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"DAVID MIERS is reported to be in the top 10 cage fighters in Gosford. He has some serious dish washing skills and thinks that Elizabeth Bennet is hot. Although he thinks that his wife Rowena is hotter. David works in youth ministry for a great church. Likes to: speak in third person, watch and play soccer, eat food and surf the web. He has never watched Star Wars."

Church Planting: GO or STAY

I think there are 2 key options for the planter of a church (this isn't from any books or anything... just observation). 1) GO and 2) STAY.

GO - with this model the church planter establishes the church and then after a short number of years (2-5?) leaves to plant another one. When they leave they either train someone up from within the church to take it over or someone external to the church is brought in to continue the ministry. This is a strong model if the planter is very good at establishing a church quickly and able to find/ a suitable person to cntinue the work. It means many people are reached if the planter can plant a church every 3 years. However, it might be quite hard on the planter and the stability of each of the churches.

STAY - with this model the planter establishes the church with the plan to stay there longer term (maybe even forever). In order for this to be effective in planting more churches and reaching more people it must be effective in sending others to keep planting churches. This model can be very effective if the planter is able to build a large church and continue to train others with the vision for church planting.

I like the stay model. I think it's more strategic. That is the model that the minister of our church has adopted and I think it means after 30 years of ministry in 1 church he will have been more effective than 30 years in 10 churches. All of this is written understanding that God is the one who gives the growth.

I've thought about this principle with regards to camps. I could keep starting more camps or I could stay leading the one camp and keep training people through it to start new camps. I think the 2nd option is better.

SERIOUS QUESTION: Where would be a good place to plant a church? Why?

ps... We had our 10 year anniversary celebration on Friday night. It was marvellous!

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  • Blogger Nick says so:
    Monday, August 28, 2006 6:50:00 pm  

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator. top

  • Blogger Nick says so:
    Monday, August 28, 2006 6:52:00 pm  

    I'm not too sure. I suppose it depends on how many resources you have to expend. Obviously, it is best to plant where there aren't many churches, and minimal Christian influence. However, it can be difficult to build a big enough church to then send more people. Our church is relatively small, in an area with little such influence. Our church would be unlikely to succesfully plant elsewhere. So, i guess somewhere in between boldly-going-where-no-Christian-has-gone-before, or building next door.
    I don't know if this made sense or was just rambling...

    Staying is better. Less stresful on minister and congregation, and more stable and productive. top

  • Blogger Ben says so:
    Monday, August 28, 2006 8:33:00 pm  

    I agree on staying. I guess that might reduce the focus on the one man, too.

    Church plant? Well, you plant where the growth is, like CCEC. (Or where the grow has been and Christianity hasn't caught up). So that would mean SW Sydney, to the max. top

  • Blogger Dan says so:
    Monday, August 28, 2006 11:13:00 pm  

    I was having this conversation earlier today with a friend (jackson). If you go where the growth is then we should be planting on the Gold coast and southern Vic and Adelaide and SW Sydney. That is Strategic but then are you neglecting the struggling church in Tassie or the NT or Western Qld. Strategic thinking about Souls irks me a little.
    But... You do need to be strategic so we can eventually under god's providence raise up leaders in our Population centres (Colossi, Ephesus, Phillipi) so that they can go out to the struggling churches. I dunno. Theres heaps of stuff to think about.
    The Harvest is plenty but the workers are few. top

  • Anonymous daniel says so:
    Tuesday, August 29, 2006 8:21:00 am  

    I reckon Dan's on the money.

    Personally, whenever I drive down to Ikea in Springwood (in Logan, south of Brisbane) I think it would be the perfect place for a church to be planted. Basically anywhere along the corridor between Brisbane and the Gold Coast is in great need for gospel ministry as the population there grows and grows.

