I get asked “why a new church?” a lot. I think what drives the question is a sense that a new church means more fragmentation; a sign of division rather than coming together. It’s a fair question. What I’d point out though, is that only 14% of New Englanders attend religious services with any regularity. We aren’t looking to steal from that small fraction of people who are already involved in a church, but to learn how to serve the 86% of the people who aren’t being served.
Another way to think of it is by comparison to the restaurant industry. We wouldn’t really want a town where all the restaurants have gotten together and only serve one menu; when a new restaurant opens it adds to the diversity on the restaurant scene and improves the picture for everyone: other restaurants become better and more creative for having more restauranteurs in the area, eaters get more options and variety and a better experience.
We want every human being to belong to a community that is shaped by the Gospel and that exists for the glory of God and the good of our neighbor. We believe that starting a new church is the best way to bring the Gospel to a community. The Gospel is the good news that God has entered into his creation in Christ to restore what is broken. The local church is the tool God uses to bring about this restoration because, God who is perfectly Other, became local and present in Christ. The local church brings this infinite Gospel into our particular realities. As we start to believe the Gospel it changes everything from the way we live as neighbors and friends, to the way we parent our children, to how we interact with the world at large.