It’s no secret that church planting is hard work. However, what needs to be discussed is how much of that difficulty comes from pushing against conventional wisdom. Whether it’s the way we’ve always done things or the popular opinion of the moment, too often, we let our preconceived notions dictate how we plant churches.
But what if we challenged that conventional wisdom? What if we were willing to think differently and take some risks in order to see churches thrive? In this blog post, we’ll explore ways to do just that. We’ll look at why breaking away from the status quo can be so difficult and offer specific suggestions for church planters ready to challenge convention. Are you ready to think beyond the cookie cutter – one size fits all style of church?
Why we need to challenge conventional wisdom in church planting
The bottom line is effectiveness. Too often, we fall back on conventional frameworks that give us the feeling of comfort and familiarity. Still, they don’t always accurately capture the full reality of what’s actually happening in our communities.
We need to find and embrace new strategies, processes, methodologies, and approaches to spark and sustain church planting movements. This means challenging “the cookie-cutter” ideas about church planting to achieve more effective results. By doing this, we hope to reach the unchurched populations with the message of Jesus.
The typical church plant model
There’s no question the standard church plant model has been effective in the past. It’s served the Christian community the world over by providing strong pastoral leadership, the ability to connect with worshippers in meaningful and deep ways, and the continued spreading of the Gospel message.
Unfortunately, the world has changed drastically, and many church planting models no longer produce desired outcomes. Much of the growth is transfer growth rather than the desired conversion growth. Remember, the Gospel message remains the same, but the method of communication, connection, and delivery must change if the Church is going to remain relevant in society today.
How to plant a church that is relevant and engaging
Planting a relevant and engaging church requires creative thinking in an ever-changing culture. We tend to stay in a comfort zone once we find “a formula” that gets butts in the seats. If you don’t change, you will plateau and eventually find the church in decline. The reality is: cool and hip are no longer what brings people to a church, but instead, it’s about community, meaningful connections, and finding the truth for their everyday lives.
Creating an environment that allows for authentic conversation around matters of faith, integrating worship experiences with practical life application, and creating intentional connections for spiritual growth are all key elements in developing an engaged congregation. These components promote an atmosphere of relevance which keeps the church from becoming stagnant. It is essential to establish a connection between the established traditions while still being open to new concepts as they become available. The goal when planting a church is not just to have large attendees but to actively engage with people and make disciples who are growing spiritually.
Case studies of churches that have challenged conventional wisdom successfully.
Church services have historically been reasonably predictable, but there are some out-of-the-box initiatives being taken by churches that challenge conventional wisdom.
It’s time for a change. Our standard church planting model is not working, and it’s time to try something new. People are looking for a relevant and engaging church, and if we want to reach them, we need to plant churches that meet those needs. There are many benefits to this new approach. By taking a closer look at some churches that have already challenged conventional wisdom, we can see that it is possible to create successful congregations using this method.
There are a variety of different and innovative ways that churches have been planted in recent years. Some examples include:
- Planting churches in nontraditional spaces, such as bars, coffee shops, or even office buildings.
- Planting “micro churches,” which are small groups of people who meet in homes rather than traditional church buildings.
- Planting churches in urban areas, specifically targeting young adults and millennials.
- Planting multisite churches, which are churches that have multiple locations.
- Planting “missional communities” are groups of people who come together to live, work and do mission together in a specific area.
- Planting online churches, which use technology such as video conferencing and social media to connect with people.
I hope this article spurs you to dream again and seek God for His will for your church. There is a much work to be done. Let’s find ways to accomplish the missions… even if it’s something we have never tried.