What Others Are Saying

We have been blessed by the wide reception our network has received since going public in June 2010. From denominational leaders to church planters to veteran pastors, encouraging words have been expressed regarding the development and launch of our network. Take a moment and read what others are saying about PLNTD.

  • Tom Ascol – Executive Director, Founders Ministries
  • Danny Akin – President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Steve Childers – CEO, Global Church Advancement (GCA)
  • Tony Merida – planter/pastor, Imago Dei Church (Raleigh, NC)
  • Jared Wilson – author of Your Jesus Is Too Safe and Gospel Wakefulnes
  • Trevin Wax – editor of TGM, author of Counterfeit Gospels and Holy Subversion
  • Nathan Finn – professor of Church History and Baptist Theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Donald Whitney – associate dean of Christian Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Jon McIntosh – planter/pastor, Christ City Church (Memphis, TN)
  • Alvin Reid – professor of Evangelism, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Bill Streger – planter/pastor, Kaleo Church (Houston, TX)
  • Bruce Ashford – Dean, College of Southeastern
  • Micah Fries – lead pastor, Frederick Boulevard Baptist Church (St. Joseph, MO)
  • Owen Strachan – instructor of Christian Theology, Boyce College
  • Drew Goodmanson – CEO, Monk Development
  • Mike Anderson – Director, The Resurgence
  • Greg Thornbury – Dean of School of Theology and Missions, Union University
  • George Robinson – professor of Missions and Evangelism, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Phil Newton – planter/pastor, South Woods Baptist Church (Memphis, TN)
  • David Sills – Professor of Missions and Cultural Anthropology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

TOM ASCOL

Executive Director of Founders Ministries, Pastor of Grace Baptist Church Cape Coral, FL

As you look around this website you will discover that a new church planting network with PLNTD’s distinctives is an idea whose time has come. It is exciting to see what God has been doing over the last few years in stirring up a renewed commitment to establishing new churches across North America. We rejoice in every effort to spread the gospel of Jesus. 

Our desire is to see PLNTD become a helpful part of this movement by providing opportunities for gospel-centered churches that are confessional, missional and Baptist to cooperate in starting churches that carry that same spiritual DNA all across the United States (and beyond, if the Lord wills). If this kind of vision resonates with you, we would love to have you participate. Visit the website often for updates and announcements of ways that you can link up with other pastors, church-planters and churches as we unite our efforts in planting churches for the glory of God. 

Be sure to read Tim Brister’s opening series of articles on the blog. He gives a great overview of the rationale and vision of PLNTD. Thanks for taking a look around! We would love to hear from you. Use the contact form if you would like to touch base with us directly.

NATHAN FINN

Assistant Professor of Church History and Baptist Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, blogger at Christian Thought & Tradition and Between the Times

Though various polls indicate a substantial minority of Americans profess evangelical Christianity, our nation remains a significant mission field. Millions of Americans are not only unchurched, but they have limited access to gospel-centered, evangelical local churches. This is especially true in urban centers, in less populated rural areas outside the South, and among many first and second generation immigrant communities. Someone must engage these people with the good news and attempt to establish healthy local churches among them.

Fortunately, many churches are catching a biblical vision for church planting and church revitalization. While I appreciate the work of many denominational missions agencies and nondenominational church planting networks, the most effective church planting is initiated and implemented at the local level. To that end, I am grateful for the emergence of the PLNTD Church Planting Network among churches that are confessionally reformational, methodologically missional, and distinctively Baptist in their polity and emphases. I am hopeful that PLTD will assist Baptist churches in planting hundreds of new churches and provide a “village green” where church planters can network together and sharpen one another for the sake of the gospel. I pray the Lord richly blesses this initiative and inspires similar church planting movements among gospel-centered Baptists and other evangelicals.

TREVIN WAX

LifeWay editor of TGM (Theology-Gospel-Mission), author of Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Good News in a World of False Hope and  Holy Subversion: Allegiance to Christ in an Age of Rivals, and blogger at Kingdom People

Church planting is the key to fulfilling the Great Commission in the United States in the next generation. The key to effective church planting is networking. PLNTD provides a splendid model of how church planting can and should be grounded in the cooperative efforts of local churches with a vision for reaching out with the gospel. The existence of PLNTD as a nimble network of like-minded, gospel-centered, confessionally-based churches with a vision for missional living is an encouraging development. PLNTD seeks to be active on both fronts of the church planting movement: promoting a vision of church planting among local churches, and helping to train and support church planters. I pray the Lord’s blessing will be upon this new initiative!

PHIL NEWTON

Senior Pastor South Woods Baptist Church, Memphis, TN, author of Elders in Congregational Life

Serious church planters never stop digging. PLNTD offers fertile soil for digging into useful resources, helps, insights, and networking for church planting. I’m excited that this kind of easily accessed resource is available for not only church planters, but also church planting churches. I gladly recommend it!

