by Pastor Tyler Long
“Do you know what the fastest way to grow a church is?” a mentor once asked me.
What do you think? Would you say a traditional evangelistic meeting? What about a thriving children’s ministry? Perhaps it is fantastic music or what about a good-looking pastor?
While all of these are beneficial, church planting is one of the fastest and most effective forms of evangelism as it reaches new generations, new residents, and new people groups.
New churches grow faster than older churches. Studies show that new churches gain 60-80 percent of members from people that are not attending an Adventist Church. Older churches gain 80-90 percent of their new members by transfers from other congregations.
Have you considered the church that you currently attend at one time was a church plant? In fact, all of our churches started as a prayer and a vision. The Great Commission calls us to make disciples and baptize. Church planting provides the framework that focuses on both making disciples and baptizing. As the population in the great Seattle area continues to explode, Washington Conference has made church planting a priority.
Over the past year, the church planting team has worked with our pastors and laity to plant and grow seven new churches. Because of our dedicated pastors, the following church groups have started or will be starting soon.
- Seattle Chinese
- Shelton Spanish
- Beacon Hill Spanish
- Triumph Auburn (second generation Hispanic church plant)
- South Whidbey Island
- Slavic (Russian/Ukrainian)
- LifeBridge in Tacoma
For years, our conference leadership has been praying for a Chinese speaking Adventist Church in the greater Seattle area. The Seattle metro area ranks 8th in the country for the number of Chinese born residents, and it is listed as #1 for Chinese homebuyers.
Through a series of miracles, the Lord answered our prayers and is sending us a Chinese speaking pastor. The initial plant will consist of 20-30 members worshiping the Lord in their native tongue. Due to COVID-19, Pastor Zhao has not been able to leave China, but we believe and trust that the Lord’s plans for this group will move forward.
With each of our church plants, we are not looking to have another church in the community, but a church with and for the community. There is a need in the Washington Conference for churches to grow in quantity and quality. People love Jesus because Jesus loved people! Our goal is to plant churches that love people regardless of their baggage. All of us carry baggage, and we all need Jesus.
Your generosity to support Washington Conference Evangelism has helped make these church plants a reality.
Thank you for contining to support evangelism with your prayers, involvement and financial giving.