[from my September 30th, 2015 report to the Louisiana Baptists Executive Board, whom I have the privilege of serving as Church Planting Strategist]
[UPDATED November 5th, 2015]
Louisiana Baptist are indeed Multiplying! New church plants have increased 75% in Louisiana since 2011: In 2011, 8 new churches were planted; 14 in 2012; 18 in 2013; 26 in 2014; and so far in 2015, 33 new churches have been planted across Louisiana!
What’s the impact of church planting?
- New commitments to Christ! Since 2010, new churches in years 1-3 have reported 8,909 new commitments to Christ & 1,643 baptisms.
- New partners in cooperation! In the last two years, new churches in Louisiana have given $365,957 to the Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention and $73,624 to their local Associations.
And through church planting we’re closing some of the missiological gaps & trends in our state. One of the haunting lines in the President’s 2020 Commission report presented at the Louisiana Baptists Annual Meeting in 2013, was that the Louisiana Baptist Convention was a declining, northern, anglo movement. Church Planting is allowing us to change these trends.
- The President’s 2020 Commission found that out of 1,600 churches only 5% were considered non-anglo, while 40% of the population of Louisiana is non-anglo. In the last two years, 69% (41 out of 59) of our new churches have been non-anglo. Including 25 African American, 14 Hispanic, 2 Asian.
- 2 years ago, we found that 74% of the population of Louisiana was in the south (south of Bunkie) while 64% of our LBC churches were in the north. So 64% of our churches are located where only 26% of our population resides. In the last two years, 78% (46 out of 59) of new churches have been planted in south Louisiana. Including 11 in New Orleans, where 21% of our population resides.
We still have much work to do. In 2010, Associations helped us forecast the need in their regions and with their help we set the goal of 300 new churches by 2020. Our current scorecard is at 122. So 178 new churches still needed to meet the needs across Louisiana!
And EVERY CHURCH can get involved. How can your church help? Check out these resources to help you get started:
The Georgia Barnette Offering for Louisiana Missions is one thing that I can give to with great cheer (2 Corinthians 9:7). Why? Through the GBO, among other things, we’re able to cover up to 30% of the first year budget for a new church & provide two additional years of support for a total of 36 months. Current averages for church plant support are around $44,000 per, over a 36 month period. This assures the church planter of substantial support as he plans out the first three years of ministry in the community. Also, as a church planter who has received support through the GBO, I was encouraged by the weight of 1,600 Louisiana Baptist churches who said yes to our calling as a family & our communities need for the gospel. And now, I get to see the results of our together giving up close & personal as I read the reports & follow the work of our church planters in Louisiana. This year, over 200 people have been baptized & over 600 have professed faith in Christ through churches supported by the GBO. I give with cheer cause I know my $$ will be turned into real people engaging communities with the gospel & people’s lives being changed in my home state. Below are a few 2015 pics from works directly supported by the GBO. Give with cheer! Check out GeorgiaBarnette.org for more info & see what other ministries in Louisiana supported by Georgia Barnette.
Growing up in a Southern Baptist Church in Louisiana, every year of my life I’ve heard the names Annie Armstrong, Georgia Barnette, & Lottie Moon. These are the name sakes of special offerings for the National, State, & International missions efforts of our convention. Each of these three ladies were real people who devoted their lives to missions & inspire us to do the same today. Many Southern Baptist never get to see the impact of giving to these special offerings, but for me it’s personal. As a church planter, I’ve personally benefited from the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering & Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering & can say with confidence that people are in Christ today, because of the generosity of our churches to support missions efforts through these offerings. Now, I’m working as Church Planting Strategist in Louisiana & I get to attend the meetings of the Georgia Barnette Committee (which is made up of Pastors & Lay leaders from churches across Louisiana) where money is granted & I read the monthly reports of church planters whose ministries depend upon money from the GBO fund. What all does the GBO cover? Looking back over my notes from last years Georgia Barnette Committee Meeting, here’s a few areas of influence:
- LA Baptist Children’s Home Sanctity of Human Life & Pregnancy Resource Ministry
- New church startup grants across Louisiana (currently 75 projects receiving funding)
- Compassion ministry sites across Louisiana (currently 57 sites receiving ongoing funding)
- French & Spanish evangelistic Radio programming
- Literacy Missions across Louisiana
- Multi-housing Ministry across Louisiana
- City Care Effect in New Orleans
- NOBTS Extension at Angola State Penitentiary
- Evangelism at other state prisons
- Outreach to African-American collegiate students in south LA
- Summer Collegiate Mission Team (GOLA)
- Disaster Relief Supplies & Equipment
- The Mission Builder program which builds & renovates first unit buildings for new churches.
