Trawling through the Anglican Church Planting Institutes back catalogue, a few juicy and thought-provoking quotes from various sources:
You will need to go where they are, you will not get them to come to you. Plant churches that are shaped by their culture, but reflect Christ. The Christian distinctive stays, but otherwise the shape of the church is substantially decided by the actual lifestyle and circumstances of the people you are trying to reach. The very shape of church we are used to can be a stumbling block to the gospel. No one expression or shape of church life will fit the whole of our diverse culture. I suggest that to have in mind what a church plant will look like probably won’t work. We need a baptised imagination in the practice of mission, not just dreaming up what we think we are going to do under God as we begin. (Graham Cray)
The first stage of our strategy is to reach people where they are, in the form of community they actually live in, and not the ones we believe they ought to live in. You plant churches in networks, communities of people who do have a relationship with one another, not in streets of people who ought to have a relationship with one another. (Cray)
don’t fool yourself about bridge projects - they don’t work. Soul Survivor Watford was planted as a bridge project. It became a youth targeted church plant. Youth got on the bridge and would not get off. The jump to the highly traditional form of Anglicanism at St Andrews, Chorleywood was hugely too far culturally! (Cray)
Get the church into the shopping centres; consider an area or deanery youth congregation with the cells in local churches; put your resources together; identify initiatives with the elderly; and if you do all that stuff, effective mission must be allowed to create problems of unity. All that stuff about unity in the New Testament was because they planted churches among people not like them, called Gentiles, and then had problems about how they held together in the body of Christ. First do it, then sort out the glorious problem. Christian unity is not meant to be a spiritual form of birth control. (Cray – superb)
“You are not , if you are involved in church planting, an odd nutter in the church, you are part f what God is calling the whole church to be.” (Robert Warren)
I guess in the past it was too easy for us to think that we knew how to do Church, and that in hurch planting all we needed to do was get the birth process right and then everything else would sort itself out.
We must do better in future. (George Lings)