Just picked up Ed Stetzer's Planting Missional Churches. Some great insights for church planters wanting to get the basics right. What are the basics? Glad you asked. Here's a summary: 1. Missional Establishing a missional church means that you plant a church that’s part of the culture you are trying to reach.
Because we’ve heard so much about planting postmodern churches, we’ve come to think that’s the goal. It’s not. The goal of church planting is to reach people. They may be postmodern in their thinking, or they may be Korean or African American or young families . . . or combinations of the above.
By learning about the components of the mission field around you, reaching at least some of them effectively as you can, adapting approaches while remaining faithful to the gospel—all this is missional.
2. Incarnational Missional is the posture—the way in church we approach people in culture—but incarnational describes what is actually happening. Just as Jesus Christ came to live among us, we dwell with the people around us.
It’s not about establishing a location for worship; it’s about establishing a reason for coming together in the first place. Good church planting depends on good relationships.
3. Theological Relevance to the culture should never clash with the power of the gospel. There is much theological revisioning right now; some people are, in the name of missional thinking, abandoning basic theological messages. Bible-based theology is the foundation for a successful church plant.
4. Ecclesiological The church matters. We know this because the New Testament is full of descriptions of how to transform the culture. The examples are all based on churches.
5. Spiritual Many church planters are by nature entrepreneurs, mavericks, free spirits, sometimes even misfits. That energy can be harnessed and focused to be used for God’s glory but only if the church planter is Christ-centered and transformed by the power of the gospel.