- Grants to new ministries & churches for first unit land & buildings.
- Port Ministries in New Orleans, Gonzalez, & Baton Rouge.
You can see the 2016 Budget Allocations HERE. As you can see, the Georgia Barnette Offering makes a huge difference all over Louisiana. Check out this years promo videos HERE to see a few of the stories behind the works supported by GBO. The summary video is below. Looking forward to seeing the impact of this years offering in reaching people & meeting needs in the coming years.
Hope you’ll join me for the Week of Prayer for Louisiana Missions as we pray for some of the great mission projects going on across Louisiana. You can follow each day of the week of prayer HERE. And videos to promote Louisiana Missions in your church & across your social media platforms are HERE.
And this month is also the emphasis for the Georgia Barnette State Missions offering. This years goal is $1.8 million. 100% of this offering will go to support missions in Louisiana. What kind of things does it support? You can find the 2016 allocations HERE. I’m grateful for the generosity of Louisiana Baptist churches that allows us to continue to plant churches, start compassion ministries, minister at our global ports, & much more.
Kick off today by praying for Level Ground Community Church, a new church in New Orleans. Get their story & how to pray for them HERE.
Baptisms yesterday down on the Bayou at Crosspoint Church, planter/pastor John Boss. John also leads FBC Grand Isle & it’s resort ministry (http://ow.ly/HzkUp). Check them out for your retreats or bayou mission adventure.
Only 1.3% of the Bayou Baptist Association population (Lafourche, Terrebone, & part of Jefferson parish) attend worship in an SBC Church. Both are listed in http://www.thearda.com‘s top 15 of least evangelical parishes in Louisiana (Lafourche only 6%, Terrebone only 11%).
Planters & Partners are needed. Director of Missions Joe Arnold, email@example.com to get started.
A few things I’m hoping to learn from Jacob is: How do you start an evangelism movement that leads to over 100 baptism in 3 years in a hard to reach area? How do you start a church that looks like the community you’re planting in (40% Black, 60% white)? A lot of us talk about evangelism based & multi-ethnic church planting. Life Point has done it. Join us for Basic Training & get to know Jacob Crawford.
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin” Zechariah 4:10. West Bank Baptist Church & Planter Ryan Melson have been reaching out for 6 months now. Ryan & his wife Michelle have done a great job building partnerships & laying a foundation. Looking fwd to seeing what this pic looks like in the next six months.
Pray for Westbank Baptist Church. Follow Ryan & Michelle’s Church Planting Journey HERE. Sponsor Church is Cedar Crest in West Monroe.
Cross Creek Cowboy Church in Zachary, Planter Josh Morris, hosted over 100 for their Open House in their new facility yesterday. Last year Cross Creek baptized 14 with 14 more salvations. Grateful for what God is doing across Louisiana through Cowboy ministries & churches.
The Way Church of Denham Springs held their official Grand Opening of their new facility yesterday with standing room only crowd. Planters Josh Spinks & Scott Cheatham. The Way has baptized over 100 in their first three years & they’re already sponsoring a new church in a neighboring community.
Let me know if you’d like to know more about church planting in Louisiana or about connecting with any of these five church plants for a missions partnership.
Check out these articles on getting ready to plant:
- I think I want to Plant a Church, What Now?
- 5 Things You Must Do Before You Plant a Church
- 10 Biblical and Practical Ways to Get Involved in Church Planting
- Every Church Can Encourage Church Planting & Multiplication
- Every Church Can Be A Church Planting Partner
- Your Church Can Be A Parent to A New Church or Campus