Leadership Theology

We Will Plant Churches

Southern Hills is not a rich church with a huge budget. However, we have determined to scrimp, save and spend ever dime we possibly can on planting churches around the world. We have helped to plant churches in India, Africa, Mexico, the South Pacific, Nepal, France, Italy and the UK. We have supported church plants in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. This year we are taking on for support church planters Anthony King to Hawaii, Matt Lahmann to St. Louis, Zeb Greenfield to Seattle, Micaiah Irmler to San Jose. Why is our little church in Las Vegas dedicated to giving away tens of thousands of dollars a year to plant new churches? Here are a few reasons:

Church Works

In Matthew 16:18-19 we see the Lord’s promise to bless His church. I have seen this blessing in the lives of hundreds of people. Couples that are on the brink of divorce are brought back together by the work of Christ through His church. Teenagers who are dangerously rebellious, men who are utterly frustrated, and women who are simply lost have all been saved by the work of Christ through His church. The reason the church will never cease to exist is because it really works.

The Church is Uniquely Blessed by God

Though there are many good ministries that are not local churches such as orphanages, publishing houses, camps, colleges, campus ministries, and homeless shelters – none of them have been uniquely blessed by God as the church has been. In Matthew 16:18-19 we see the Lord’s dedication to His church. It is the church that is the body of Christ on earth (Romans 12, I Corinthians 12). It is through these local churches that Jesus is able to interact with society. Though there will always be a small segment of loud, ugly, wicked and rebellious churches who attract the attention of the media and other scorners, the fact is there are hundreds of underground and under-the-radar churches that are doing the work of God in this modern world. The church has worked pretty well over the past two thousand years due to the obvious blessing of God. I think we probably need to start and plant a bunch more.

Church Planting is Fun

Alright, I know that some of you are much more spiritual than I am and are a bit upset that I might consider anything in life… fun. Sorry! The fact is I can’t think of many other things that are more fun that planting a new church. It’s terrifying, yes! It’s exhausting, yes! It’s awesome, totally! Right now I am thinking about my friend Matt in St. Louis who yesterday had their first Sunday. They had 85 people in attendance and one person was saved! I know that this past Sunday at Southern Hills was amazing, but part of me wanted to be there when this new church came forth and presented itself to the world. Church planting is AWESOME!

Yep, at Southern Hills we are going to support as many of these plants as we possibly can.

Have you ever been involved in a church plant? Tell me about your experiences? Is there a better way than starting new churches? Please Comment Below:

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  • Reply
    September 9, 2013 at 9:44 am

    When we first started at SHBC over 5 years ago, one of the reasons we were being led to attend, is that Southern Hills was still in it’s infancy of being a church plant. That drew us because we wanted to be a part of that! We wanted to experience the joy, fun, & excitement of church planting. Sometimes it’s easy to become complacent or apathetic to things of God, but in a church plant or supporting a missionary, you can experience the fruit of labor ie: City Light Baptist having their auditorium packed & reaching a lost soul! It’s encouraging & invigorating to think in some way we had a part in that! Which brings me to my final thought – we are thankful for SHBC (and many other churches worldwide) having the vision and conviction to support church planting 🙂

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      September 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      Lita – You and Kelly have been a huge blessing since arriving at Southern Hills! We must never stop planting churches around the world.

  • Reply
    Steven Miller
    September 9, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I enjoyed the service so much last night. The Skype calls to those church planters was so inspiring. It was awesome to see how God is using Southern Hills to encourage and support pastors and new churches in America. Later that night I thought to myself that maybe one day we would be Skype calling my son who would be planting a church somewhere. My wife and I are open to whatever the Lord has for Marcus, but it was just a cool thought. I support the thought of this blog and I believe we need to start churches.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      September 10, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      Pastor Marcus! I like that sound of that! One of the things that we forget is how the next generation will continually be in need of new churches with new ideas and new methods. I’m thankful that David Teis and the good folks over at Liberty were willing to step out of their comfort zone to plant Southern Hills nine years ago. The over 600 people that call Southern Hills their home are indebted to Liberty Baptist. We must do what they did and step out in faith and plant new churches!

  • Reply
    Jimmy Gilbert
    September 9, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Bro. Josh,

    This is a blessing to me. The Lord has burdened our heart to plant a church near Indianapolis. I believe now more than ever people are hurting and looking for hope that only Jesus can offer. I’m really excited to see what The Lord will do! Thanks for your passion for church planting.

    Jimmy Gilbert

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      September 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      Jim – It was so cool to talk with you in person today. I am thankful to know that you are going to be a church planter and I look forward to watch the Lord open the doors necessary for this new work to begin! Remember the 2 things I shared with you (after having a heart that is right with God):

      1. Increase your Knowledge
      Read as many books as you can on church planting and church growth. Of course the Bible! But also the many other books that we talked about. Get them. Read them! They will inspire you, and instruct you.
      2. Expand your Network
      Be bold and meet as many other pastors as possible and ASK FOR SUPPORT! You’ll never get it unless you ask.

  • Reply
    Chris Waye
    September 9, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    What a great blessing! You are exactly right, and we share your same desire as we plant churches in London. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      September 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Chris – That is wonderful! Heather and I love London and have had the opportunity of being there twice. God bless your efforts!

      • Reply
        March 11, 2017 at 2:29 pm

        Toucndowh! That’s a really cool way of putting it!

