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How Church Planting Has Changed

By New Churches Team

Things Change

Some things in church planting have stayed the same over the last 30 years, but some things have changed. Some of those things have simply evolved over time. For example, you used to be able to send out a 50,000 piece mailer and have 200-300 people come to your church. You used to be able to start a church using a telemarketer. It used to be controversial to not put your denominational affiliation in your name. Now that is pretty commonplace.

Thinking missiologically about our context means things change over time. Consider: What’s different now? What’s still true? And how do we take the unchanging gospel into that changing context?

What Was Wrong

First, using teams been considered the best way to plant churches. But often, those teams end up forming their own community and don’t reach the community. People are desperate for relationships, so when the team goes into the community, they start hanging out with each other and build deeper relationships. But because they are building relationships with each other, they don’t have the desperation of not knowing anyone to be forced into taking steps to build community with those they don’t know. Even though this is a challenge to overcome, you can do it. But you have to be intentional about forming relationships outside of your team.

Secondly, bigger is not always better. Formerly, it was thought that you had to have multiple staff and have multiple services to be successful. If you weren’t big, then you weren’t stewarding your resources well. But, if we think about all of the lanes that it requires to reach different kinds of people, bigger is not always better. You do not have to be a celebrity pastor. Be willing to be bivocational and put in the work to reach people and engage your community well, even if it is on a smaller scale.

Things That Are the Same

Church planting is reinvented in people’s minds every ten years or so. But many things are still common. There is still a desire to build relationships with people and share the gospel. You still have to think about ecclesiology, structures, etc. But the missiological questions do change as the culture becomes more secular.

Adapted from the New Churches Q&A Podcast Episode 503: How Church Planting Has Changed. Click here to listen to more to church planting, multisite, and multiplication tips.


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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