Better Together

“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” [1]

When churches work together to plant churches God is glorified.

In 1961 John F. Kennedy famously charged citizens of the United States, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” the words might well have been applied to the Church. If this exhortation is good for citizens of the United States, how much more applicable to citizens of Heaven? Considering the good of others before ourselves is a Christian sentiment and a standard for Christ followers.

It is more blessed to give than to receive.[2]

Value others above yourselves… [3]

Love God and neighbor with everything you’ve got[4]

At the heart of these commands are virtues of generosity, humility and love. These virtues which are clearly part of the character of God are critically important when it comes to churches working together in church planting. Consider what barriers stinginess, pride and the lack of love create in relationships between churches – and yet those are real struggles in the heart of many church leaders when it comes to working with other congregations.

If the Church is to fulfill the command given to it in Matthew 28:18-20 and many other places, it should not be done as a collection of splinters, but as a whole tree. We are better together than we could ever be apart. There is much fruit to be had when the Body of Christ actually works together as a body and not as unrelated parts. Our most effective work in church planting will come through partnering with other local congregations.

Where do we start?

The Journey of 10,000 steps begins with one. Let’s start by examining our hearts. Are we willing to work open handedly with other churches? If not, why not? The root of the problem might be stinginess, pride or the lack of love. Upon finding the problem at its root, we need to repent. We need to ask the Lord to change our hearts and minds by His Spirit, orienting them to His Kingdom, not our own. After that we might be ready to pick up the phone and call, text or whatever our fellow leaders in other churches asking them, “How can we work together to plant churches for the glory of God?”

 

Footnotes

[1] Psalm 133:1 NIV

[2] Act 20:35 NIV

[3] Philippians 2:3 NIV

[4] Luke 10:27 paraphrase


Cabot-AshwillCabot Ashwill

Cabot is the Senior Pastor of LifeSpring Community Church in Spring Grove, Illinois and is president of Reach Chicago. Cabot grew up in California where he met and married his wife Asia. They have four adventurous children who were willing to accept God’s call along with their parents to move from California to Spring Grove in order to plant LifeSpring Community Church, a church plant from Lakeland Church in Gurnee Illinois. Prior to planting LifeSpring, Cabot has acted as the Director of International Ministry for Touch Global, a leader for several years at Bible study Fellowship and President of Antique Trove. He holds a B.S. from Pepperdine University and a Masters of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. One things that Cabot would want you to know: Life is an adventure and Jesus is the greatest treasure you will ever find. Life’s greatest joy is being found in Him!

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