Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Church Planting 101

This round up of posts from the blog over the past four years relates not to missional organic incarnational church per se, or what we are still becoming here, especially as we begin conversation and discernment on a new manifestation of our mission connected to moving, it is hoped, into the risk of our own bigger space that is in fact an old church building. But simply relates to the new contexts for those seeking to plant churches that are in the basic mode of church as it was in the 1960 to 2000 era. Pretty much it boils down to the one question: what outcome are you seeking to create?

Recreating new churches that are pretty similar to existing churches is not wrong; you meet people where they are, in many ways, and missional organic church isn't where a lot of people are who want to start a new church (though the process of trying to do that, lol, might turn a lot of them into missional organic church folks), but with the alignment of leadership, culture, and resources obviously it is still being done and can be done. Just know what you are up against, and what outcome you are seeking to create. In other words, is your goal to increase the number of church members by a certain amount in a given area over the next five, ten, twenty years, and have a paid minister? And how much are you willing to spend to achieve that? Or is it another outcome that will shape what you do?

At the General Assembly 2010 in Minneapolis, there were three of us church planters in a workshop: Joel Miller who had been with two plants and is in Buffalo now; myself with two plants including the current one; and David Owen-O'Quill who is planting at and through Micah's Porch in Chicago. You can order the CD of that workshop by going to the http://www.softconference.com/uua/slist.asp?C=3556 site and looking for Friday program 3014, Turning Your Congregation Inside Out: Growing Missional Communities.

From 2008, a post on what I ask people who ask me about church planting.

More questions from an earlier post, from 2006, along with responses I gave from back then, but gets to the heart of what questions to first ask before beginning church planting, from a conversation I had with a church that was starting up (It has since folded, due to the default mode of church it chose and the difficulty aligning leadership, culture, and resources.)

Above is the link from way back in 2006 about what I had learned by trial and error back then, having tried to start a modern church in a postmodern culture, a grassroots parachute drop into a fast growing suburb, thinking that having a theological niche would triumph. The link explains all the reasons it doesn't.

It is all about the alignment of Leadership, Culture, and Resources, as described in the post and others over the years here.

Here is wisdom gleaned over the years from Bill Easum put into one good long powerpoint. especially for denominational officials or anyone trying to do an attractional traditional church start. You can get to it and commentary at http://progressivechurchplanting.blogspot.com/2010/05/go-here-if-you-are-interested-in-church.html

And more from Easum on one of the two great movements within churches growing today, circa 2008 when I wrote this post: Church Planting Centers within Churches, and multi site congregations. This post focuses on church planting centers within churches.

Related to church planting but more widespread, creating a culture perhaps in which church planting might grow more organically among us, is the subject of these link in the post above that capture the UU church growth conversations in May in Denver.

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