In Galatians, Paul says that the Jerusalem above is free and is the mother of us all. As we are seeking to receive the staggering growth of our church, we are wanting to do so with real wisdom and grace and honor. In Proverbs it says that the law of our mother is to be like a crown on our heads. This applies to sons and daughters in families, but it also applies to churches and church planting.
In a culture that does not honor motherhood at all, it cannot be surprising that this has affected our view of the Church and church planting. Our standards are incredibly low. So the goal of our additional services is to allow for all the additional growth while holding together as long as we reasonably can. This is not so we can avoid the good challenges of church planting, it’s so we can face them when we really are ready. The goal of parenting is not to keep children home forever, but turning a twelve year old loose on the world isn’t usually a good idea either.
Part of the way you know the modern evangelical church hardly understands the gravity of all of this is by the fact that it is relatively rare to hear an evangelical call the church “our mother.” But this is exactly what Paul does and what our Reformed fathers did. The Jerusalem above is free, and she is the mother of us all.
But it really is like a Sarah or a Mary. The Church all by itself does not have the power to conceive living children. But the Spirit poured out at Pentecost hovers over the waters of this New Creation, through the Word proclaimed and sprinkled and eaten, and our Mother the Church conceives children of promise, children like the stars of heaven. And that is worthy of great honor.