Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Church Planting & Evangelism

Is Church Planting the most effective way to evangelise today?

This has been an issue to think about in some of my studies recently, and straight off the cuff we probably say, 'YES!'
I believe Church Planting can definitely inspire some new, fresh, innovative ways of evangelising, that existing churches struggle to comprehend. New church plants do have some issues that we need to be aware of though, and wary not make mistakes others have made. For instance, some church plants can emerge from a frustration with the existing structures, and just become a new hip version of church that isn't evangelising any more than the church they emerged from! Or a church plant may have been planted from a community of faith that is struggling and unhealthy, and then the new church 'does church' the same exact way, 10 km down the road, and wonders why they aren't successful either... Church planting is great, but it does not gaurantee effective evangelism and it does not gaurantee growth.

Two of the ways forward for The Salvation Army is Corps Planting, but very importantly growing healthy corps. How can we ignite the missional potential of local corps? Local corps that have a group of committed Christians, local corps that are talking about wanting to make a difference... Corps planting needs to be encouraged, and so does unleasing the latent potential that exists within every congregation that exists in the Salvation Army. If only every corps saw themselves as a passionate, soldout community of people working together to change the world, then using all the wisdom God gives them to change the world for Jesus' sake!

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