By Message Staff
ALEXANDRIA – Surrounded by family and Louisiana Baptist state missions services team members, six church planters were commissioned on Jan. 20 during the first-ever service of its kind for church planters in the state.
The church planter commissioning service on Wednesday was for those who started a church since October 2015. Since then, 11 churches have been started in the state, including five in January. The goal for 2016 is to plant 30 churches in Louisiana, keeping in step with the goal to plant 300 churches by 2020. To reach that goal, 170 more churches will have to be planted between now and 2020.
John Hebert, missions and ministry team leader for Louisiana Baptists, said his team is engaged in partnering with churches, associations and other Southern Baptist entities to plant healthy, culturally relevant, biblically sound, multiplying churches that seek to fulfill the Great Commission.
“At the spearhead of this effort is the work of our Church planters,” he said during the commissioning service. “Today these church planters have come before this assembly to receive the blessing and commissioning and commitment of Louisiana Baptists’ support. God has called them to serve in places across our state, but they also represent the Louisiana Baptist family of churches and our Southern Baptist Convention in the places where they will serve.”
The service at the Baptist Building in Alexandria included scripture reading, a charge to the church planters, laying on of hands and a commissioning prayer. A reception followed the event.
James Jenkins, director of church planting for Louisiana Baptists, said after the service that they hope to make this a regular occurrence between now and reaching the goal of planting 300 churches.
“We want to create a starting focal point for these church planters as they are launched into the field,” Jenkins said. “And we want to make sure we have a time where we are not just looking at the mechanics of planting a church but celebrate a commissioning and calling on their life.”