We’ve been sharing our plans for planting a church in West Jakarta for awhile now within various church gatherings, but like relationships and pregnancies that must be posted on Facebook, it’s about time that we announced it publicly on the internet.
This month we celebrate our fifth year as a church; I have had the privilege of having a front row seat to watch God so faithfully and steadfastly transform people in our church. I can also say with all honesty that I’ve received so much of the faithful and steadfast love of God as I’ve been learning how to pastor HMCC of Jakarta.
So as HMCC of Jakarta continues on this journey, we joyfully- and fearfully- are making plans to plant another campus of HMCC of Jakarta in the Grogol area in September 2015.
Why are we planting a new church in Jakarta?
We have to start with the Bible when it comes to why we believe we should plant another church. The church is an institution that God created and authorized to carry out Jesus’ “great commission” to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 16:18-19, 28:18-20).
In the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit led Jesus’ disciples (sometimes voluntarily, sometimes not!) to places outside the city of Jerusalem to proclaim the Gospel. When people received God’s salvation, local churches were founded. It was Paul’s common practice to do this in cities and/or regions throughout the Roman empire, and then train up members and appoint leaders (elders) for these churches.
Therefore, our vision to “multiply churches in campuses and cities to transform the next generation among the nations” is fueled by what we see in the Scriptures. As well, our mission “to transform lost people into Christ’s disciples who will then transform the world” expresses our desire to obey the Lord Jesus’ “last battle command” and be a faithful and fruitful church.
This task of making disciples can only be completed through the ministry of the local church, which is the God-ordained community that preaches and teaches the Word, baptizes new believers, observes communion, and practices accountability (ehem, see the reference to the “Essential Church” sermon series I’m preaching through now).
Practically speaking, Jakarta has approximately 10 million people dwelling in the city proper and 28 million people in its metropolitan area, as well as more than a dozen universities. This great potential “harvest field” is another reason why we’re planting a new church here (and hopefully more after that!).
There are many people in our city whom God will call to follow him. Therefore, more churches are needed for the work of proclaiming the Gospel and making disciples out of God’s people. We believe that God has called us to do this here and we want to be faithful in fulfilling our small part in God’s Kingdom.
Recently there has been a growing number of members from our congregation who live in various parts of Jakarta and are involved in our Jakarta Focus (working single adults) LIFE group. Many of them have a 45-60 minute commute to Karawaci for Sunday celebration, which makes it hard to connect people from their workplaces and neighborhoods with our church.
So over the last couple years that we’ve been considering the possibility of planting a new church in Jakarta, we decided that a critical marker that had to happen beforehand was growth in the Jakarta Focus LIFE group. This means not only numerical growth, but also spiritual maturity in people, a culture of biblical community, and disciple-making in members’ circles of influence.
Another critical marker for planting a new church was pinpointing which university God was leading us to reach out to. After learning about some possible campuses and discerning the Lord’s will (through prayer and discussion), the pastoral team and executive team decided to begin at Universitas Tarumanagara (UNTAR) in West Jakarta.
Almost a year ago, Pastor Eric moved to West Jakarta and began going to the UNTAR campus, sharing the Gospel, and building relationships with students there. Last month, we started a brand-new student LIFE group at UNTAR, with the hopes that this will be a multiplying biblical community for students to love God and each other, invest in relationships, develop faith in Christ, and enjoy life together.
What will the next steps be for this church plant?
We want to wisely follow the Holy Spirit’s lead in this endeavor, so we have to hold onto our plans loosely; at the same time, we believe God has given our pastors and coordinators the ability to collectively discern his will and plan with boldness. With that being said, here are our tentative milestones preceding the launch of the church plant in September 2015.
September 2014: Start communicating our plans for the church plant. We will address “frequently asked questions” on a forthcoming blog post and page on our church website. We already started our pilot student LIFE group at UNTAR.
January 2015: Coordinate church-wide prayer and fasting for the church plant during One Desire Fast. Present support-raising (e.g. finances, prayer, etc.) initiatives.
March-April 2015: Form “church plant team” and “core group” for the Grogol campus.
- The church plant team will be our “Swiss-army knife” leaders, taking the point for whatever needs to be done and leading our LIFE groups and ministry teams. The church plant team will be formed by the Pastoral Team and Executive Team. Candidates will be invited and asked to pray through a decision to join. However, persons interested in possibly serving in this way are more than welcome to inquire with the pastors.
- The core group will be the HMCC of Jakarta members who explicitly transfer their membership from the Karawaci campus to the Grogol campus. They will be the active members of the new church, embodying the church’s vision, mission, values, and strategy in LIFE groups and ministry teams. The core group will be formed on a voluntary basis after a call-out meeting.
May-September 2015: Prepare final logistics and training for the church plant team and core group before launch.
Finally, join with me in praying for the health of our current church and the raising up of radical disciples in both Karawaci and Jakarta. Let’s be a church that is a light to all the different parts of our great city!