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‘Any size church’ can partner to reach NYC
Mickey Noah, Baptist Press
October 03, 2011

‘Any size church’ can partner to reach NYC

‘Any size church’ can partner to reach NYC
Mickey Noah, Baptist Press
October 03, 2011

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – While dozens of Southern Baptist churches

are mobilizing via Send North America: New York City – which launched Sept. 30 –

to plant new churches in the Big Apple and its greater metro area, Shades

Mountain Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., may be the most excited.

Send North America is the North American Mission Board’s strategy to mobilize

and assist churches and individuals in hands-on church planting throughout the

United States and Canada.

Pastored for the last 15 years by Danny Wood, Shades Mountain Baptist is

spearheading New York City area church planting under NAMB’s Send North America

initiative.

Shades Mountain – which on Sept. 18 celebrated its 100th anniversary – is participating

in Send North America: New York City in two ways. First, the church is a

supporting church for Maranatha Grace Church in Fort Lee, N.J., just across the

Hudson River from Manhattan. Second, Wood is serving as chairman of the

partnership coalition of local and national Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)

leaders who will coordinate church planting in metro New York, which numbers

some 22 million people.

Why are Wood and Shades Mountain Baptist interested in planting churches in New

York and New Jersey? Don’t they have enough to do as one of the largest SBC

churches in Alabama? Their reasons can be traced back to the fall of 2001 and

Wood’s vision to take Shades Mountain to a higher lever of missions and

ministry.

Photo by Peter Field Peck

Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., pastored by Danny Wood, is leading New York City area church planting under the North American Mission Board’s Send North America initiative. Wood serves as chairman of the New York City partnership coalition.

In 2001, we had only two families of eight people on the mission field,” Wood

said. “Under our Share 2010 Vision, we wanted to have our members on mission

serving in 24 time zones throughout the world. We wanted to plant churches in

all 11 International Mission Board regions. We wanted to minister in all 50

states. Our goal was to plant five new churches in the United States, one in

Canada and to adopt one of NAMB’s Strategic Focus Cities.”

Since the vision of Wood and his church was what they believed to be God-sized,

he told his congregation, “New York is the largest city in America, so let’s

tackle it.”

And tackle it they did. In 2004, Shades Mountain started supporting pastor

Kevin Pounds to plant The Point Church at Rutgers University in New Brunswick,

N.J.

Under Send North America: New York City, Shades Mountain has mobilized to

partner with Maranatha Grace Church, a multiethnic, English-speaking

congregation – running about 100 each week – pastored by South Korea native Won

Kwak. That includes onsite missions work by Shades Mountain members as well as

financial support of Maranatha by Shades Mountain.

Wood is the first to concede that not all SBC churches have the vision,

priority and will to plant new churches. How did he persuade his members to

jump on the church planting bandwagon?

“We just looked at the New Testament,” Wood said. “Look at what Paul, Barnabas

and others did, how they traveled to plant new churches – usually in major

cities. We have to plant churches in major cities. That’s how the

multiplication of the gospel takes place.”

Wood said Shades Mountain members quickly embraced church planting.

“We just showed them the statistics that a new church will evangelize more and

grow more than a church more settled,” he said. “We now know that we can

lengthen Shades Mountain’s reach by planting more churches.”

As Shades Mountain began planting new churches, Wood said members got excited

and he would have the church planters come in and be a part of the church’s

annual Global Impact Celebration each February.

“Our people would catch their vision and get even more excited. They began

taking trips to the church plants. Our folks just fell in love with the

planters and came to understand how difficult it can be to plant churches up in

the New York area. They became anxious to help out.”

Wood said planting a church in a distant location takes missions to a higher

level.

“When you go on a mission trip, you go, invest some time, and then you return

home. It’s more meaningful to plant a church there. If you do that, you can

work with that new church plant, invest in it and see the fruits of your labor

that will continue on.”

And while Wood admits the size of a sending or supporting church is a factor,

it’s not a prerequisite in measuring success in church planting.

“Any size church can be a sending or supporting church,” Wood said. “What’s so

good about Send North America is the way the local coalition – like the one I

chair in New York – is created to match up churches of all sizes that want to

plant churches,” he said. “A small church can join in with other churches and

pool resources to plant churches. At the same time, the local coalition matches

up these sending churches with the church planters who are being identified,

trained and validated.”

There is a role for every SBC church of every size under NAMB’s Send North

America effort. The first step for any church to get involved in planting

churches is to go to namb.net and click on “mobilize me.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE – Mickey Noah writes for the North American Mission Board.)

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