The deliberate planting of new churches is based on the Bible and in the Spirit of Prophecy. In texts like Jonah 1:2 and 3:10, God tells the prophet: “Arise, go to Nineveh.” In Genesis 4:17 it is imaginable to see the first city that was established by Cain as an act of his rebelliousness against God. God’s original plan was that people were not to concentrate in just one place, due to the evil that was there, but to go out to evangelize the big cities.
Another example comes from the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. This region had been literally affected by evil practices, even in the family of a devout man named Lot.
Nowadays, the mission is to enter big cities for the proclamation of biblical truths. This is the moment in time were Adventists should play their part without hesitation. This is the time to present the gospel of salvation to those places. And the best way to do it is establishing centers of influence to plant new churches.
In order to reach big cities within the context of planting of new churches, the strategy includes the following:
Training: To train churches already existing in big cities, to get to know and to work wisely with postmodern and secularized minds.
Small Groups: To have small groups, deliberately established for church planting, as the foundation for planting new churches.
Centers of Influence: To establish centers of influence in churches or rented places to offer help to those in need who live in big cities to share the great hope to them. Marriage Encounters and health conferences could also be appropriate activities for those centers of influence.
Urban Evangelism: To organize series of public urban evangelism, having small groups as the foundation considering the secularized andpostmodern thinking.
Mother Churches: To strengthen the already existing churches so that they can become generators of new churches, transplanting members who live in those neighborhoods to new places where they can start a new church.
The church planting theory, according to specialists such as pastor Emilio Abdala, is successful as long as the new congregation can be financially self sufficient, has a consolidated leadership, and a clear missionary focus.
For this reason investing resources in those centers of influence is a great priority for the global Adventist Church. Apart from the financial resources invested to build new churches, there is also investment for training; organization of Small Groups, biblical classes, and missionary couples which will give support to the preparation of new leaders.