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Church Planting is the Work of the Whole Body of Christ

We believe the church is at the center of God’s plan to redeem the world. In the Gospel of Matthew, after laying his life down for his church, Jesus leaves his disciples with a mission that's far larger than them:

“Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.”

All nations - the whole world and every type of person in it. God’s vision for redemption does not stop with you, nor with your family and friends. God’s vision for redemption extends to the ends of the Earth, every soul and every street saturated with his love. Church planting cannot be the labor of just a few select ministers, nor is it the work of just the core sending team; church planting is the work of the whole body of Christ.
In case you haven’t heard, this year we, the Living Stones family of churches across Northern Nevada, are planting our 9th church! Yes, WE are planting a church. As a work of the whole body, we are co-laboring to saturate the streets and souls of South Sparks and beyond with the Gospel. Everyone has a role. So how are you called to participate?
“The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable..” (1 Cor. 12:21-22)

Living Stones, God has placed us together for this very work in our state.

"Church planting cannot be the labor of just a few select ministers..."

At Living Stones Sparks, our main sending church, everyone is being led to get engaged in our planting efforts through two key phases: First, what we call, “building” and secondly what we call the “sending” phase.
To continue with the body analogy, when a woman becomes pregnant, she might begin to take vitamins, change her diet, and put on some healthy weight (whether she likes it or not), all for the sake of nurturing and growing the new life within her. And so it is with our church. During the building phase our goal is to prepare to send 50+ individuals to the new church plant by bolstering Sunday ministries, multiplying Community Group leadership, increasing our overall giving, experiencing greater attendance and a stronger membership base. 

"God’s vision for redemption does not stop with you, nor with your family and friends. God’s vision for redemption extends to the ends of the Earth."

Some questions to consider in the building phase include:

  • Have you been attending on Sundays, but it’s now time for you to join a Sunday team and be part of the work?
  • Have you been faithfully serving on a Sunday team, but it’s now time to lead?
  • Are you part of a small group, but it’s now time to serve and lead to some capacity (hosting, organizing, discussion)?
  • Is it time to ask one of your leaders to develop you as a leader?
  • Is it time to join a small group?
  • Is it time to finally get to know your neighbors?
  • Is it time to invite someone to church?
  • Is it time to become a committed Covenant Member?
  • Is it time to give God a portion of the finances he gives you?
  • Is it time to give beyond your tithe, and support the new church plant?
  • Is it time to restructure your life and commit to prayer?
  • What other way can I contribute to building and strengthening the body of Christ?
After sending dozens of their key leaders, givers and culture builders, a strong and built-up sending church continues to thrive. New members have stepped up to fill in the shoes of those who have been sent and the church continues the ongoing work of the ministry, making many new disciples and leaders along the way. A reactive church-planting church finds itself in the building phase after the new church has been launched and the momentum has gone with it. A proactive church-planting church recognizes the vitality of the building phase and the dangers if they fail to build prior to sending. 
“ yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ…you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Pet. 2:5;9)

"The mission is big. Our God is bigger and he is worth it."

Living Stones, let us be built up if we are to send and be sent. Every brick, every stone. The mission is big. Our God is bigger and he is worth it. He has already given us his primary strategy, he has given us each other, he has given us the Church filled with his Spirit and he has given us his word. Church planting is a work of the whole body of Christ. Are you not a member, what is your role?

Visit the South Sparks Church plant website.
Give to this new work of God at
About the author: Prior to joining the Living Stones Church Plant Residency, Pastor Taylor Sexton served on staff at Living Stones Sparks for several years. He and his wife Caroline will spend 2023 preparing to plant Living Stones South Sparks in January 2024.