strategies.