Thanks Steve Addison for this delightful and challenging piece entitled:
Fallow Fields: 20 ways to waste time while not planting churches at Leadership Journal's Out of Ur blog.
Ouch! He shames us by pointing out a whole bunch of ways we slow down and kill church planting.
May we all not sleep well tonight because we are appropriately disturbed about the excuses we make for not planting churches! Some people point out that one of the most common ways to pray in the Psalms is "Help!" That is how I'm praying tonight: "Lord, help us to do better!"
Addison rightly urges risk and prudence in his comments about church planting. He has obviously seen thoughtless investment and lots of talk with no action.
I was inspired on the risk side by Brian McLaren saying in his Princeton Theological Seminary address entitled "The Church Emerging & Mainline Theological Education." He told a predominantly mainline audience that they should throw their money at creative, pioneering efforts. He said that instead of selling old urban church buildings to raise the endowment to pay for denominational officials, we should be giving that church property to the most creative out of the box folks we can find. They may "fail" but they probably won't truly "fail." (For some people not lasting five years is a "failure." But it is not when we consider the outreach that has taken place. It is only a failure when someone loses their marriage in the process! So let's take care of the person).
Let's invest in these creative pioneers who will cultivate fresh ministry models. And if there are wise people like Steve Addison who can help us select the right people and guide them away from common pitfalls, that is all the better!