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April 5, 2016

5 Important Values For New Churches Today

By Drew Hyun

The message of Jesus is timeless and true, and the gospel is indeed unchanging news for today. At the same time, our world is constantly changing, and the church lives in the delicate tension of adapting the presentation and incarnation of the gospel in this day and age.

With this said, I would like to submit five important values for new churches in our changing world today.

Urban

We need churches wherever there are people, and the increasing trend is that people are flocking to cities. Today, 50% of the world’s population live in cities, and by 2050, the projection is that 70% of people will live in cities.

Even if a church is located in the suburbs or in rural areas, it can make efforts to partner with urban church planting and revitalization efforts in order to reach more people.

In New York City (where I live) the population has continued to rise in remarkable fashion. I’ve heard numerous times from people that “I love visiting New York but I could never live there.”

A wide swath of people disagree with the statement about not wanting to live here, as people are moving to New York (and other cities) in droves from around the country/world.

More people in cities means we need more urban churches.

Multi-ethnic

Not only is urbanization real, but globalization is too. Cities are attracting people from all over the world, and living and ministering in a diverse setting (whether our church communities are diverse is another matter) is now the new normal.

In the United States, the population will be more than 50% non-anglo by 2060. In cities, this multi-ethnic reality is even more pronounced.

This presents an extraordinary opportunity to live into the Ephesians 2-Revelation 7-every-tongue-tribe-and-nation vision today, in our time.

In the United States, some might believe that the center of our Christian faith resides in the West as an Anglo-European faith. However, the Christian movement is now centered in the Global South.  

Jesus is truly Lord and Savior of all nations – and the multi-ethnic composition of our churches and leadership can reflect this as much–if not more than–the neighborhoods we live in today.

Spirit-filled

It seems strange to say this is a value, especially since it’s a clear command in Scripture to “Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).

However the reason being Spirit-filled is a value for new churches is because many Protestant churches are often more centered around “Father, Son, and Holy Book” rather than “Father, Son, & Holy Spirit” (this is a phrase taken from New Testament Scholar Dr. Gordon Fee).

I believe the ministry of the Holy Spirit is often overlooked or underemphasized because so much of our Western, Protestant approach to faith has been based on evidence (apologetics) and theology.

While these modern approaches to the modern world are necessary, so is the longing for a faith that is experienced today.

The ministry of the Holy Spirit is one in which we experience God’s power and presence in day-to-day life. So we need churches that continually champion a more conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit–a life that is naturally supernatural in its love for faith, theology, healings, and miracles.

Ultimately, all of the above is Spirit-filled ministry.

Emotional Health

The rigors of vocational ministry are well-documented. Church planting accentuates these rigors due to its entrepreneurial challenges. Urban church planting accentuates these rigors due to the challenges of urban living.

For any church leader, finishing well can be a challenge. Church planters would be much better off if we focused on long-term health and longevity – even from the start.  

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality is necessary so that leaders can regularly live and lead out of a place of wholeness and vitality, rather than a place of depletion and burnout. This does not mean that we do not suffer or sacrifice–this simply means we live out of a fullness (John 10:10) that enables us for ministry for the long run.

The value of Emotional Health is so that the Two Great Commandments (Matthew 22:36-40) can be paramount in our lives–especially as pastors and church planters.

Missional

When the Two Great Commandments are grouped with the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), then Movement and Renewal can take place.

This is why we plant churches. This is why our churches become incubators for people to be equipped to take their faith to the world.

From May 17-19, 2016 in New York City, a church planting conference called the New City Gathering will take place to delve deeper into the five values listed above. It will be a time to learn, connect, and wrestle with others in how we can plant churches in cities around the world.

To learn more, see who’s speaking, and register, click here The New City Gathering.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Drew Hyun

Drew Hyun (@drewhyun) is a Church Planter and Pastor of Hope Church Midtown, as well as the Founding Pastor of Hope Church NYC, a family of diverse churches in NYC. He has spent the last 15 years living and pastoring in New York. He loves cities, ESPN, and naps, and finds it a restful Sabbath when all three come together. He resides in New York City with his lovely wife Christina and their son David. Drew is the author of no books and posts things from time to time on Twitter and Facebook.

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