DANNY AKIN

President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, leader in the Great Commission Resurgence movement in the SBC

PLNTD is a church planting network that is gospel centered and theologically driven. They desire to plant faithful Baptist congregations that will reproduce themselves and extend the kingdom of King Jesus. I and grateful for their passion and vision.

ALVIN REID

Professor of Evangelism at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and author of 15 books and numerous essays

The United States has become one of the largest unchurched mission fields on earth in my lifetime. In 1900 there were 27 churches for every 10,000 people in the US; in 2000 there were only 11.  PLNTD represents a vibrant, biblical, effective platform to help every church become a church-planting church. I am grateful for the work of the PLNTD team and look forward to learning more!

GEORGE ROBINSON

Assistant Professor of Missions and Evangelism at Southeastern Baptist Theology Seminary, former director of church planting equipping with E3 Ministries, assistant editor of Global Missiology Online

The concept of church planting has garnered much attention over the last decade, and rightly so. This is likely because church planting is the most effective means for impacting lostness in the world. But mere pragmatism is a hollow and insufficient basis for kingdom work. Christ honoring kingdom expansion is scripturally based, theologically sound and local-church focused. That is why I am thrilled about PLNTD. Rather than jumping on the bandwagon of personality driven pragmatism, PLNTD is developing a network of healthy, reproducing, gospel-centered churches that are interested in making King Jesus famous and expanding His Kingdom.  Whether you are a pastor and are wrestling with how to become a church planting church, or you’re a planter in the throes of working out your calling, I commend PLNTD to you. The PLNTD church planting network understands what it means to sow abundantly, water faithfully and trust our Sovereign God to grow His church.

BILL STREGER

Lead Pastor of Kaleo Church, Houston, TX

It seems that church planting is all the rage these days. New churches are popping up all over the place – urban, suburban, and rural. This is a very good thing – there is no more effective way to reach more people for Christ than through the multiplication of new churches.  Far from there being too many, we need thousands more all across the nation. Not only that, but there are new church planting networks forming across the country as well. There’s a distinct need for churches to work together to provide support, coaching, resources, and stability for this growing number of new churches. I think church planting networks are going to play a key role in the next generation of the church in America. I’m grateful for them – especially the few that I am privileged to be a part of.

That’s why I’m particularly excited about the new PLNTD network. While there are a number of great networks out there, PLNTD is uniquely positioned to play an important role in the advancement of the Great Commission in our generation. Grounded in the unique identity, rich history, and robust theology we share as Baptists, PLNTD will provide the context, resources, and connections they need to form a movement of new churches that will shape the spiritual landscape of our nation for generations to come.

BRUCE ASHFORD

Dean of the College at Southeastern and professor of Philosophy and Intercultural Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Church planting matters because God is a missionary God. Indeed, He commands us in Matthew 28: 18-20 to make disciples of all nations. Baptists often have heeded this call, and yet the painful truth is that in our own country God’s gospel is not clearly, consistently, or comprehensively displayed.

The task of our churches, therefore, is to create and implement a missiology that will enable us to preach the gospel, make disciples, and plant churches in an increasingly diverse array of American socio-cultural contexts. We must plant churches that are sound in their doctrinal foundations, contextual in their cultural forms, and aggressively missional in their orientation, intent upon crossing cultural and linguistic boundaries.

For this reason, I am grateful for the PLNTD Church Planting Network, which has emerged as a grass-roots network of confessional and missional Baptist churches. I hope and pray that God will use this network in the formation of a cascading chains of churches planting churches, and of church planters sharpening and assisting other church planters.

STEVE CHILDERS

President and CEO of Global Church Advancement (GCA) and professor of Practical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary

We’re facing a very serious problem in the world today. Never has there been a time in history when there have been more churches and more professing Christians. And yet despite the remarkable spread of Christianity, spiritual darkness, cultural, and societal decay are reaching unprecedented levels both in the US and globally. Christianity has lost sight of its historic roots by often believing and proclaiming a privatized, pragmatic, gospel that rarely results in the discipling of a town, city, region or nation through: 1) authentic Christian conversions, 2) radical, holistic discipleship and 3) significant societal transformation. That’s why I’m so excited about the emerging PLNTD Church Planting Network. Bottom line: PLNTD is radically committed to starting, growing and multiplying a different kind of church: A “Gospel-Centered” church—one that focuses its ministries primarily on reversing the sinful effects of the Fall (guilt, personal corruption and cosmic corruption) through: 1) evangelism, 2) discipleship (spiritual formation), and 3) societal transformation. PLNTD also shares a Kingdom vision for the spiritual, social and cultural renewal of communities, regions, nations and the world through starting, growing and multiplying churches by the power of the gospel in word and deed. That’s why I highly commend and recommend the PLNTD Network.

