One of the things you’ve probably heard/seen me keep talking a lot about is the need to do better at planting churches in communities where there isn’t a meaningful Christian witness. At our church’s recent weekend away, Jonathan Bell talked about us planting “swifter, smaller, simpler.”
How are we going to do that? Well, actually the disruption of the pandemic may have given us some clues. Lockdowns forced us to go online and that means a lot of resources are now freely available to use where you are. But because church should ideally involve people getting together in the same physical place, simply watching an online talk or listening to downloaded music on our own can never be satisfactory.
As we began to move out of lockdown, the church we are part of Church Central experimented with something called Raw Church. Small groups of people were encouraged to get together in a house or garden, to have breakfast and share communion together, to watch some online content including a short talk and some praise music but then to use most of the time to interact together by praying, discussing, using our gifts.
What if we used that “Raw Church” approach to help people get started? It might mean that we could see churches planted in areas where no existing church is present. It might mean that we could support people at a distance who are not in our immediate vicinity.
So, I’m going to trial this approach. It may get some response or nothing at all. I’ve set up a section here on faithroot.com called Church in a box. I’m going to put a link to it at the end of our First Look Course. This means that if we get people finding the course online or maybe even a few people who we make contact with during the Commonwealth Games who don’t live in Birmingham we have two options. We can either link them with a church close to them or if that is not possible, we can link them up with the Church in a Box option.
Church in a Box will essentially bring together resources already available on faithroot.com, the YouTube Channel and on Anchor.
It may be that you are considering something similar. In which case, you are very welcome to simply make use of the link and resources here. However, you may well wish to set something up via your own church website or personal blog.
I’d love to hear from anyone who is trying something similar or anyone who does start to make use of the resources here for church planting.