Why shouldn’t everyone plant a church?

Well, this is an interesting take on the whole church planting
thing.

According to
this
article
, everyone should plant a church. Bob Hyatt claims that there
are two schools of thought on church planting. In my words, they are
these:

  1. It’s only for the elite and super-gifted because it’s really that
    hard.
  2. It’s really hard, but with God all things are possible.

He claims that no one needs any special “call” or “vision” to plant a
church. They just need a heart to love people and see people come to
faith.

He also claims that failure is to be measured by how loving we were to
the people God brings us and not how long the church survives.

Finally, he claims that following the denominational practices and
methods like raising a lot of money first and all that isn’t worth the
effort.

My Response

Interesting claims, but I have to disagree a little. God’s goal for this
world is to build a family of people committed to his Son, and the
fracturing of this family into innumerable subgroups that don’t talk to
each other has been quite detrimental to the cause of Christ in this
world. If everyone just up and started a new church, this fracturing
would continue.

My feeling is that everyone should consider themselves a minister doing
the work of care, support, and evangelism, but that we don’t need a ton
more churches.

You might think this is strange coming from a church planter, but it is
the truth. I only have two reasons to be church planter:

  1. I’m convinced that God has called me particularly to it.
  2. I’m passionate to use the platform of a new church to develop a
    healthy network among all the Christians in Lafayette.

The people in Lafayette (and elsewhere) don’t need new churches as much
as they need vibrant, healthy Christian communities accessible to them,
caring for them, and welcoming them.

I believe that God should call church planters to the work, and that the
vast majority of believers should be working on enriching the spiritual
health of themselves, their local church, and their
neighborhoods.

We wouldn’t need to start new churches if the existing churches were
doing their job of mobilizing house churches, developing leaders, and
doing ministry in the neighborhoods.

I mostly agree with his definition of failure except that I cannot
believe a healthy church will die unless the community surrounding it
also dies. In other words, church health and church longevity go hand in
hand with church growth and church reproduction. It’s just like an
organism. Health always brings about growth, reproduction and
longevity.

Finally, I am so thoroughly thankful to God for the church association to
which I belong. The leadership in our “denomination” is absolutely rock
solid in line with the Bible and God’s passion for this world, and I love
being a part of it. We can do more together than when we are alone. And,
why not use the basic tactics of marketing, advertisement and big launch
events if you are reaching unbelievers who will respond to
that?

I’m always bothered when someone talks about some “method” as being
better than some other method. Methods are just that. methods for
acheiving an end. Granted, some aspects of some methods are inherently
unethical. But in most cases, the method is only bad if it fails to
accomplish its goal. Set a good goal, maintain good morals, and the
method can be anything you want it to be.

Check out my message on planning in my “Rebuilding” series. It’s called
After We
Say Amen
.

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