Yesterday, we finished up a meeting in Nashville with denominational leaders from over 20 denominations. More than half of the churches planted in the U.S. each year were affiliated with the denominations represented in the room.
You might find my opening words of some interest. In some ways, they relate to comments I made at the Advance09 panel.
It is a bad idea theologically, with bad results historically, for us to partner and jointly plant churches. But, it is a bad stewardship and irresponsible missiology for us not to find ways to learn from each other.
When it comes to church planting, it is not really the same as evangelism. In church planting, we need to plant our own gardens. But, we will consider this an agricultural co-op where we learn to do it better by learning from one another.
So, that is why we are here: to learn and share best practices with other Christian denominational leaders committed to plant churches.
We had a great meeting with much helpful interaction.
Here are the presentations that each of the speakers shared:
Ed Stetzer (LifeWay Research), The State of Church Multiplication and the Causes that Hinder It (no PowerPoint)
Thom Rainer (LifeWay Christian Resources), Twelve Axioms for Leading a Christian Organization
Ron Sylvia (Next Coaching Networks), Church Planting Coaching Networks
Larry McCrary (The Upstream Collective), Creating Church Planting Recruitment Systems for Denominations
Steve Pike (Assemblies of God), Influencing Your Denomination for Church Planting
Chris Conrad (Wesleyan), Church Planting Assessment (no PowerPoint)
We are also undertaking two research projects with different denominations participating in each. One will focus on urban church planting and the other is on church planting assessment. Drop a comment below if you are interested in being a part of either one.
This meeting is the beginning of our leaders fellowship that will meet three times a year: November 18-19 is the next meeting. This is not an open meeting, but if you are the denominational head of church planting, you can leave a comment here and we will send you a network application. (Feel free to email this page to others who you think might be interested.)
Here is a pic from our first meeting (courtesy of Ron Sylvia).
We look forward to more to come.