Imagebearer’s Weblog

The Only Evangelism That Works: Be An Imagebearer

Giving Birth (to a new church) Post #1

If you have read the Bible, you know that with the fall of Adam and Eve, birth pains entered into the world. It is amazing to me that until that time, a woman could give birth to a child and there were no pains. That was a perfect world and that is the world we will get back to when Jesus returns and makes all things right.

But until that time, there will be pain in childbearing. This is true when a woman has a child and this is also true whenever there is a new birth of any kind. For instance, when an established church decides it is God’s will that they start a new congregation in order to reach a different group of people than they are currently reaching. We all know there are churches on every corner of our Country and basically around the world. But even with all of these churches we are not reaching the world for Christ. Matter of fact, many of these churches, big and small are sitting virtually empty when it comes time to worship.

My hat is off to those worshiping communities who have made changes through the years to meet people where they are share the gospel with them. Now, I don’t mean change the message, I only mean, change the way we present the message. The gospel is unchanging, the way we share it is ever-changing. Many churches have done a great job making those transitions and staying up to date with the cultural needs around them. Many have not and it is obvious.

In today’s world the church, the leaders of the world, and businesses have to swim in the sea of change. Things literally change minute by minute. Technology has changed the way we do most everything in today’s world. In the church, our task is to look at the change, find a way to present the gospel and win people to Christ, grow the church, and do this without leaving behind the people who are already there. This is not an easy task.

Anytime there is change, there is tension. Tension is a fact of life and can serve to catapult us into greater things or it can serve to create bitterness and misunderstanding. It is this tension that we must learn to master in the church world and not let it slow down the growth of Gods Kingdom. Our mission in the church is to grow, it is to win people to Christ. Yes, we are to make disciples but what I have learned is those who become disciples are those who help win others to Christ, it is part of what being a disciple is all about.

I am excited to say that I am part of a church that has given birth. 1st UMC Hillsville along with The Holston Conference of The United Methodist Church planted Out of the Box Worship Center about 16 months ago. OOTBWC was conceived in February of 2010 and birth happened 10 months later. We began by forming a team of people to look at our options. Should we expand the growing congregation we already had by building a larger facility where we were or should we look at a whole new site? Or, should we look at planting (giving birth) to a whole new congregation?

We gave birth…

This is the first of a series of posts that tell the unfolding story of “Planting a New Church.”


Out of the Box Worship Center

1st UMC Hillsville



April 12, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. We are about to plant/birth our 6th campus at Christ Chapel. This next campus will be in Galax, our first outside of GA. The campus church model was something God lead us to after outgrowing our fourth building in 10 years. Instead of moving again and with building not an option we split, on purpose. Each campus has had it’s own wins and sacrifices. Some have worked great, and some have not worked at all. Overall, I can boil down five years of this campus model like this. More people in the kingdom, less people in one building. It has been worth it. We are all on one team, one family, just not in one place.

    I don’t know what God will ask your church family to do, but I can’t wait to watch.

    Go get ’em UMC & Out of the Box.

    Comment by Beth White | April 12, 2012 | Reply

  2. Something good….
    Romans 8:22-25 All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

    26-28Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

    Only God can turn our pain into a beautiful child who chases after Him…
    Let us run the race, each passing the torch from one runner to another, so that God can expand the territory of heaven THROUGH the work of the Body of Christ. Keep your eyes on the prize.

    Comment by godw1nz | April 13, 2012 | Reply

  3. Very well put. God is doing a “new thing” but we in the church cry for the “same old thing”. We must stop looking behind and press on toward the goal…that is, reaching the world for Christ.

    Comment by Pam Sutherland | April 13, 2012 | Reply

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