This is a question many people have. I think there are some impressions that people who plant a church are fed up with the church they've been serving in and want to do it their own way.
Others assume there is kool-aid drinking involved.
And others may presume that planters have stars in their eyes and that with their own efforts and charisma, they will be that cinderella story of a church being started that went from 5 to 5000 in two years.
None of these are motivating factors for us as we embark on Columbus.
But here are 10 things to consider.
1. We are called. Plain and simple, the Holy Spirit has His fingerprints all over this journey. We love our Wadsworth Church and the people that have been so supportive and grace-full during our time there. We wouldn't leave the boat unless Jesus was calling us to walk on water.
2. Churches are closing their doors. If you understand the local church as an organism, you can see a life cycle trend. A church is conceived, grows, thrives, plateaus, perhaps revitalizes, but eventually declines and dies. If churches are dying, then new churches should be birthing. And 'adult churches' really should be intentional about investing in 'children churches' to keep the family flourishing.
3. Church Planting is the single most effective way to reach the unchurched. Why? Because we cannot be inward in our focus if we want to survive (because we can't "take care of our own" and mature disciples until we have people we can take care of and mature). Reaching those who are hurting, lost and jaded...who need hope is our only way to survive...and their only way to survive.
4. Columbus is a young adult magnet. The age from 18-30 is such an important window. Many churches have struggled to be relevant to their youth after they graduate high school. In fact the current trends are that teens leave the church at 18, and only some come back when they have their first kid (which is around 29 or 30 on average. The biggest decisions of their lives are being made in this window and the church is unacceptably silent.
5. Because people are longing for a bigger story to live into. And the church can be the story teller of the Grand Narrative of the gospel.
6. Because there are 56,000 students at OSU and few churches have effectively pursued them.
7. Because young professionals and tomorrows leaders need the gospel today.
8. Because what God said would happen in Scripture, the gospel going to the ends of the earth, is happening in our midst.
9. Because obedience is costly, but disobedience costs even more.
10. Why plant a church? I'll give you 7 billion reasons why.