The mission of Jesus cannot be fulfilled apart from the establishment of local churches.
At ABWE, we are driven by the belief that fulfilling the Great Commission involves not only making disciples of all nations but also establishing thriving local communities of believers—churches. Church planting lies at the heart of our missions agency as we strive to follow Jesus’ call to go and make disciples of all nations.
Since our first missionary, Dr. Raphael Thomas, arrived in the Philippines, we have been committed to winning new believers, nurturing them through discipleship, and establishing local churches. These churches become centers of spiritual growth, fervent evangelism, and eventually, they send their own missionaries throughout the world. Our church planting efforts provide the foundation for the advancement of the gospel to every corner of the earth—to the unreached and beyond.
The Biblical Mandate for Church Planting
Church planting finds its foundation in the teachings and examples set forth in the Bible. Throughout the New Testament, we see the apostles and early believers actively engaged in church planting, establishing vibrant Christian communities in various regions:
- The Great Commission: In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus commissions his disciples to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that he commanded. The formation of churches is integral to this process of making disciples, nurturing them in the faith, and fostering a Christ-centered community.
- The Apostle Paul’s Ministry: The apostle Paul exemplified the essence of church planting during his missionary journeys. He established churches in cities like Corinth, Ephesus, and Thessalonica, where he preached the Gospel, discipled new believers, appointed elders, and provided pastoral oversight (Acts 14:21-23, Titus 1:5).
- The Early Church in Acts: The book of Acts provides numerous accounts of church planting efforts. The apostles and early Christians planted churches in response to the transformative power of the gospel, resulting in the rapid expansion of Christianity (Acts 2:41-47, Acts 16:5).
Church Revitalization: Strengthening Established Churches
In addition to our focus on church planting, we recognize the critical role of church revitalization efforts in contexts where established churches exist but have grown weak in terms of vitality, effectiveness, doctrinal integrity, spiritual health, and missional living. We understand that these once-strong churches are now facing the risk of collapse, and their communities are in need of restoration.
Our missionaries play a crucial role in bringing much-needed revival to such struggling churches. By working with local believers and leaders, we address the challenges faced by these churches and provide support to strengthen their spiritual foundations. Church revitalization efforts encompass a range of activities, such as:
- Doctrinal Integrity: Ensuring that the foundational teachings and beliefs of the church align with biblical principles and theological truths.
- Spiritual Health: Fostering an atmosphere of spiritual growth, discipleship, and prayer within the church community.
- Leadership Development: Equipping leaders and pastors with the necessary training and resources to lead the church effectively.
- Missional Living: Encouraging the church to actively engage in evangelism and outreach to impact their local communities positively.
- Worship and Fellowship: Cultivating meaningful worship experiences and nurturing a strong sense of community among believers.
- Community Engagement: Involving the church in various ministries and outreach programs that address the practical needs of the community.
Join Our Church Planting and Revitalization Teams
If you possess a passion for starting new churches or restoring struggling ones, we invite you to join our church planting and revitalization teams. As part of these teams, you will have the opportunity to engage in various ministries, including:
- Bible studies
- Business ministries
- Church restoration
- College ministries
- Coffeehouse ministries
- Music ministries
- Sports ministries
- Women’s clinics
- Youth camps
We are looking for individuals who are bold in their love for Christ, patient in their endeavors, and deeply committed to living out their faith. If you feel called to serve in church planting or revitalization efforts internationally as a missionary, we would love to connect with you and explore how your passion and skills can make a lasting impact in the kingdom of God.
Is God calling you to use your skills on the mission field?
Opportunities with this Focus
Serve as a coordinator for developing agricultural programs that help tribal people move from slash-and-burn farming methods to stable hillside gardens and orchards.
The church planting movement in Nicaragua is growing rapidly. Come work alongside national pastors with both new and existing church plants in a variety of locations both urban and rural.
The church-planting team in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania is looking for long-term community group leader to help with their thriving church plant.
We are seeking a audio-visual program coordinator to help develop a strategic communication plan for our organization's ministry in South Asia.
Bible study leader needed in Hungary.