Archives For Rethink Church

Planting new churches & evangelism: the cart before the horse

[This is the conclusion of Starting New Churches: Is Our Focus Misplaced?]

“Planting new churches is the most effective evangelistic methodology known under heaven.” You can’t read any church planting material without bumping into that quote. Repeatedly. Hey, C. Peter Wagner said it, so that settles it.

Or does it? Continue Reading…

Sideways Sessions, formerly the Soliton Sessions

The Gathering Formerly Known As the Soliton Sessions

Nine years ago, I drove myself to Ventura, California for the first of the Soliton Sessions. I went at the invitation of an online friend I’d never met. I didn’t know what to expect.

It saved my faith.

The Sessions became an annual pilgrimage for me. I’d never experienced a “conference” that was really centered more on community, conversation, and opening to divine imagination. As I wrote for the Next-Wave e-zine, “It wasn’t so much a conference as a reunion of a family I never knew I had.”

The Soliton Sessions are dead. Long live the Sideways Sessions!

After a hiatus of a several years, I’m excited to learn that the Sessions are back! The name has changed to the Sideways Sessions, and the location has changed to Portland, Oregon. And I’m bummed that I can’t make it. …But maybe you can!

As with previous gatherings, the Sideways Sessions limit the number of people involved in order to promote conversation. I know it’s only two weeks away, but… pray about it. Does God want you there?

The Sideways Sessions
September 13 – 15, 2012
Portland, OR

For more info, go to the registration site. And let me know if you go. I’d love to hear about it.

New churches are stuck in a box we made

This is a continuation of Starting New Churches: Is Our Focus Misplaced? Two friends discussing church planting led me to wonder: Is church planting really “the most effective form of evangelism” in America? If so, I think we could do much better.

New churches: One size doesn’t fit all

The American landscape is continuing to shift away from any “Christianized” identity. Welcome to post-Christian America. The rules have changed, and America is a completely different mission field. Alan Hirsch teaches, “All mission in the West is cross-cultural.”

Revealing Jesus in a new context requires new approaches. So why do new churches keep going back to the “tried and true”? You know the old definition of insanity. By that definition, we American Christians are nuts about establishing new churches — specifically, church services. Continue Reading…

McDonald's: Billions Served

The American way: Make a reproducible franchise

Two of my friends made an unexpected connection online. Their dialog stirred thoughts in me that had fallen dormant… What does it take to start new churches in the U.S.? What’s the connection between new churches and evangelism? Is anyone reaching post-Christian America? What should Kay & I do (if anything)?

Andrew Jones (a.k.a. tallskinnykiwi) wrote a Leadership Journal post, 9 Reasons NOT to Plant a Church in 2012.
My former pastor Dave Jacobs replied with My Patellar Reflex to Andrew Jones’ “9 reasons NOT to plant churches.”
This could be interesting, I thought… Continue Reading…

Fake church sign: Do new churches really reach post-Christians?

It all started simply enough:
Andrew Jones wrote a Leadership Journal post, 9 Reasons NOT to Plant a Church in 2012.
Dave Jacobs replied with My Patellar Reflex to Andrew Jones’ “9 reasons NOT to plant churches.”
Their exchange about the value of starting new churches kicked my thoughts into motion.

I was going to post a comment on Dave’s blog, but it got too long. So I started to write a post here. But it got too long, as well! (I’m working on taming the length of my posts.) So I thought, “OK, I’ll make it a two-parter.” I wrote part two. But I still hadn’t finished what I want to say.

God is stirring, and I’m starting to bubble

Evidently, God is stirring me again. It’s not just coming from my blogging friends; they were just an important kick. I feel like I’m entering a new season:

So I’ll share what’s starting to bubble through a short series:

  1. New Churches, Global Movements and the U.S.A.
  2. New Churches Stuck in a Christendom Box
  3. New Churches & Evangelism: All Backwards?

A Monty Python sketch shows us how unchurched people see the Bible.

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An NPR report on how a school district accomplished a major turnaround in test scores got me thinking about discipling. Theories don’t cut it. Going solo doesn’t cut it. Sermons don’t cut it. What does?

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Why don’t we ask what works best for spiritual growth, and put the most effort there? Are sermons overrated? Is sharing life underrated?

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Does your church push away creative, right-brained people? In our shifting culture, a missional opportunity is being lost. Mission and art must intersect.

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I added five more links to my collection of reactions to the “contemporvant” video.

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