Church planting movements—it's all in the mindset

What's different about church planting movements like Hope Chapel? Tim Keller says it's all in the mindset . . .

For healthy churches to be reproductive (become natural church planting churches), the book-of-Acts- Christian-ministry mindset must be developed.

First, the ability to give away and lose control of money, members and leaders. This presents a huge barrier for churches. Often, church leaders cannot bear the thought of losing money-giving families or key leaders or favorite friends. When a pastor helps organize new churches from his own church body, he loses money, members, numbers, leaders, and control. In addition, when a pastor lets go, he loses direct control while also assuming responsibility for problems in the project, a possibly unpleasant combination. Not unlike being the parent of an adult child, he is not allowed to provide direct instruction, but if there’s a problem, he is expected to help clean it up.

Second, the ability to give up some control of the shape of the ministry itself. This is a scary premise, especially to ardent truth-lovers. But the simple fact is that the new church will not look just like your church; it will develop its own voice and emphases. On the one hand, pains must be taken to ensure that differences are not too great (or fellowship and cooperation will become strained). But on the other hand, church planting cannot take place in the context of cloning. If a church insists upon reproducing an exact duplicate of itself, or if it is not willing to admit the necessity and reality of gospel contextualization (in that different generations and cultures will produce a different kind of church), then that church cannot engage in church planting.

Third, the ability to care for the kingdom more than for your tribe. Basically, the church planting mindset is not so much a matter of trusting new leaders but trusting God. Paul does not give the new churches up to themselves or others. He committed them to the Lord.

Church PlantingChurch Planting MovementsTim Keller