"Why should I get involved with a church plant if I have children? Don’t other churches have more stuff to offer?”
Not necessarily. They may have different stuff to offer, but a young church plant has some things to offer you won’t find anywhere else.
In fact, here are some reasons you should prefer to get your family, including your young children, involved in a young church plant like Harvest Bible Chapel Pittsburgh North:
1. They will get to see how new churches start.
I never knew how churches started before I planted a church. Guess I never really thought about it. I just assumed back in the day John Wesley and Martin Luther just moved through the area and opened franchises. (Just kidding. I knew a little more about it than that. A little.)
What an education I received planting a church, watching it all come together as God was working! And what a great opportunity for your children to learn something they may never have a chance to be a part of again.
2. They will learn that everyone is called to actively serve.
In church plant world, we use a phrase a lot: “All hands on deck!” Being young and small, we need everyone to step up and actively get on board in ministry. Everyone! That’s Biblical, by the way. I know of many passages in the Bible that call ALL believers to actively serve (Ephesians 4, 1 Corinthians 12, 1 Peter 2). I don’t know of a single passage that calls a believer to be a bystander. “My spiritual gift is bench warming.” No, it’s not.
Longer established churches are blessed to have had people step up and do and lead and disciple. So it can be easy for people to slip in and slip out without stepping up. God calls everyone to be involved, and your child will experience that especially in a church plant.
3. They will learn that church is where you look to give not expect to be given.
Similar to the previous point, your children will learn this valuable lesson about following Jesus that they will carry with them the rest of their lives, if you disciple them in this attitude.
We live in a consumer culture. We get lulled into a consumer mentality. What benefit ME best? Target or Wal*Mart? Giant Eagle or Shop and Save? Ford or Chevy? Coke or Pepsi?
Sadly we carry the consumer mentality into the church. When you walk into a church, and the first question you ask is, “How will this place benefit me?”, you have brought an unbiblical and self-centered mindset that is anything but the mind of Christ.
4. They will see God do some radical things in times of desperation.
We started this church with nothing. A zero dollar bank account. No place to meet. Few people. An empty trailer purchased, praying God would fill it with equipment.
I don’t have the space here to testify to God’s gracious provision that He made every step of the way. So many times, we had our backs against the wall, cried out to Him, and He showed up gloriously. Never late, seldom early. And He never disappointed us.
Not saying God doesn’t move mightily in big churches - sometimes it can seem less obvious to the congregation as a whole. Your child will carry with him/her the glorious lesson that God is a provider and He can always be trusted to take care of His children when they cry out to Him. They will get to not just hear it preached… but watch it happen!
5. They will see how the Holy Spirit grows the church.
What a glorious thing to behold. “But the Holy Spirit is growing big churches!“ Yes, praise God, He is! That’s how they got big. But growth can look more obvious in a church plant. Growth from 1500-1540 isn’t as obvious as growth from 25-65, right?
Jesus promised to build His church (Matthew 16:18). And from the ground up, your child will get to see Jesus fulfill His promise. New believers baptized, old believers revitalized, the Holy Spirit doing what only He can do, to the glory of God the Father.
So bring your children. Let them experience God at work in a way that will strengthen their faith for the rest of their lives!
p.s. - church planting = kids' stuff