Updated: Feb 8, 2019
One of the common questions we get as church planters, and this is true of almost all church planters, is some form of the following:
why are you starting another church, don't we have enough of those?
While I can certainly understand the sentiment behind the question, there is a flawed premise that sits at the center of it. Tim Keller has written extensively on this topic through Redeemer City To City (an organization we are proud to affiliated with). One of the primary results of church planting that Keller highlights is that new congregations reach people who don't go to church at a far greater rate. Keller notes, "New congregations, in general, are forced to focus on the needs of its nonmembers, simply to get off the ground. Because so many of a new church’s leaders came very recently from the ranks of the unchurched, the congregation is far more sensitive to the nonbeliever’s concerns."
This gets to heart of why we—my wife, my team, and myself—are starting Ecclesia: we want to see people who don't know Jesus embrace the full life that he offers each and every person.
But to do that, we are going to have to ask different questions that are being asked. Notice that I said different, not better. I understand the fears of pastors who worry that new churches in their contexts will deplete their already finite resources. I have worked at an established church and been on the other side of this equation. But the Kingdom of God is not a zero-sum game. When more people find life in Jesus in a given area, the poor are served, education is improved, music, art, and beauty are crafted in new light, prisoners are treated as human beings, the elderly are visited. The things that truly count begin to add up.
For Ecclesia, we want to play our small part in this great story. We want to reflect the Kingdom of God in all of its mosaic beauty, as people from different histories, ethnicities, and tax brackets come together around the story of Jesus and find ourselves embraced and changed by it. We want to make life better for our neighbors in Princeton, we want to provide a home, a place to serve and grow, to university and grad students who are often here for a time and often feel very isolated, we want to be intellectually honest as we approach the Scriptures and humbly respond in self-giving love to those around us. These are reflected in our values:
We long for transformation, we want to see God's kingdom come in all of its peace and beauty right here in Princeton as it is in heaven. For us, the best way to do that is to be a church —a community of worship, table, and mission. If you're longing for newness like we are, join us.