Volume 6 Number 2: Churching planting in the 90s Part II

(Cont'd from previous)

2. The content:

Option A: Planting an alternate public worship service (start a church that does church a little different to the existing churches in the area)

-It's relatively known territory
-It's easy to recruit peope (all the people who are negative about the existing churches/ways of doing church)
-You can generally get pretty quick results (at least at first)

-The church gathered its people because it was a new thing getting started. It has no intrinsic 'missionary edge' of its own.
-The vast mjaority of people attracted by this model tend to be Christians who either move into the area, transfer from existing churches or haven't been going to church for a long time
-There is no high 'felt need' for the average non-Christian to want to come to church - alternative-style or not
-It can tend to cater for Christian who have 'commitment issues'. Often these Christians just cycle through
-It takes a lot of energy to do this well (and you've really gotta do it well - see below). About 20 people are required to run a good public meeting. And they generally can't be the same twenty people every week, so you need 60-80 to sustain the rosters required.
-Even given a large core group, not all of the church will regularly committ to these rosters. As a result, the danger is for a committed core to wear out rather quickly. Not to mention there energy is being distracted from evangelism, community and so on.

-Have a comprehensive ministry model ('discipleship plan'). There are roughly 7 developmental stages we go through as we move from unchurched non-Chrsitian to active and commited mature Christian. We need to really think through how we are going to serve people well at each of these stages.
-You need a big team to start with. It is very hard to start with a team of 20 and grow beyond 50 peopel in size. The tendency is to reach roughly 50 members, and then to gradually decline again, partly due to the pressure mentioned in the 'CONS's above.
-Start in a good location. For example, regional areas will often respond well to this model, as they are keen to join in on community life events.
-Make the public meeting very very very user-friendly.

(2B Cont'd)