Planting vs. Renewing
- "Right up front we want to confess our belief that the planting of new, culturally diverse, missional communities is the best way forward for the church that views itself in a missional context ... " (p.x)
- While some established churches can be revitalized, success seems to be rare ... " (p.x)
- "...the real hope lies with those courageous leaders who will foster the development of alternative, experimental, new communities of faith." (p.x)
I'm serving at a small, denominational, older, traditional church that would certainly be entrenched in self-centeredness if they hadn't reached such a point of desperation a year ago. After this last year & looking ahead to the coming year, I see strong potential for this community to become somewhat missional. And yet, the culture behind this group... even the best of them... is strong enough that I have difficulty seeing them tear away completely from the mindset of institutional preservation & congregational survival that has fueled their efforts for so many years.
We need churches with entirely new cultures. How can such communities be built if they are not begun with elements of this radical vision present at their conception? I lean to agree with the authors that new plants are indeed the hope of the Church. May God lead & bless existing congregations; but the reformation we presently need strikes me as beyond what their cultural limits allow them to do.
How does this relate to existing churches planting new churches? Isn't there a tendency to pass on culture? Does that mean that planting is best done independently of planting agencies or churches?