Church Planting Thoughts Part Two

Just some more thoughts….
1. One interesting comment from John Finkelde really resonated with me.
They have planted a new church every 3 years….That sounds do-able to me.
2. Another from Michael Bullard
Like produces like. What is our churches dna, values etc…within reason and creativity, we will likely produce something at least similar to ourselves. That does not mean it wont be different. But as a child is different and similar to their parents.
3. Unless we create ministry and leadership opportunities for young leaders, they will become young leavers….Some may say then that planting churches is a cynical exercise…not at all. In our own home, children grow up and need to lead…and create…for themself.
4. I am favouring, because it suits my dna, the idea of satellite churches. I have seen these work and produce results in Perth.
5. There are some exciting possibilites as I consider the spiritual and physical artery that is Beaufort St…..a church which is cafe culture, almost inner city, and at night…..
6. Without growth, our church will die…we need to consider this now, in our formative years, so it becomes part of our dna moving forward.
7. The senior pastor needs to set the agenda and make it happen. He needs to be a releaser, not a restrictor, and be confident and assured enough, that he can let good things go. He also needs to set the agenda, not have the church set the agenda for him. (yes I said that twice, it bears repeating)

4 thoughts on “Church Planting Thoughts Part Two”

  1. my concern with point 7 is that the process becomes the senior pastor’s vision and everyone else follows along. This is great while the senior pastor remains in control of the church, but when they leave (and they do) the church is left with somebody else’s vision and the new pastor inherits it as if it was originally theirs). this has the potential for long term journey on an old and tired track, with people years on, trying to remember how they got there in the first place.

    I think the vision for planting should come from the people ho are the church ad the senior pastor should facilitate the congregation’s passion and vision for the future. The senior pastor is doing a job (albeit an important job) but the congregation is the church in that place.

    practice principles of community, grass roots and bottom-up development and focus less on visionary leadership and you (generic “you”, not you – mark) will have a much more sustainable and engaged faith community full of people wrestling out the vision of God for them as a called-out people, instead of potentially a mob of senior pastor “followers”.


  2. We have been down this track before Matt. And neither of us are likely to change our views, and that is okay 🙂

    But in response to your points, more for those who read this, not so much for us….

    I have seen churches planted where there was one leader…who set the vision, and then released people into it.
    That seems to work, and seems to be working (and that is where I am coming from ) and therefore it is the model I am suggesting, and will go with.

    I have also seen the model work where one person stands up and plants a church, gathering folk around them, and releasing them into ministry and leadership. This sort of a leader is a pioneer, and often does not get support from other churches.

    But in my view, there needs to be one person who takes responsibility, and is released into the authority and creativity to be able to do that. You cannot hold a team accountable, and I believe in accountability.

    I don’t think the model you are proposing works, particularly in our culture. I dont think you can hold a committee/team responsible.

    Even in (so called) emergent churches which have worked, no matter what is said, it is obvious that there is one person leading. They may be a particularly consultative leader (which I am, and like being), but they lead….

  3. i guess what I hear when you say “it doesn’t work”, is that you don’t believe in the principles inherent in “community development”. These principles are the closest thing so far that I have found that faithfully embodies the leadership principles of Christ.

    So I guess in my framework, I would see a good senior pastor role as similar to that of a CD worker – someone who facilitates the unwrapping of potential within a group of people. The reason why this doesn’t fit well with the senior pastor role often modeled is that a good CD worker’s intention is to become unnecessary and obsolete as the people learn to manage themselves. This is the furthest thing from many senior pastor’s mind – and this is where things potentially hit the fan. A dependence on paid leadership disables true community development, and although it looks like “it works” in the short run, when that minister moves on to his/her next job, the dependence becomes evident and the people become paralysed as they cry for someone properly equipped to lead them into the promised land.

    As a senior pastor, if you are a CD facilitator – then you have my full support (not that you need it ;-). however, if you are building a system that cannot survive without you (or someone else paid to do your job) then I am convinced it is fundamentally flawed as a model of sustainable discipleship and holistic development.

    Oh and btw – lots of ECs have people leading them with a ‘Senior Pastor’ mentality, developing the same sort of dependence on them as some of the big churches – so it is definitely not my intention to slag big churches off and say the EC is where it is happening. Just in the EC there is sometimes more opportunity to have less dependence on a paid structure (out of there being no other option 😉 of leadership and people are left to hold one another accountable. At the core of all true community is a reciprocal accountability. This is something we are beginning to experience in our own community of believers, although it is a slow and fragile “one step forward and two steps back” kind of progression.

    anyhoo – keep the faith

  4. I totally believe in and practice releasing people into their creativity.
    I believe you need a person to take responsibility for leadership.
    But that person cannot be irreplacable to the continuing community of faith.

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