Saturday, July 08, 2006

Church Planter as Guest Blogger

My wife and I went to Bethel College in McKenzie, TN. This is the Cumberland Presbyterian denominational college. We met many good friends there. Cindy Maddux is one of our friends from college days. She is our guest blogger today. She responded to the poll and sent me some of her comments which I am including here.

By the way, if you have not taken my poll on church planting, please do so. It is the post prior to this one.

Thoughts of church planter Cindy Maddux who is a part of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church

As to voting whether SUNDAY worship is essential to a church plant then I will say no. WORHSIP is essential but with today's society it's more like Saturday night or Friday night and then if you have those that are tradition bound you could say AND a Sunday service. The needs of the initial group drive when and where you meet.

I am in a church plant now. It's been two years and we are just now getting to where we need to be for spiritual growth in numbers.

Ultimately what you do as a church plant will depend on who you are trying to reach?

Are you trying to reach people who have lost touch with the church and bring them back to the fold, are you trying to reach people who have never heard the Gospel before (literally)?

Are you trying to get through to those who are disillusioned with the Church as they have seen it at work in the world today? (We all know that the organized church has many issues.)

Are you trying to be homogenous or are your really willing to accept people from all different backgrounds?

Are you only willing to allow those who believe EXACTLY like you do or will you allow there to be differences of opinion on varying theological issues?

Are you going to wait for people to come to you or are you ready to make the effort to go where the people are and interact with them as you find them?

Over the years I come down to one statement over and over again; (paraphrasing) "to love the Lord God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself".

Also having a few extroverts in your church plant early on will help, introverts have a difficult time reaching out, but ultimately you work with what you have.

Whatever game plan you start with you have to be vigilant in prayer & intentional fellowship with one another to get some real bonding, if meeting in homes to start out recognizing the gift of hospitality and not taking it for granted. It is very important. The role of children and their truly being welcome is another issue. If child care is NOT a priority then families will not feel safe and will not stay. Not everyone understands a child's needs, nor are many people really ok with children in worship settings. This is unfortunate. I much prefer the children present if at all possible, they are part of the community now not later.

Ok, these are just initial things to throw out. Whatever you know, know that this is hard work. Being in relationship and connected to people takes time and isn't convenient to everyone's schedule. Tithing has to be tackled early on. We have been using Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University as a ministry to our community. It is open to everyone regardless of religious affiliation.

Technorati Tages: ChurchPlanting, Christianity
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