Tim_keller Tim Keller, the Senior Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, New York City is just plain smart!  And not only is he smart, but he is talking about one of my areas of passion – the reproducing church!  So here is some great stuff by Keller in The Movement, an e-newsletter from the Redeemer Church Planting Center“For healthy churches to be reproductive (become natural church
planting churches), the book-of-Acts- Christian-ministry mindset must
be developed. This requires the adoption of several
principles:

  • First, the ability to give
    away and lose control of money, members and leaders.
    This presents a
    huge barrier for churches. Often, church leaders cannot bear the
    thought of losing money-giving families or key leaders or favorite
    friends. When a pastor helps organize new churches from his own church
    body, he loses money, members, numbers, leaders, and control. In
    addition, when a pastor lets go, he loses direct control while also
    assuming responsibility for problems in the project, a possibly
    unpleasant combination. Not unlike being the parent of an adult child,
    he is not allowed to provide direct instruction, but if there’s a
    problem, he is expected to help clean it up.
  • Second,
    the ability to give up some control of the shape of the ministry
    itself.
    This is a scary premise, especially to ardent truth-lovers.
    But the simple fact is that the new church will not look just like your
    church; it will develop its own voice and emphases. On the one hand,
    pains must be taken to ensure that differences are not too great (or
    fellowship and cooperation will become strained). But on the other
    hand, church planting cannot take place in the context of cloning. If a
    church insists upon reproducing an exact duplicate of itself, or if it
    is not willing to admit the necessity and reality of gospel
    contextualization (in that different generations and cultures will
    produce a different kind of church), then that church cannot engage in
    church planting.

 

  • Third, the ability
    to care for the kingdom more than for your tribe.
    Basically, the church
    planting mindset is not so much a matter of trusting new leaders but
    trusting God. Paul does not give the new churches up to themselves or
    others.  He committed them to the Lord.”

 

Special thanks to Steve Addison for his post Church Planting Movements – It’s All in the Mindset.

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