I want you to think of a name. The name of someone you love. The name of someone who doesn’t love Jesus. Someone you pray for often.
Maybe this person is a family member, a brother, a mother, or a cousin. Perhaps he is an old friend from school or she plays sports with you. I’m guessing you have been praying for them for a long time. Years. Decades.
We want to plant a church so that the person you have in mind and many others like them put their trust in the name of Jesus.
I’m thinking of a couple that Elaine and I have known for many years. Let’s call them Bob and Eve. We got connected to B&E through mutual friends and through them have become connected to many of other friends in their circle. Of that whole group, we are the only Christians.
B&E and their friends are very much prototypical of the average family in Northern BC. They are reasonably well off. They are good people. They really like “stuff”. At the same time, they are seeking something else. Something “spiritual”. B&E, as well as some of their friends. have gone to a service or two at various churches. They know they need “something”. We know they need the grace of Jesus Christ.
The churches in Prince George, including City Church (our sending church), are doing a faithful job of preaching the gospel, serving people, baptizing, and making disciples. People are getting saved and transformed! God is at work!
However, there are many people, like B&E and their friends, (and that person you are thinking of) that the existing churches in Prince George are not reaching successfully. This can be for lots of different reasons. For B&E, one major reason is that Sunday morning is valuable family time they aren’t willing to give up.
Our prayer is that Broken Bread will reach B&E. Our hope is that they’ll bring many with them.
Does Prince George Really Need Another Church?
In a word: Yes!
In fact, we need lots more churches. We currently have about 40 christian churches operating in Prince George with a combined monthly attendance in the single digits in terms of percentage of the population. That means that more than 90% of this city have little or no connection to any christian church.
Church plants are not shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic. The goal is not to take people and resources from existing churches. Rather, the objective is to reach people with the gospel that are not being effectively reached by existing churches. Research shows that up to 80% of new members in church plants come from the community and are not taken from existing churches. In fact, At the end of the day, many of these new believers actually end up in older more established churches.
New churches allow for a cultural diversity that is often impossible in more established churches. After a church has been around for a decade, or more, it is easy to keep doing what has always been done. This can be a great thing! The things that have worked for years have resulted in many people hearing the gospel, being discipled, and living God honouring lives. However, now these same things can be unintentional barriers to impacting those in cultural niches. New churches get around this by being different in ways that are effective at reaching new people but still hold fast to sound doctrine.
“The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for the numerical growth of the body of Christ in a city and the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city” -- Tim Keller
As you’ll see in the next section, Broken Bread will be a church that will look very different from any of the existing churches in Prince George. Our hope, and expectation, is that by doing this we will get to proclaim the gospel to people who are not currently hearing it or experiencing it’s power.
If you remain unconvinced, please continue reading.