The other day Tom blogged about visiting a local church plant that was holding it’s first service. I’m not a big fan of church planting and thought I might share why. This is not a post attacking Tom or wanting to undermine the work of this new church but rather my views on church planting.
I really don’t understand church planting, I don’t understand why or how a church gets to a point where they decide it’s time to grab a bunch of congregational punters and go and start a new church down the road.
I don’t remember a time where I have been to a church for a normal Sunday service and seen every seat in the building full. If our churches aren’t full why do we need more of them. Wouldn’t it be a better idea to work on filling and improving the churches we already have?
Working with a ‘planting’ analogy if I was a lemon farmer and my lemon trees weren’t growing to their potential and had fraying leaves I wouldn’t plant more and hope they grow better, I would end up with lots of trees, milking more time and resource to maintain for little harvest. Instead it would be better to keep the few trees and concentrate on the soil to ensure the tree’s have all the nutrients and strong roots that they require to grow better.
Our suburbs in my view are bursting at the seams with churches and more and more are popping up. All it seems to be doing is spreading congregations thinner.
Sure people become Christians but the rate of conversions can’t be equivalent to the rate of church plantings.
This new church has a cool band so lets go there instead of this one, the new church has 2 projector screens!!!!
I feel if a church thinks it’s time to plant a new church, which takes a lot of resource, wouldn’t that resource be best used to widen the programs of that church or help a church that already exists in the local area or partner with a church in a rural area that has little resource of its own, not starting a whole new church.
I’ve also heard recently that church planting is commonly used as one of the measures of positive church growth.