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October 24, 2018

Discussing Church Planting on a Secular Podcast

By New Churches Team

Getting Involved

AJ Smith received an email from Eric Mennell asking if AJ would be interested in talking to Eric about appearing on the podcast StartUp to discuss church plants. StartUp is traditionally a podcast about starting businesses but wanted to look into the world of launching churches. After a little research, AJ recognized that the podcast was legitimate and decided to participate. Over the next four to five months, Eric visited AJ several times and recorded their discussions. Prior to the release of each episode, AJ had no idea what each episode would be about and until episode 2 released, he did not know that he would be the main subject.

A Little Clarification

Overall AJ said the experience of participating in the podcast was a positive one. The responses he and his church received have been mostly positive. AJ also did not experience any backlash from the church, because his members know him well. He provided an opportunity for a Q&A session with church leaders to ask him any questions they had about the podcast that had released each week. Many of the church’s current supporters reached out to him for clarification on certain issues, but they retained all of their supporters except one.

Because the podcast used a small percentage of the total recorded time between AJ and Eric, there are a few issues that AJ needs to clarify.

  1. AJ is not assessed through Acts 29. AJ is assessed through Converge and Orchard Group. Watson, AJ’s former co-pastor, was assessed through Acts 29, which is where the church gets their connection. That status is maintained for two years before it needs renewal. At this time, AJ is not planning to re-up his Acts 29 commitment.
  2. AJ’s thoughts on hell were not fully shared on the podcast. AJ explains that he was cut off in the middle of his thought and so what is shared in the podcast isn’t a complete representation.
  3. There were many moments within the podcast when AJ specifically said “within orthodox Christianity.” That phrase was cut out which made AJ appear wishy-washy. The truth is that AJ doesn’t have every single doctrinal issue pinned down, but he is still researching and studying within orthodox Christianity about those issues.

To read the next two points and the remainder of the article, and to watch the full video, click here.

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New Churches Team

NewChurches.com wants to help you build a strong foundation by connecting you with top experts in the field of church planting and multisite ministry, and by regularly providing you with the resources, information, and community you need to thrive as you multiply the mission of Matthew 28.


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