I recently asked a couple of questions on twitter about church planting. One of the questions I asked was about the kinds of barriers that people experience that make it less likely for them to consider getting involved in church planting.
Now, for a lot of people, it’s simply that they have no sense of calling to this kind of mission. That’s not a bad thing, some are already heavily involved in very young churches, others are committed to sticking with a church that is struggling and plenty are being fruitful exactly where God has placed them in their local community and in churches of different sizes and ages. Then there’s the honesty from many that joining a church plant would be heavily disruptive. Again, there is no shame in admitting that. We are instructed to count the cost and I don’t see joining a church plant as a necessary thing we are all called to do. If the calling overwhelms the disruption then you are likely to make the decision to go.
However, I wanted to pick up on two particular answers today because I think I may be able to help here. For some people, the answer is that they do not feel equipped to do it and for others, they simply would not know where to begin to start. They wouldn’t know where to plant or how to plant.
So, here are a couple of things that might be of help if those barriers are relevant to you.
Faithroots: One of my specific aims in running Faithroots is to encourage and equip people for church planting into urban contexts. I’ve a specific concern for the Urban West Midlands. So, as well as providing online resources, I’m inviting people to get in touch if they’d liked to find out more about urban planting here. What I’m offering if you are interested in coming is the opportunity to receive training and mentoring as you step into church planting. This will be through a mixture of in house training content as well as through access to other courses and qualifications. My expectation is that if you are looking to move to the area then it is probably going to take 1-2 years minimum to make the move happen, so let’s start the conversation now.
The Birmingham Collective is a group of churches in the West Midlands committed to encouraging church planting. It started life as 2020 Birmingham with the aim of planting 20 churches by 2020, the aim now is to plant a further 30 churches in the next decade with the aim that all 50 churches would then plant again at least once in our lifetimes. Anyone who links up with me through Faithroots will also be encouraged to link into the Birmingham Collective and there will be opportunities to benefit from the Incubator programme which is a two year course focused on preparing people for church planting.
The London Project is an initiative to encourage church partnership for Gospel growth in the capital city. This is a good starting point for anyone thinking about church planting there,
There are also specific initiatives in different cities and regions including Gospel Yorkshire, 20 Schemes and Medhurst Ministries.