Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Models of Church Planting

Start from Scratch - A church planter and family move into a new location to start a church from scratch. There is great risk, but there is also reward. This approach is not for the faint of heart and requires a person particularly gifted in personal evangelism, and great personal sacrifice. Advantages of this approach include flexibility, and the ability to reach otherwise unchurched people.

- An existing church or church planting organization (mother) provides the initial leadership and resources (money and/or people) to get a new church (daughter) started. This includes the selection of the church planter. Often the church planter is selected from within the organization and already agrees with the vision, values and beliefs of the sponsoring organization, or has been employed with a view to planting. The existing relationship allows for a close working relationship between the “mother” and “daughter” churches. Although the new church is autonomous, the sponsoring organization often has significant influence in the new church (including decision making during the pre-launch phase). Advantages often include increased financial resources and the ability to draw core team / launch team members from the sponsoring organization.

House churches
- Small groups form and multiply via a network of people meeting in homes. In some cases, the individual cells are connected in a larger network that meets together periodically in a large group setting. This relational model focuses on personal growth, care and teaching through one-on-one and small group discipleship. Groups are birthed through multiplication, and, often die, only to resurface months or even years later. This model requires very little funding.

- An existing struggling church decides to bury the old and plant a fresh new church. The restart may or may not be at a new location and may or may not be with the same leadership. The resources of many older stagnant churches are a good way to bring new life to the community being served.

- This is not really a church planting method, but nonetheless is the agency through which many new churches occur. A split typically occurs when competing groups conclude there is less energy required to “split” or “divorce” than to resolve differences and reconcile. The underlying factors causing the split often develop over years. In many cases, the dysfunctional character traits of the old church carry forward to the new churches.

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