Thursday, February 23, 2006

20 things to do while you’re not multiplying churches

Here's a great post from Steve Addison at World Changers on why we’re not seeing a church planting movement in the developing world to the same degree we’re seeing in the global south.

If this observation is true... then
we need to find something to do while nothing’s happening.
This is so good it's bad,
or is it it's so wicked, it's good.

Here's the post.
Here’s 20 suggestions of what to do while we’re not multiplying churches.

1. Call yourself an apostle. Have some business cards printed. Hand them around.

2. Throw lots of money at subsidizing unhealthy, declining churches.

3. Throw money at “experimental missional initiatives” and never evaluate their effectiveness.

4. Set goals for multiplying new churches but don’t make it clear who is responsible.

5. Make someone responsible but don’t give them any real authority, discretionary time or sufficient funding. Change the appointment every two years. After ten years, save money by retiring the position and making everyone responsible.

6. Appoint a committee to undertake a study and write a report for the leadership group. Wait three years, then do it again.

7. Hire a consultant to undertake a study and write a report. Wait three years then do it again.

8. Appoint the wrong people to plant churches. When they fall over say, “Church planting doesn’t work.”

9. When you see a healthy church plant say, “Yes it’s growing but it’s not really a Reformed/Baptist/Assemblies of God/Presbyterian/Methodist/New Vine/etc (choose one) church.”

10. Require pioneering leaders to be theologically trained before they can plant a church.

11. Throw your best leaders at your biggest problems, not at your greatest opportunities.

12. Watch pioneering leaders exit your movement and comment on their lack of commitment.

13. Reward pioneering leaders with promotion. Get them away from the front line. Harness their drive to keep the institutional wheels turning.

14. In the 1960’s change the word “missions” to “mission”. To usher in the new millennium change “mission” to “missional” . Around 2010 plan to change “missional” to “postmissional”.

15. Agree to plant new churches when: (a) You’re large enough (b) You’re healthy enough (c) You have the leaders to give away (d) You have the money to spare (e) God has clearly shown you it’s time (f) When the cow jumps over the moon (g) Any or all of the above.

16. Run workshops on church planting. Hold conferences on church planting. Offer a course at your theological college on church planting. Do nothing to follow up the people who show an interest. Make sure only experts like me get to teach. Keep the practitioners away from the students. Keep the students in the classroom.

17. Grow your church, its facilities, staff and budget as BIG as you can. Let your vision stop at your car park. Let church history end with you. Let the Kingdom dream die.

18. Set ridiculous but catchy sounding goals like 500 in 5 years, or 2,000 by 2,000. Three years after the target date expires set new goals. Don’t forget to change the dates!

19. Modernize your theology then PostModernize your theology. Remove evangelism and church planting from the centre of God’s mission in the world. When decline hits make sure the paid professionals are the last to feel the pinch.

20. Lastly, set up a blog on church planting. Link to other bloggers on church planting. They link to you. Add smoke and mirrors.


michael lewis said...

Most churches suck. Totally irrelevant. And usually irreverant. Not to God, but to life. Assuming many things of people that are simply not true. Out of touch.

What's all this business about "planting"?

Why plant more if you can't even grow what you've already got?

The Righteousness of God said...

I would both disagree but yet agree with blogger Lewis' comment above.

DISAGREE: Because 'Churches' are NOT buildings; they are a redeemed creation, a people, who are now Holy as they are found in Jesus Christ. We don't suck. We were purchased with an enormous cost.

AGREE: The way we act as and in the church 'SUCKS'. It does suck to be us when we attempt to do things God never asked us to do! (activities such as a ridiculous list posted). Watchman Nee calls this 'righteous flesh'. God dispises this as much as the acts of a carnal rebellious unredeemed creation. Why - Central to both is the root of Rebellion and Disobedience. Sounds like original sin eh?

There are times, that the church chooses to operate outside of Jesus. When we walk in obedience, the church will be successful in every regard. So take the noble man- made programs of church club and shove it - replace it with God centered obedience! Let God do the work.

pastor mike said...

See my next post for some further observations on churches that "suck"... and that is the reason for "planting". I think there are times when a church culture is so dysfunctional / self-absorbed / unwilling to be what God calls the church into being for, that the only real solution is a new church. But having said that, there are too many church plants that are planted for the wrong reasons. Too many churches that are about us than about God; about me than about the world around us for whom God sent his Son for.