There seems to be a lot of rhetoric out there on the correct way to plant a church. You have the Missional group which tells you that you have to reach those who don’t go to church and if you have transfer growth you are essentially failing. We are to be missionaries in our community. On the other side you have the Atttactional group which comes in with the slick method to appeal to church shopper in hopes of reaching them with a highly polished system. Of course these two groups go by all kinds of names like Organic, Purpose Driven, Seeker, Relevant, etc. When you start to read all of the resources out there it is easy to get confused and try to adapt one of these methods.
In reality most church plants fall squarely in the middle. Most church plants reach those who are unchurched and those who are transferring from other churches. Don’t feel guilty for having a mixed group. Don’t let someone try to tell you who to reach. If God has called you to a specific city then don’t feel guilty having a mixed group. Stick to your guns and minister to your people.
The fact is that you have little control over who walks through the door of your church. If you are a good Bible teacher you are going to have people come to your church because they are looking for deeper teaching. You also may be great at outreach and are able to bring in tons of people who society and the church has rejected. In all honestly most churches are doing very little outreach into their community.
I get a little miffed by the Missional group. Why should I feel guilty that my church sent me out with a sizeable group of people who all stepped up and helped fund the plant before we even started? Am I supposed to turn people away who are desperate to come and learn the Bible if they come from another church? Call me a trust fund church, call me a transfer church, I don’t care. The fact is that we are reaching people, seeing them transformed by the same Gospel that Missional churches teach, and we are sending people and funds all over the world to plant more churches. I am comfortable in that.
There is no right way to plant a church. You go to the city God calls you to. You work your butt off and whatever God blesses you with He blesses. That’s it. There are church planters out there who are timid and insecure because they feel they are not measuring up to a false reality. That is why I am on the board of Calvary Church Planting Network. Our aim is to identify, train, and support church planters within Calvary Chapels. This is the emphasis behind our ReEngage Conference happening in October. To train and inspire church planters to go with God’s word and do the hard work. We aren’t going to burden you with a model or mold you have to fit into. We are going to build you up so that you can go out boldly proclaiming the Gospel.