The normal response to discussions about church planting is something like this:
A. ‘We already have plenty of churches that have lots and lots of room for all the new people who have come to the area. Let’s get them filled before we go off building any new ones.”
B. ‘Every church in this community used to be more full than it is now. The churchgoing public is a ‘shrinking pie’. A new church here will just take people from churches already hurting and weaken everyone.’
C. ‘Help the churches that are struggling first. A new church doesn’t help the ones we have that are just keeping their nose above water. We need better churches, not more churches.’
These statements appear to be ‘common sense’ to many people, but they rest on several wrong assumptions. The error of this thinking will become clear if we ask ‘Why is church planting so crucially important?’ (more here)
The following article was passed on to me by Clive Craigen and it’s worth the read. Check it out:
New study confirms that we go to church much less than we say.by Bob Smietana | posted 05/02/2006 09:30 a.m.
From Christianity Today.
Did you go to church this week? That’s the question that Gallup pollsters have been asking Americans for more than 75 years. And each year since 1939, about 40 percent of those polled have said yes. (The actual question: “Did you yourself happen to attend church or synagogue in the last seven days?”)
That doesn’t mean that, on any given Sunday, 118 million Americans (40 percent of the population) will actually be in church. According to sociologists who study religion, the actual number of people in church each week in the United States is significantly lower than the Gallup Poll indicates. Just how low is a matter of some debate. More here
Partnership on Church Planting Class between Grace Theological Seminary and Grace Brethren North American Missions
Course Title: Seminar in North American Church Planting (MI 700)
Description: This seminar introduces the student to the basic understanding and skills necessary to start a congregation in any North American cultural context. It takes the student from call through self-assessment to reaching and bringing together a group of 25-75 individuals committed to being a church. A separate training track is planned to train developmental pastors to take a congregation beyond the 75 barrier through developmental pastoral ministry. Informed by David Garrison’s concepts of church multiplication, it seeks to train church-planters to form new congregations aggressively and rapidly with a dependence upon follow-on pastoral church developers. Some attention is given to participants who desire to pursue a founding pastor model as well. Students will be expected to engage the experience both intellectually and spiritually with significant encouragement given to building spiritual community within the class and Work Groups.
Date of Class: August 14-18, 2006
Three hour course credit from Grace Theological Seminary if accepted into the program.There is also opportunity to audit the class if graduate credit is not desired.
Check out the following page with interviews of students from the last class and more here
For registration questions contact Jessie Schroder, Grace Seminary Admissions Coordinator at 1-800-544-7223, extension 6413 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Our GBNAM missionary Ron Boehm recently got me behind a microphone and recorded some thoughts about church planting. I shared a bit about radical transformation, evangelism and gave three key ideas for anyone thinking about planting a church.
Check out the following link HERE
Because of a variety of reasons, the Evangelists Gathering 2 has been postponed until the fall. Stay tuned to my blog for breaking information.