The Assemblies of God's Church Multiplication Network will set a new record in September with 44 congregations launching across the country during a single month. And more than half of these, 23, are being planted simultaneously on a single Sunday -- Sept. 20.
It's no coincidence that these 23 churches are launching at the same time. "Don't do ministry alone" has become a core principle shared among current and future church planters. This idea led CMN partners Brian Bolt (president of CityReach Network) and Jeff Leake (president of Reach Northeast) to combine their efforts to plant most of their networks' new churches on the same day.
"Church planting networks like CityReach Network, Reach Northeast, and the Church Multiplication Network are bringing people together with the common goal of establishing healthy churches in every community," says Chris Railey, director of CMN. "These networks provide resources, training, and support to every pastor within their ranks. Nobody is doing ministry alone now."
The advantage of planting through these networks is apparent. A single planter can be licensed by the Assemblies of God, financed by the CMN Matching Fund, trained through CMN's Launch program, and connected to other churches by the similar bylaws, culture, and geography of a network like Reach Northeast. All in all, these partnerships result in a more dynamic and well-equipped AG church plant.
"Being part of the CityReach Network has given us the opportunity to grow quickly in every aspect of ministry," says church planter Alex Soler. "It's placed amazing, credible, and Holy Spirit-filled leaders to help us plant a strong, healthy church." The church plant that Soler is overseeing, CityReach Waukegan in Illinois, will launch Sunday.
Soler, in particular, has been heavily influenced by his connection to CMN and CityReach -- to the point that he is planting in a completely different city than he originally envisioned. After seeing his hometown of Waukegan on CMN's list of the top 10 largest cities without an AG church, Soler knew God was calling him to take his church plant to the city of 89,000.
"We set up the top 10 list as a response to pastors who would ask us where we thought new churches should be planted," says John Jay Wilson, director of operations for CMN. "Before we dug into the data, we didn't have a clear, definitive way of saying 'this city is in the most need.' Now we do."
The sustained growth in new churches is also translating into an overall growth in the Fellowship. This summer, the Assemblies of God announced 25 consecutive years of growth in adherents.
"The growth of the Assemblies of God can only be attributed to God's blessing and His work through the Holy Spirit," says AG General Superintendent George O. Wood. "It's through the infilling of the Spirit that we are given the confidence, the words, and the power to proclaim the gospel to our friends, neighbors, communities, and around the world (Acts 1:8)."
Image Source: Rock Hills Church, Manhattan, Kansas