Editorial by Rick Remmers
Chesapeake Conference’s new initiative, “35 by 25,” is to plant 35 churches by the year 2025. Currently we have 50 areas in our region without a Seventh-day Adventist presence. These areas are comprised of population clusters of about 50,000 people, as well as specific counties with no Adventist church.
So why plant new churches when some of our existing churches are not yet full? The answer is simple: There are unreached people who need salvation in Jesus Christ, and church planting is one of the most effective ways to impact more people with the gospel.
Contrary to popular belief, studies have shown that churches that plant experience three times the growth rate over a five-year period after birthing a new congregation. Why? The intentional approach to ministry that church planting requires serves as a catalyst for mission-focused ministry in the mother church. Additionally, the new church plant averages a growth rate of 12 times that of mature churches. In the process of church planting, both the mother church and the new congregation are poised to experience healthy growth.
Revelation 14:6 describes the first of the three angels’ messages as declaring the everlasting gospel “to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (NKJV). There are people all around us representing different regions, generations and languages who are not being impacted by our existing churches.
Join us in praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as we embark on planting 35 new churches together by 2025. If you want to be involved in a church plant, please contact your pastor or visit the Chesapeake Conference website at ccosda.org/planting to further explore this initiative.