TONY MERIDA

Lead Pastor of Imago Dei Church, Raleigh, NC and author of Faithful Preaching and Orphanology 

Throughout the evangelical community, there seems to be a growing emphasis on church planting.  I’m thrilled about this movement. We desperately need an army of some of God’s choice servants to enter the front lines of church planting around the world, particularly in major cities. I dream of seeing a wave of Gospel-centered preachers move to New York, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Jakarta, Kiev, Paris, London, Tokyo, Mexico City and other influential places (including small towns).

If we are to see the nations rejoice in Christ and treasure him as Lord and Savior, we must plant churches. Peter Wagner said, “The single most effective evangelistic methodology under heaven is planting new churches.” The church belongs to Jesus, represents Jesus, and proclaims the good news of Jesus. Therefore, I’m in favor of any network that focuses on starting healthy, local churches rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. PLNTD is one of those networks. I commend them to you, whether you are pastor considering how to make church-planting part of your missions strategy or a church planter looking for support, fellowship, or theologically-driven insight.

JARED WILSON

Author of Your Jesus Is Too Safe, Abide: Practicing the Rhythms of the Kingdom in a Consumer Culture, and Gospel Wakefulness: Treasuring Christ and Savoring His Power, blogger at Gospel-Driven Church

Church planting can be a lonely endeavor, even for those planting with teams. On top of that, there is so much information out there, so many experts and gurus competing for the planter’s attention, the whole process runs the risk of moving from ox-like work led by the Spirit to some kind of puffed-up entrepreneurial enterprise for the architecturally ambitious. This is why I’m thankful for Tim Brister and PLNTD. What a blessing to see the promise of a network that cuts through the network clutter, that does the sorting of gems from dust so planters and planting teams can put their hands more fully to the crux of their mission: heralding the gospel. I am grateful for PLNTD’s focus on idea exchange in the context of relationships, sifting out the valuable deposits of resources for church planting, and placing the spotlight of the burgeoning evangelical church planting movement not merely on individual planters but where it belongs: on the local church.

MICAH FRIES

Lead pastor of Frederick Boulevard Baptist Church

In a era in which para-church organizations and movements seem to have multiplied exponentially over the past few decades, it can often be easy for the primacy of the local church to be diminished in our Kingdom work. It is with that reality in mind that I find two strong reasons to be excited about the formation of the PLNTD Network, both of which revolve around the centrality of the local church.

First, and maybe most importantly, PLNTD requires that local churches take responsibility for planting other local churches. While other methods have, at times, worked, I am afraid that any method to advance the Kingdom of God that operates outside of the framework of local churches planting local churches has the potential to diminish the Biblical responsibility of the local church as the locus of God’s Kingdom work on earth. We are in a time when that needs to be elevated and not diminished.

Furthermore, I am encouraged by PLNTD and their commitment to local church planting efforts as the means of deploying the Gospel. Instead of looking to any variety of other methods to push back lostness and advance the Kingdom, PLNTD is using the method we find most often in the book of Acts, that being the establishment of local churches. I am convinced that the biblical pattern for Kingdom growth centers around embracing the Gospel, growing together in biblical community and serving on mission together with that community. That process can only happen effectively in the context of the local church. PLNTD is advancing this biblical cause and process, and I cannot help but be encouraged by that.

OWEN STRACHAN

Instructor of Christian Theology and Church History at Boyce College and coauthor of the Essential Edwards Collection

What do you need to plant a network of God-honoring churches?  A number of things come to mind.  Gospel fidelity?  Check.  Trust in a sovereign God?  Definitely.  Vowels?  Not so much.  The folks at PLNTD, working from historic orthodoxy and the rich Baptist tradition, realize all of this.  Emboldened by the mission of God as laid out in the pages of Scripture, they are committed to seizing the opportunities before us for confessionally driven church planting.  The present day is filled with gospel networking, cross-pollination, and connectional leadership.  PLNTD represents a welcome mingling of these strands.

The church–and Baptists more particularly–has experienced great health and harvest when Christians imbued with confidence in an awesome God stepped out in faith to attempt great things for Him.  With many others, I am praying for this new work and asking that in the Lord’s kindness, it will surprise us, even as movements of past centuries have done.  We don’t need vowels for the task before us–but we do need young leaders, great faith, and much prayer.

JON MCINTOSH

Pastor/planter of Christ City Church, Memphis, TN and director of Rethink Mission

The PLNTD leadership have it right – in today’s online world, if you want your message to spread quickly, you don’t force users to download it from one central server. Instead you create pathways that foster the creation of a true peer-to-peer network. Then the message goes viral – spreading quickly and organically – like fire.

As the old denominational model (the central server) gives way to new peer-to-peer networks (churches planting churches), the church of Jesus Christ is poised to again multiply rapidly like it did in the days of the Roman roads.