    Question: Does anyone else think that the "Go" model might be the Paulian way? top

  • Blogger Dan says so:
    Tuesday, August 29, 2006 8:30:00 am  

    Yeah I was thinking that last night.
    Nice name by the way. top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Tuesday, August 29, 2006 10:08:00 am  

    i think the reason to go to the larger regional area is to build a base to build from.

    it would be hard to start in the smaller base and then try to plant out.

    i like what simon g is doing at maitland.
    their plan is to have a solid church within half an hour of everyone in the hunter valley. my guess is that once they reach that they will aim to have a church every 15 minutes!! top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Tuesday, August 29, 2006 10:08:00 am  

    yes - agree on paul being the 'go' top

  • Blogger Adam says so:
    Tuesday, August 29, 2006 11:06:00 am  

    While the model for us at The Lakes is the same as CCEC ("stay"), I actually think "go" might have more merit.

    I think the gifts needed to establish a ministry are harder (and thus more rare) than those needed to sustain and, obviously, grow a church. I wonder if it would be more effective to do it this way:

    1. Locals form core group in area needing to be reached. Meets for a year.

    2. "Establisher" minister + MTS worker comes in for a fixed term (maybee 3 years?), with the brief to establish the church, have it become self funding and then find a replacement for himself.

    3. Sustainer/Grower comes in for long term (10/20/30 year) committment.

    I think this plan might see more churches planted (planters are in short supply)....

    thoughts? top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Tuesday, August 29, 2006 11:30:00 am  

    hey adam, good to hear from you. (u haven't blogged in a while!)

    i like what you say. i need to reflect on it more.

    i think that andrew heard's and dave sheath's are rare guys that we don't come across too often...

    maybe the key to your suggestion is that the congregation know from the beginning that at the 3 year mark a new guy will be coming. that means people aren't shocked... there aren't false expectations... and it would even maybe give the congregation the vision and desire to keep thinking about how they will support their planter in his next endeavour.

    i'll keep thinking...
    thanks for the contribution top

  • Blogger Adam says so:
    Tuesday, August 29, 2006 11:50:00 am  

    Yeah, long time, no blog. I have nothing interesting to say ;)

    I actually think Dave and Andrew are even more rare than we give them credit for...in the church planting sense they are both excellent at establishing and growing a church plant. I think it is difficult for us to be objective as their ministry has been so successful (under God!). Perhaps we need to look at church plants that have failed/struggled to fully answer the go/stay issue?

    I think you are right that under my proposal the church would know from the outset that the establishor would leave in three years - this would a) give them motive to seach for a replacement early, b) stop the church from falling into a personality cult and c) perhaps provide the seed funding for the establisher's next plant (helping them to be mission focussed) top

  • Blogger Adam says so:
    Wednesday, August 30, 2006 11:29:00 am  

    A further question: Why do you think that 30 years of ministry in 1 church Andrew will have been more effective than 30 years in 10 churches?

    How are you measuring effectiveness? top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Wednesday, August 30, 2006 3:41:00 pm  

    Why do you think that 30 years of ministry in 1 church Andrew will have been more effective than 30 years in 10 churches?

    How are you measuring effectiveness?

    a number of reasons:
    1) doing 10 church plants would kill him!! especially the last 5!!
    2) i think he can plant more churches than 10 by staying in the same place. since your church started he(andrew)/we(ccec) has/have been significant in starting 4 more churches. that's pretty much 1 church a year. the more you start the more you can start. the longer our church goes the more people that catch the vision.

    -in 30 years andrew can start 10 churchs by GOING.
    -in 30 years andrew can help to start over 100 churches by STAYING.

    how do i measure effectiveness??
    ultimately it's about being faithful to the gospel and God will give the growth...
    but for the sake of strategy i think it is more strategic and more effeective if 100 solid churches are planted since more people will have the opportunity to hear the gospel and grow in it top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Wednesday, August 30, 2006 3:43:00 pm  

    sorry adam that last post was a bit rambly... hope it makes sense.
    what do you think? top

  • Blogger Adam says so:
    Thursday, August 31, 2006 10:40:00 am  

    I think you are right.

    I'm making two mistakes here - seeing go/stay as a dichotomy, when really "stay" encapsulates "go" in terms of mission for that plant; and I think I'm considering this perhaps too coolly and not relationally.

    That said, Paul's methodology was obviously relational, but I'd hesitate in saying that his methodology is in any way prescriptive, but descriptive. top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Thursday, August 31, 2006 5:48:00 pm  

    1) helpful observation to not view it as a dichotomy
    2) another good one on the prescriptuve not descriptive with paul's methodolgy top