Today we start the second day of the Urban Church Planting Forum. We have brought together some of the very best practitioners and thinkers on the topics of church planting and community development. We gathered people from suburban and urban mega-churches, urban ministries, church planting organizations, Willow Creek Association, Christian Community Development Association. The conversation has been challenging and stretching. Here are some of the most significant take-aways so far:
- It seems that God is at work bringing together the best of church planting leaders and the best of community development leaders.
- In the last 16 years the population of the United States has outpaced the number of churches. We need 51,000 more churches just to keep up with the growing population in the U.S.
- There is a growing desire among the emerging generations to see the church be involved in justice and community development. We see success as defined differently than just growing a big church.
- We have an expertise about how to plant churches.
- When looking for leaders in under-resourced at-risk communities you need to start by looking for local affirmation.
- Emerging leaders who want to plant churches in urban settings they need
to go through an immersion in the city and an incubation process.
- A great resource for new churches are graduating colleges students who will be looking to relocate. Another great resource for new churches are half-timers who are trying to decide where to place their affluence and influence.
- Starting a new church with a CBO (community based organization) so as to do a needs assessment and understand community strengths allows the new church to do community development from the very beginning.
- It will take 12-18 months to plant a church if you are also starting a CBO alongside that new church.