It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation (Romans 15:20).
A few years ago, I talked with a group of people who were spending three days together assessing candidates at our Church Planter Assessment Center. The conversation quickly turned to the high quality of the candidates.
In assessing potential church planters, certain words are always a part of the filter: Gospel-centered. Biblically literate. Spirit-led. While they describe what we look for in planters, they are accompanied by other descriptors like, entrepreneurial, tenacious, resourceful, evangelistically passionate and gritty.
Church planters love a challenge, embrace chaos and are energized by the unknown. They are designed by God to start from scratch, find new ways, weather the storms and endure the hardships unique to church planting. They sense a calling to their community so deeply that they think, If I don’t plant a church here, not only will something be missing in this community, but something will be missing in me.
(Church planters) sense a calling to their community so deeply that they think, If I don’t plant a church here, not only will something be missing in this community, but something will be missing in me.
Paul had this kind of passion when he planted churches all over the Mediterranean. He dreamt of building a foundation for gospel advance in every community he visited. For two thousand years, planters have been faithful servants of God and the gospel, reaching new places with the gospel’s never-changing message.
Church planting is indeed a high calling.
Over the next five years, Converge is trusting God for 312 deployed church planters to start new congregations. If God permits us to reach this goal, we will experience the greatest five-year season of church planting in our 168-year history.
We play a significant part in God’s great work around the world, and we marvel at God’s faithfulness through the years. We are more convinced than ever that our work of starting new congregations is essential to fulfilling our mission to help people meet, know and follow Jesus.
In this edition of Point, we talk about our church planting task and introduce you to some of the heroes on the front lines. My prayer is Each One Start One — that every church commits to being part of what God is doing in starting new congregations across our country and around the world.
Scott Ridout, Former Converge President
Scott served as president of Converge from November 2014 through August 2022. Prior to that he was the director of generosity for Converge from 2007-2014, concurrently with his time pastoring at Sun Valley in Gilbert, Arizona, for 22 years. He serves on the boards of Axelerate, Bethel University and The Timothy Initiative. Scott also serves the Finish the Task initiative working with denominations worldwide. He and his wife, Lisa, have been married since 1988 and have three adult children, Jon, Ashlyn and David. He loves God, the local church and simply wants to help people meet, know and follow Jesus.