We are at a time where I believe the model for church planting needs an upgrade. What does that mean? In this fast paced ever-changing world, it seems to me the church is always a few steps behind. I think it is time for the church to keep pace with the times we live in. So, what does that really mean? For starters, decisions must be made at a quicker pace. Sometimes, church decisions take so long to make through the parameters in place that by the time an agreement is made, we have forgot what it is we were trying to do.
Church planting is varies by location as well. Many of the bigger organizations that do church plant assessments don’t take that into account. We should have learned our lesson when we the churches were trying desperately to be seeker sensitive and purpose driven like Saddleback. We should have learned our lesson when churches were building all the same types of buildings everywhere, especially as the church members are becoming older, they cannot climb the stairs to either enter the church or go down into the basement. The sanctuary is the most expensive space in a church building. It is used the least amount of time compared to classrooms and other areas of the church.
What is the answer? Multipurpose buildings with multiple services to accommodate working schedules. Single level buildings with chairs, not pews. Smaller venues for sure! Move small groups to homes and businesses if possible. Do more family ministries in order to keep families together and stop creating separation. Marriage ministry has to be a priority, meaning on an ongoing basis with weekly gatherings. Less is more in this day and age. Sunday morning services only in order to create an atmosphere of excellence. Weekly groups meet in houses throughout the community. visuals and signage.
Church planting should be so much easier in order to succeed. Try things that haven’t been done before.
- Start with 1 gathering and until that gathering becomes what it needs to be, then move into other arenas of ministry.
- Make sure you have the right leaders in place before launching.
- Focus on community ministry like a food ministry, a parent’s night out, small things that don’t cost a lot of $$ and can be effective.
- If at all possible, use a members house for as long as you can before taking on the overhead of a building.
- Office from home. Create an atmosphere of trust between the pastor and the flock.
- Reach unchurch and new believers. They are more willing to take risks with you.
- Unite with like minded churches, pastors, and organizations.
- Don’t take funding from an organization if you can’t meet the demands of it.
- Spend most of your time with God and with the people.
- Don’t ever think there are enough churches so you shouldn’t plant. The reality is there are a lot of churches that can’t reach the people God has called you to reach.
Stay In The Light, 1 John 1:7,