CP Philosophy, Part 7: Independence and Church Planting Movements

1 05 2009

I think the autonomy of the local church is important: we are seeking to plant another church in Rancho Cucamonga, not a satellite campus of Grace Bible Church of Menifee. That church will need to “stand on its own two feet.” But should it stand alone?

Church planters must avoid two dangerous lines of thought: 1) Mine is the only truly biblical church in my area. 2) I am the only one who knows how to do ministry the right way.

If this kind of thinking develops, there are several dangerous consequences. Opinion alert: Regarding #1, it seems that church planters feel motivated to prove to everyone that there are no other “good” churches in their target area. In the process, they often shortcut the research process (lest they come across another “good” church). It seems that if a quick glance at the target area finds no “good” churches, there is no need to look further. Because this is a deputation gold mine: “There are zero good churches in this area.” That may be a deputation gold mine, but it is often not true.

I think we should relax. Suppose there are some other good churches in Rancho Cucamonga. It’s a city of 170,000 in an area of a million. Do I really need to feel the pressure to prove that my church is the only good church in town?

Regarding #2, the idea that I am the only one doing ministry the right way leads to all sorts of unhealthy behavior. It leads to a dangerous isolationism. It leads to pride. Much time is wasted reinventing every wheel necessary for church planting. Because I’m the only person who can do it right! Really?

Another quote (in my own words) from Pastor Robert Potter: “Churches need to reproduce like cells in the body: they multiply, then stay connected for strength and further multiplication.” He is not calling for blind ecumenism, nor am I. But I am very thankful for a group of godly pastors that I can fellowship with and work together with in Southern California.

If we are to see a vibrant church planting movement in Southern California, the next church plant in Rancho needs to stand on its own two feet as an independent church. But it must not stand alone. It must stand together with GBC Menifee and these other like-minded churches and pastors here in Southern California.


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22 02 2010
Redux: Church Planting Philosophy « L.A.Hope

[…] Church Strategic Cities Take the Risk The Right Support Churches Are Planted By… Independence and Church Planting Movements Attracting People The Church Planter The Facility Missionary Church Planting and Beyond What Really […]

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