Five-step church-planting strategy
When do you plant a new church? Where do you start?
Here's the strategy used in planting Gateway Christian Church in Walnut, California:
- Step 1: Develop relationships with the unchurched community
- Organize activities where churched people can interact with the unchurched (events such as
day hikes and picnics)
- Encourage the churched people to build significant relationships with the unchurched.
Train them on how to do that.
- Step 2: Organize large gatherings where the unchurched can remain anonymous
- Large gatherings allow the unchurched to check out Christianity. They can see what
Christians do and come to understand what Christians believe. For many unchurched, initial
anonymity is important.
- Step 3: Set up small groups
- Real life change often happens in small groups. Organize groups for Christians and for
those still seeking. Structure Sunday school classes to feel like small groups.
- Step 4: Discover gifts
- People who follow Christ need to discover their God-given talents, spiritual gifts, and
- Step 5: Put the gifts of fully-devoted followers to use
- Empower and "commission" people into serving the Lord in a ministry or area that is in line
with what they have discovered about themselves in the "gift" step. [
choosing an avenue of service ]
What's it take to launch a church planting movement?
It takes ten universal elements says David Garrison.
After surveying church planting movements around the world, Garrison concluded that the
same ten elements were present in every one of them.
The elements which Garrison listed in Church Planting
- Abundant gospel-sowing
- Intentional church-planting
- Building on Scriptural authority
- Reliance on local leadership
- Strong lay leadership
- Use of cell or house churches
- Churches planting churches
- Expectations of rapid reproduction
- Making church health a priority
In responding to Garrison's list, Doug Lucas says,
"Some of those are common
sense. For example, healthy churches grow faster than unhealthy churches... Duh!
"But the truth is, we seldom think proactively about all ten items comprehensively. And maybe
that's part of what helps a church to develop and grow -- thinking about doing it all right in
concert so that all ten cylinders are hitting in stride at the right time!"
Resources for planting a church
"'O Lord, there is plenty of money,
seemingly, for the great churches out in this part of the city. I would that Thou wouldst
give me some money to make a place for the Church of the
"Immediately, as though a voice from heaven, there were uttered in my very consciousness the
words, 'I have given myself to you.'
"I said, 'Thank God, that is enough! I would rather have Thee than all else, and with Thee, we
have all things.'"
F. Bresee, a principal founder, Church of the
-- Howard Culbertson,
More for you on church health
How should leaders respond when moral issues are at stake?
|What should leaders do when key people in
a congregation have unresolved racusn issues? [ more
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