Something I have observed in American churches is that an emphasis on planting NEW churches benefits existing churches.
But in some parts of the world–I think Croatia is one of them–this is counterintuitive. Existing churches are suspicious of church planting, because they see the new church as a competitor. Here in Croatia, there is a history of “church planting” through church splits.
I’m not suggesting splitting existing churches. Instead, I INSIST that existing churches will benefit from intentionally planting new congregations.
The healthiest thing an established church can do is launch a new church. Why?
Because they will benefit beyond the resources (people, equipment, funding) that they “give away” to launch the new congregation. Because launching a new congregation forces the existing congregation to focus outside their own walls, outside their own membership.
Too many churches spend all their resources, time, and attention on maintaining their current flock. You can’t do that if you are launching a new church.
And an external focus, a focus on the needs of the community, the neighborhood, is a central aspect of church health.