Running a Google search on church plants, church re-starts and renewing dying churches, what should I be directed to but today’s post from iMonk, commenting on the church-planting movement in the newly-formed Anglican Church in North America. Dang if iMonk and I aren’t thinking along the same lines AGAIN.
His initial post is great — recommended reading (with good links), find it here.
But it’s his comment further down that I wanted to record here for future reference. IMonk writes:
Scripture commands church planting. It’s normative.
Evangelicals always got this right and it’s one of the reasons the mainlines are dying and deserve to do so.
Listening to a debate on what to do with a PCUSA church plant in Lexington changed my life on this subject. Of all the things that the PCUSA was and is getting wrong, what I heard that night that resulted (later) in the closing of the plant was the most moving.
Ministerial and denominational self interest. THAT’s your Americanization of the Gospel. Going to the poorer neighborhood, offering the Gospel in an evangelical wasteland…that rocks.
I find myself at the moment living in one of those poorer neighborhoods, where a number of congregations I care about very much are hanging on by their fingernails. Can they be renewed? Is the impulse toward life still strong enough to seek God and reach out in His name to those in need in our community?
I’m researching and outlining a possible game plan to find answers to these questions and offer some possible short- and medium-term goals. If you were standing where I am right now, what might you do?