  • Reply
    Linette Winsler
    September 9, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    I can’t think of anything more fun than being a part of planting a new church. I praise the Lord of allowing me to be part of the church since it started. It’s such an awesome thing to watch how the Lord has blessed Southern Hills and is growing the church.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      September 10, 2013 at 4:31 pm


      I think this whole thing is your problem anyway! You told me the first month of the church that you had been praying that the Lord would start a new church near your home. I blame you for everything that has happened at Southern Hills! 🙂

      Heather and I love you dearly!

      • Reply
        Jaclyn Palmer
        September 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm

        I love it!! I love that Linette gets the “blame” for the prayer foundation of our church!! Who better than the sweetest example of a faithful and godly woman?? Every church plant needs a Linette to Blame!!
        “A Blamer” should be on the prayer list of Every new Church Plant. 🙂

  • Reply
    April Acker
    September 10, 2013 at 9:51 am

    I am so excited about our new church plant, City Light Baptist in St. Louis!! We really felt the Lord working on Sunday and even though we were physically very tired (we didn’t really feel it because we were loaded up on caffeine and adrenaline), our spirits were on cloud 9!! I am certain that the Lord is really going to use this church and Pastor Lahmann to reach this city for the Lord. We are having A BLAST!! =) We have been SO blessed already and it’s only week one!

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      September 10, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      April – I think it is amazing that you and Nathan are part of that new plant! You are going to be such a big blessing to them as I know they will be to you. There is such a wonderful thing about being in on the ground floor and watching a church blossom around you. Matt and Jenni are dear friends of ours and we love them so much. Happy for you all! City Light Baptist Forever!

  • Reply
    Daniel Hester
    September 10, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Josh, do you have any criteria that you use when determining whether or not to support a church planter in the states? One of the concerns I have is we have so much emphasis on church planting that we neglect to work to strengthen existing churches. This is especially concerning to me when someone starts a new church in an area with several churches already in existence. I’m all for church planting but in general, think we need to be smarter about it and not forget about the numerous weak churches that are out there right now.

    PCC ’03

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      September 10, 2013 at 4:43 pm


      I absolutely agree. We believe in a two-pronged approach, right. Plant new churches and strengthen the older churches. However, the natural lifecycle of a church is to be born, grow, thrive and die. Churches will die. Where are the churches in Corinth, Ephesus, or Sardis? Some churches are able to live longer than others because they are able to adapt, reorganize, change and grow again – they experience revival. Not all churches will experience this revival and therefore will die. According to Barna and other Pew polls we are closing more churches than we are opening. Frankly, some of these churches need to shut down because they are unwilling to do the things necessary for them to experience revival and growth. This may sound harsh but it is true. In doing so, they will open the way for new churches to be planted. What do you think?

      • Reply
        September 11, 2013 at 12:38 pm

        Josh, I probably agree with everything you have said. The only thing I would add is that before we dismiss established churches as destined to die, we do due diligence as to what the true problem is in that church. Is it leadership? Followship? Lack of resources or lack of help in ministry by the members? I ask these questions because I became the Pastor of a struggling church 9 years ago. The church had been without a pastor for about 18 months and prior to that, the previous 3 or 4 pastors had been there a about a year each. When I took that church, I had a small group of people, a nice building, property and no debt. Most likely if I were to “start” a new church in our area where there are 3 Baptist churches in a county of 30K, I would not have had any of those things. I believe there are plenty of areas where solid Bible believing churches are desperately needed, but I also believe that there are times where it is more prudent to use resources that are already present and build and fix what is already there instead of trying to start from scratch just because.

        • Reply
          Joshua Teis
          September 11, 2013 at 2:27 pm

          WOW – This is really well-stated! Thank you for opening my mind to this truth. It reminds me of what my friend Cody Kuehl did in Grand Rapids. He left a position in our thriving ministry to reach out and pastor a dying church with only a few members left. after only a few years of love, prayer and HARD WORK the Lord has brought revival to that church once again. It is thriving, growing and powerful. Someone like me would’ve likely said it was ready to die and we should let it, but a young man of vision, Cody Kuehl, saw the need and took the lead. Thank you for this comment

        • Reply
          Daniel Hester
          September 11, 2013 at 3:19 pm

          Sorry for the anonymous post. I didn’t fill in the form info.

          Thank you,

          Daniel Hester


  • Reply
    Neil Hocker
    September 10, 2013 at 10:40 am

    When we started Anchor in Modesto we endeavored to love people no matter how they took our advice or discerned our counsel. Some did well some disappointed us but we chose to love them each time. We also decided to teach Gods Word and leave the results up to Him. I will admit that this has led some of the people away from our church, but it has also led people to stay in our church.

    Church planting is fun but if I could talk someone out of it I would. If you are talked out of it, it is because you were never called to begin with! It’s hard work and worth every second of blood, sweat, and tears you’ll pour into it!

    Also we chose to go with preaching over programs. Far too often I am concerned that a church thinks they have to jump through so many hoops to reach people when The Lord just wants us to use His Word! You keep them with what you won them over too! Preach the Word an love people! That’s the best advice I can give!

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      September 10, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      Neil – I am honored that another church planter, as yourself, would comment on this post. thank you! You give so much counsel here and it is greatly appreciated. Thank you my friend.

  • Reply
    Edwin Lugo
    September 10, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Pastor Teis,

    It has been exciting to watch and learn from Southern Hill from afar, as I current live in North Carolina. The Lord has called me and my family into church planting and we are currently doing some deputation, but hope to be in Wilsonville, Oregon (a suburb of Metro Portland) by 2015. As a matter of fact, your dad’s book, “Hope For My Hometown” was one of the first books I read after feeling the Lord leading us to church planting. We are filled both with excitement and sheer terror! However, we are excited to see the Lord build His church.

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