Sunday, August 16, 2009

Church planting: notes to self

These are scattered thoughts that are not intended to represent a complete philosophy of church planting.

1-Until there is a group of Christian believers gathering together, you don't have a church; you have a religious worship service. So even though my goal is to "plant a church", I find "church planting" a contradiction of terms if the only believers present are the paid and volunteer staff. Then it's kind of a game.

2-I believe in the in-depth, meaningful teaching of Scripture (in preaching!) that should both inform and call into action. If it fails to do either, it's irksome. Most old, stale churches inform without calling into action. Most shallow churches call to action without deepening knowledge. And yes, this is a problem, because a shallow faith cannot withstand the blows of life. We look for deeper answers. Preachers, I'm begging you- More conviction! More truth! More of Christ! Stop with shallow, silly, stupid things. Treasure Christ above all else. He deserves no less. The rest will fall into place.

3-I believe in neighborhood ministry. I walked around in Greenwich village today. There were a lot of homosexuals. I realized that, if people are as generally hostile to Christianity in NYC as I understand them to be, then I really have no idea how to reach a person for Christ outside the context of relationship, where a person can see the difference Christ makes in your life and experience the love of God through you. Therein lies part of the answer.

4-I get so frustrated when people cannot simultaneously embrace both Scripture (and all of its value, and depth, and weight) and the importance of relational evangelism. Hence, numbers 2 and 3 of this blog.

5-People don't come to Christ through a bait-and-switch method. Either God saved the person in spite of your best efforts to water down Christianity, or they didn't actually come to Christ.

6-I believe in the importance of doing things with a professional level of diligence and efficiency, without seeing yourself as a "professional". We are all beggars in the kingdom of God.

7-I think the recent trend and interest in liturgical worship is a bad idea.


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