Article Archives

Author: John Leek

The Key To A Guaranteed Church Planting Fail

Do it Alone.

Tommy Gray shared in an interview last year that 70 percent of historic church plants in the United Methodist tradition in his region have either failed or never reached membership of over 125 people.  They were not accomplishing what they set out to do.  

As they reflected on what wasn’t working Gray shared those things that have made them more successful recently.  Among those characteristics I found one unifying theme that seemed to spell doom to new plants; that was the attempt by the planter and expectation of others that he or she could do it alone.

There is little that correlates with failure more than isolation of the planter.  Note these ways it is possible to try to plant without healthy connection:

Without God: Jim Griffith shares that this is most often seen in pastors neglecting the Great Commandment in pursuit of the Great Commission.

Without a Confirmed Calling or Gifting: […]

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Dinesh and the Disciple Cycle

Dinesh Kumar met Jesus on a train. At the age of 24 the lifelong Hindu met a man on his daily commute reading a Bible. “Do you read your Bible daily,” Kumar asked. The man responded, “Are you Christian… would you be interested in hearing the Gospel or hearing about Jesus Christ?”

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Leaning Forward into Late Life

Some people would look at the frail older woman’s life and say that she has much to grumble about and little to look forward to. But Inez sees it differently. In fact, she would agree with a spunky 86 year-old woman who once told me that she was frustrated with longtime friends who spent their days sitting around their apartments in their robes watching soap operas. The 86 year-old reprimanded her friends, saying, “You’re dead. You’re just not buried.”

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Growth Through Grandparents

Bishop William Willimon shares that a church without younger people need not lose hope; instead it is best that they get busy building the kingdom with whatever resource they have.

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On A Highway to Heaven

 

Covenant Church stands out by equipping and sending laity to connect people with Christ in their own passions and communities. “(Evangelism) happens by intentionally creating relationships with people who share a common interest,” said Pastor of Congregational Ministries Jay Buckingham. “Our groups ministry allows leaders to build these relationships, and in the process, help group members move one step closer to Christ.”

We encourage our members to lead semester-long groups centered on their passions. We believe those passions are given to them by the Lord and that He can take a person’s passion (motorcycle riding, sewing, baking, etc.) and use it to connect people to Himself and to the body of Christ. Most small groups systems are content driven from the top down. This system is relationship driven from the bottom up.

One of my favorite stories about group discipleship begins with a husband and wife. The wife has been a committed […]

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Relentless Grace Will Not Give Up

Love Chapel Hill is a church plant rooting itself in the cultural center of downtown Chapel Hill. Lead Pastor Matt LeRoy calls it “a beautiful collision of college students and homeless men; young professionals and families; artists, activists and academics.”

We believe that the most eloquent articulation of the Gospel is a love that gives itself away. This belief fuels our evangelism efforts and strategies. So we give ourselves away through “Strangely Warmed,” an initiative to collect and personally deliver warm winter clothing to our homeless friends. We orchestrate “piano drops,” leaving a piano on a busy street corner for artists to play and crowds to enjoy. Sounds weird, for sure, but in a creative town that draws artists and musicians from all over theSoutheast, it’s like speaking to them in their native language. We started “Grace on Wheels”—a partnership with the local Transit Authority providing neighbors in poverty with free […]

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Jesus With Skin On

Grace Church defines their vision in part as a partnership with God to be “Jesus with skin on” to others. They view the work of God as a “joint venture” where we follow God and work with God to help people experience God’s grace and salvation.

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