Saturday, August 29

Top 10 reasons the church planting movement in North America is in trouble:

10. The population in the US is growing rapidly. The church is growing -- but slowly. We're in danger of "too little, too late."

9. On a whole we're unfamiliar with how churches are planted and are growing in Asia, Latin America, and Africa during an era when much of the population growth in North America is related to immigration from Asia, Latin American, and Africa.

8. We've created a costly Cadillac model for church planting. Cadillacs are great cars -- wonderful ride but they aren't the most fuel efficient and they don't turn on a dime. Success is too closely tied to the growth or health of the economy.

7. Mere mortals (and certainly laypeople) dare not consider the church planting call. Church plants can only be carried out by highly trained and gifted special opts leaders -- or so is the perception.

6. There are too many church planting consultants ("coaches") and professional seminar presenters with a vested interest in keeping the process complex.

5. Much of the energy in our new churches is inwardly focused -- survival is still the primary objective -- even in new churches. When we mobilize people it is to volunteer in the ministry of the local church. (How many new churches are sending out missionaries? How many new churches think of themselves as a missionary force?)

4. Most of the new churches I've studied are failing to engage the mind and clearly lack a holistic approach to spiritual formation. "We have great small groups."

3. The churches we're starting all tend to look, sound, and feel too much alike. The graphics and the sermon message outlines all seem to come from the same three or four cookbooks.

2. We think of church planting as a movement rather than as an integrated ordinary daily part of church life and mission.

1. There are still church planters who think that top-10 lists are cute. :-)


Pastor Bud said...

So Brad, How are you addressing these issues at MasterPiece?

Pastor Bud said...

BTW, we're praying for you!

Sean Meade said...

7 - not only is it the perception, but it's reinforced by many selection and training programs

6 - great point!

4 - sgs, in the wake of Willow Creek, have become the least common denominator of spiritual formation/discipleship

Brad Boydston said...

Bud, take a look at the core values at I don't have a detailed plan but I'm hoping to develop an ethos that will allow the plant to develop somewhat organically.

brad/futuristguy said...

I find this a fascinating list, Brad. Thanks for posting it! As a sometimes church planting team helper, CP strategist-consultant, systems designer and yadda-yadda, my main reaction is this: When the NorthAm-o-centric "gas guzzler" CP paradigm finally exhausts its steam in the face of changing global realities, CP skills and gifts still have many uses to make a difference in people's lives.

So -- when their prior methodological models are obsolete -- what if those Formerly Known As CP SuperHeroes used their gifts and organizational abilities for the Kingdom by doing a little local neighborhood/community development instead? That might make missional sense in an in-between hybrid world on its way to full-fuel-efficient no-gas models ...

Other Brad [aka futuristguy]