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Acts 16:6-40 — Church Planting in Philippi

THE P.E.A.C.E. Plan

P – Plant Churches

Acts 16:6-40

1. Why Plant Churches?

Tim Keller offers the following ideas in his Church Planter Manual… I’ve added a few items to his list:

1. The Great Commission Points to Church Planting – “Go … make disciples … baptize” … “baptizing had to do with the incorporation into the life of the church

a. What kind of church? Acts 2:42-47

2. Paul’s methodology was urban church planting. He actually went and planted the Gospel, and out of that came a church, in which he established leaders and then moved on to the other major cities to do the same.

a. He went to the largest cities and planted (See Rom. 15:19, 23)

Practical Wisdom

1. We aren’t keeping up with the growth of the population.

  • Population has quadrupled since 1900 but the number of churches has increased only by 50%
  • Churches are dying regularly
  • Many of the churches that are planted are not in the greatest area of need: 20,000 churches are needed in NY.
  • Many churches that aren’t dying would help by dying because they aren’t preaching the Gospel.

2. Younger adults are disproportionately found in new congregations.

  • Why? Traditions are more suited for the older generation.

3. Newer congregations reach new residents better.

  • Why? They tend to have an easier time to rise to leadership than in if they attended an older church.

4. Particular social groups are better reached by new churches: minorities, immigrants, internationals, particular work force (either blue collar or white collar) often find it hard to fit in existing churches because there is a cultural already formed.

5. Dozens of studies confirm that the average new church gains most of its new members (60-80%) from the ranks of people who are not attending any worshiping body, while churches over 10-15 years of age gain 80-90% of new members by transfer from other congregations. This means the average new congregation will bring in 6-8 times more new believers than an older body of the same size.

  • Why? Because most of the resources of a church plant are targeted toward unchurched people rather than pleasing the church constitutency. And new believers beget new believers.

“The single greatest evangelistic methodology under heaven is the planting of new churches.” (Peter Wagner)

2. What is a good biblical example of church planting?

1. A New Vision: A Spirit-Directed Call (16:6-10)

  • Sensitivity to the Spirit
  • The Spirit tells Paul not to go to North (16:6–8). “Prevented”
  • The Spirit tells Paul to go West (16:9–10).
  • Sensitivity to the Lost
  • Sensitivity to the Mission

2. A New Church: New Converts/Members in Philippi (16:11-40)

  • Lydia (16:11-15)
  • A Slave Girl (16:16-24)
  • A Jailer (16:25-40)

3. What Can We Learn About Reaching People?

Racially Economically Spiritually Ministry Approach
Lydia Asian Wealthy God-fearer Words
Slave-Girl Native Greek Poor Spiritual turmoil Deeds
Jailer Roman Blue Collar Practical & Indifferent Example


  • Bobby

    Hi Tony… I know this question might seem to miss the point, however, I’m simply curious as to your thoughts. How do we know that the “slave girl” actually became a “convert/member” of the Philippian church? The text doesn’t seem to indicate one way or the other. Again, just curious as to why you would count her, along with Lydia and the Philippian jailor? Thanks for your time.