An Interview with Pastor Corey Bane
This article appeared in the Volume 18, Issue 2, 2010 Issue of the Cultivator.
Pastor Corey Bane was called of God to pastor the Grace Baptist Church of Delaware, Ohio, approximately fifteen years ago. God has now led him and the church to reproduce themselves by planting the Solid Rock Baptist Church of Bellefontaine, Ohio. This church had its Grand Opening on Sunday, April 25, 2010. There were 127 in attendance that first Sunday. Seventy-four people came from the area, and fifty eight were first-time visitors. They also received a $1,300.00 offering in their first service. Below are excerpts of an interview of Pastor Bane with Dr. Earl Jessup of Baptist Church Planting Ministry. This interview is a heart-to-heart talk of the entire process of this church plant.
What did you mean when you said that it is not enough to reach our Jerusalem and the uttermost part of the earth, but there is a Judea and Samaria that needs to be reached? In Acts 1:8 it says “both in.” We are to reach all these at the same time. The Judea and Samaria areas are often missed in our programs. We often have great soul-winning and missions ministries, but this area is often neglected. The State of Ohio is ripe, and I believe we have a group of men who have caught a vision for church planting. This has been a wonderful thing for us to unify behind a common cause. I believe every community needs a good, gospel preaching church.
What would you say is the difference between your burden for church planting and the average pastor? I believe God gives divine appointments to bring us to different levels or areas of our ministry. As a pastor, I realize it is my responsibility, and I do not think planting one church is enough. God has used you and others to burden my heart and show me this great need.
How important do you think it is to have the new church planter serve in your local church before you go out and plant the church? Brother Frost moved his family here and has been with us about fifteen months. I believe this is the way to do it if at all possible. This gave us the opportunity for us to work together on this church plant. If we are going to do it right, it takes a sacrifice and a commitment to the man and to that new church. This is a great time of mentoring and teaching the philosophy of how churches plant churches. Brother Frost was able to gain experience in our church ministry by sitting in on staff and deacon’s meeting, and seeing an entire year of ministry carried out in our church. This was also a time for us to get to know him and make sure he was the right man for this new work. This also gave our people the time to knit their hearts with the Frost family and rally behind him when it was time to start this new church.
What do you mean that your church has a Church Planting ministry? I do not just want to tag on another ministry to our bulletin so we can say we have more ministries, I believe biblically the importance of it. Jesus Christ gave His blood and died for the local church, the local church is important to Him. And I believe that birthing new Fundamental Independent Baptist churches is important to Him. We must invest to that what we believe is important to Him.
Brother Bane, your church runs 400–500 people, of course you can start a church, but what about someone pastoring a smaller work, what would you say to them? I believe any size church can do this. This can be done through budgeting in their missions program and to do this “on purpose.” I regret that I was not exposed to the importance of church planting when I was running a hundred. I believe that Ephesians chapter four teaches us that pastors are to perfect the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. I believe work helps our people to grow. No matter our size, we mature our people in the ministry because we teach them about the work of the ministry. Church planting helps our people to use the teaching they receive in our churches. This has been nothing but good for our church.
If a pastor told you that he was going to do this, “Where do I start,” what would you say? Baptist Church Planting Ministry has been a huge help for me particularly. Your ministry is a wealth of information. I believe your ministry can help local churches, but I also believe this is the pastor’s responsibility. It is our job as a local church to reproduce ourselves. Pastors need to use the resources of Baptist Church Planting Ministry. Secondly, they need to get around men who have done it. Also, get involved with a church that is doing it. We took up people to Vermillion for a John and Romans distribution. Then we went to Wooster to the Get-Acquainted Meetings. You do not have to do this alone; there are resources to help you. Over forty churches helped us through this process, with offerings, physical work, supporting the services, and support for Brother Frost. You are not alone in doing this.
What is the greatest impact on your church family? One word, “unity.” Everybody was able to get involved in at least one aspect of this church plant.
Some men will say that I don’t have $30,000.00, so I don’t have to do this. What would you say? I didn’t have $30,000.00 set aside either four or five years ago. When we decided that church planting has as much of a biblical mandate as foreign missions does, we took a portion of our missions budget to be used for nothing but church planting. This does not take money from missions because church planting raises more money for missions through the new works. An average church plant will cost about $10,000.00 and about half of that can be raised with the support of other churches, making only an investment of $5000.00 for the reproducing church.
What is your advice for other pastors? Take the challenge to be burdened for church planting. You will only be rewarded for it. It will be a growth process for you, and it will only help your church.
What is your perspective of the Get-Acquainted Meetings on the community? The blessing of churches getting together to help with the week of Get-Acquainted Meetings is that when the community comes, there will not just be three or four people there. These people do not know the songs, and they may feel out of place. But they walk in off the street, they see many people who are friendly, there is a sweet spirit, the music begins to play, it is very comfortable for even an unsaved person to sit and enjoy what we enjoy week in and week out. That is the idea of church planting; doesn’t every town need a church like we have? It lets the community see what type of a church this new work will be in the future.
How did your church cut the cord? It is definitely an emotional experience. As I turned the church over to Brother Frost and went and sat down, I felt like I had given birth. I felt like a parent with a little bit of pride and “look what has just been born.” Also, I looked at it as a new baby child; look at the precious gift God has given us. We cut the cord when about six weeks prior, we made a motion in our deacons meeting to take certain motions to the church in regards to this new plant. We then brought these mo- tions to a church business meeting were I read those motions and our church then voted unanimously that they believed we were doing what God wanted us to do. These motions were then read to the Solid Rock Baptist Church as we turned the work over to Pastor Frost.