Church Planting in Early Baptist History

by John Yoder on August 28, 2014

Last week, we concluded our series from the book of Acts.  One of the enduring lessons that we learned was this: churches promote the gospel by planting other churches.  The apostolic pattern set for us requires churches to send out men charged with preaching the gospel in order to form new assemblies.  And this was the belief and practice of our baptist forefathers as Prof. Mike Renihan teaches in his article, Church Planting in Early Baptist History.

In the first part, Renihan explains that the growth of the early Particular Baptists was due to their commitment to the kind of evangelism which aimed to plant churches.  Then, by citing several examples, he shows that these Baptists commissioned men not simply to preach the gospel, but also to baptize converts and establish churches.  Finally, the author proves that the driving force behind this action was theological as summarized in their Confessions.

Here is a taste of what you’ll find in this article: “The well-ordered church was so central to the redemptive purposes of God that any kind of evangelistic thrust must see, as it s highest goal, to establish new assemblies…The Baptists could not conceive of evangelism apart from church planting… Their evangelism was not merely “soul-winning” but rather a full-orbed attempt to see churches planted according to the Word of God.”

So as a church plant, we are the evangelistic effort of the churches which have supported us by their financial gifts and prayers.  And we continue to be active in evangelism through the preaching of the gospel with a desire that souls are converted, baptized and added to this local church.  But let us pray that the Lord would so bless this work that one day we may be able to be a church that plants other churches in the Chicagoland area and around the world.

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