Sunday, June 14, 2009

Arguments against planting a church

David Fitch says you don't go out these days to plant a church by providing a host of 'goods and services' in the way in which a church in the 'modern' era did. (I'm not sure that he's entirely right here: I suspect church plantings have always had to start small and grow the 'goods and services' in due course.)

He lists three things that people tend to say when they're arguing against being involved in a church plant.

1. My life (and my family's life) would be consumed if I went and planted a church with some other people. Notice the assumption that building a church is a 24/7 job: no rest, little sleep, no time for the family, no reading (for fun), no recreation and so on.

2. I will be leaving behind relationships and starting all over again.

3. There will be a leadership rift - people will get mad, break up things, leave us hanging out to dry.

Fitch has sensible and realistic arguments for each of these. Planting a church is a slow growth process, one where you live - along with other people you already know - in a community. It takes time to grow a church, just as it takes time to grow roses. No church starts up ready-made in a new community; or if it tries to, it's likely to fail quickly.

The relationships won't be left behind because you will be taking people with you who are already your friends, and the leadership (he recommends a leadership of three) will be mutually accountable to each other.

But read it in detail here (and read the comments and his responses too)...he puts it much better than my summary does.

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