And though many churches may already currently dot our American landscape, what is so needed in our day to aid renewal is actually new churches. More churches. Gospel-centered churches. New communities made up of the born anew who realize their calling as missionaries, working as change agents in cities, boroughs, towns, villages, and country-sides across this planet. We need churches of every size, stripe and style, giving birth to more new churches of those freshly redeemed, birthing a movement for the glory of Christ.

And the gospel will roll on – spreading quickly and organically – like revival.

DONALD WHITNEY

Associate Professor of Biblical Spirituality and Associate Dean of Christian Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, author of six books including Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

The great British Baptist preacher of the 1800s, Charles Spurgeon said somewhere, ““If there is no church . . . should you not commence one?”  There are so many places in North America where no church exists.  Moreover, as someone who has traveled to nearly every state, I can testify that there are many cities where tens of thousands live and there is no church where the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached. There may be “churches” there, but each is a “church” in name only.  The Bible is not preached in them; Christ is not proclaimed; and the gospel is not declared.  Someone needs to “commence one” in such places.  I am so encouraged by appearance of the PLNTD network and its burden to plant churches that exist to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.  If you share this burden–and how could any Christian not share such a burden?–I urge you to consider participating in the work of PLNTD.

DREW GOODMANSON

CEO of Monk Development and co-founder/pastor of Kaleo Church, San Diego, CA

It is exciting to see what God is doing through PLNTD.  As someone who has been involved in 6 church plants in San Diego California I’m passionate about seeing new works started that reach the unreached, create disciples at a deep level and release people to start new church communities.  There is something amazingly healthy in the process of churches planting new churches.   I pray the PLNTD would reorient many away from a place of comfort to the missional tension created in starting new churches.   It’s exciting to see God’s call on a new generation of church planters to radically pursue the Great Commission in creative and Spirit-led ways.   May God be glorified in the pursuit of this new work.

MIKE ANDERSON

Director of The Resurgence

There are two kinds of Christian men:

1. Those who are pursuing God with everything they’ve got
2. Those who aren’t

We have a tremendous problem—most of the men in Christ’s Church are in the second group. I appreciate PLNTD because they are raising the rally cry to the largest denomination in the states—it’s time to plant God glorifying, mission minded, doctrinally sound churches. To do that we need men. We need men who will call their churches to mission and reach their cities with the glorious good news of the Gospel. Jesus is alive, and the miraculous resurgence of churches that are reformed theologically, missionally minded, complementarian in relationships, and Spirit-lead is testament to his resurrection. God please bless the work of these men.

GREG THORNBURY

Vice President for Spiritual Life and Dean of the School of Theology and Missions, Union University

At the turn of the 2nd Century, Pliny the Younger, governor of Bithynia-Pontus, recorded his observations about his interrogations of the early Christians during an intense season of state-sponsored persecution.  More than anything, he seemed to be taken aback by the resiliency of the movement.  He saw the Church for what it was: a relentless tide that couldn’t be turned back.  “For the contagion of this superstition,” Pliny worried, “has spread not only to the cities but also to the villages and farms.”  Pliny was right about the Gospel: it is an ever present danger to the principalities and powers of this age.  And if we are keeping in step with the Spirit, we will long to see the Church making new advances for Christ “in cities . . . villages and farms.”

Every year as I meet fresh waves of incoming students for ministry, I am humbled by the returning confidence of God’s people.  These young men want to plant churches. But they want to do so in ways that are theologically faithful and ecclesiologically thoughtful.  That’s why I am thrilled to know of the good work the PLNTD network is doing in providing a community for those wanting the divine “and”: faithful doctrinal focus AND missiological praxis.

DAVID SILLS

Associate Professor and Faye Stone Professor of Christian Missions & Cultural Anthropology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, author of Reaching and Teaching and The Missionary Call

In a land dotted with churches, it could seem counter-intuitive for an international missions professor to encourage that which facilitates planting more churches in the United States. Yet, the core call of Christ to make disciples and teach them all He has commanded us is still a deep need for our own culture and there remains a deep need for church planting within the United States. These churches must must be faithful to New Testament guidelines for sound ecclesiology, recognize the culture in which we live, the contexts in which we minister, and the complex tasks of the mission to which we have been called. The vision of the PLNTD Network intentionally addresses these deep needs with a perspective of biblical fidelity. While there are many great organizations that are working to meet these needs, the task is so great that the need for others to step up is equally great. PLNTD seeks to do just that, walking alongside other individuals, churches, and partners to facilitate a “missionally focused and distinctively Baptist” church planting network. The faithful attention to the Gospel, doctrinal heritage, and ecclesiology gives me great confidence in the PLNTD Network and leaves me both deeply grateful as well as in great expectation of how the Lord will use His servants in this way.

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