Iíve grown up in the Quaker denomination; I have a new appreciation for my tradition, but Iím wondering why our numbers are so small. Since Iíve been part of the yearly meeting, I havenít seen much church planting. Iíve been part of a church plant: a slow, never really thriving church plant, though I did learn and experience a good deal during that time. I can only name a very few church plants that have taken.
At the conference many people commented that our tradition has so much to offer other denominations – so why canít we get it out there?
Sitting in some meetings at the conference, I heard folks talking about church planting. I figured if anyone would be on the cutting edge, it would be these folks. What did I hear?
ěI canít seem to plant a church: the boards wonít free up money for me.î
ěHow am I supposed to plant a church when I have to go through so much bureaucratic tape?î
ěIím doing a church plant: they gave me money and dropped me off in an area that they think needs to be churched. But it doesnít seem to be working . . .î
My jaw almost dropped: if Emergent is supposed to be so ěpost-modern,î then why are folks planting churches the modern way? Why do you need a board to start a church? Why not go into an area, begin to meet people, see if they want to draw together into a gathering, and seek further assistance when itís needed? Boards should be somewhat like grant foundations: they usually offer money for a one-time thing – something that will help out an already existing and thriving group.
ěRevolutionaries will respond to the presence and principles of God whenever and wherever possible, without regard to historical or societal inhibitions. The standard that concerns Revolutionaries is simple: does the mechanism provide a way of advancing my faith, without compromising Scripture or any of the passions of a true believer?î – Revolution 67.
Resources I think will be important for next-gen church planting:
Simple Church – the blog of Harold Behr
Organic Church – “Our goal is to partner with anyone grappling with the how to’s of being and doing church in an increasingly post-modern and post-Christendom context.”
Steve Addison’s blog – World Changers: On movements for the renewal and expansion of the church.
Forge – Missional Training
CMA Resources – Church Multiplication Associates