Saturday, October 11, 2008

Church Planting or 'my church' planting?

Adrian Warnock has an interesting post about a new church plant project from Newfrontiers in Belfast. Now - the passion in Newfrontiers for mission and reaching people is something that really does need to be applauded - and the willingness of people to leave their current lives and uproot to work in a new area is wonderful.

However, here is the list of the aims of the plant:

The emerging vision for the church plant is:
  1. To see a Christ-centered church planted in Belfast city, on a mission seeking a transformed city.

  2. To be a church that reflects the growing diversity of Belfast.

  3. To see multiple thriving congregations established across Belfast.

  4. To plant churches in all five cities in Northern Ireland.

  5. To plant churches in every major town in Northern Ireland.

  6. To raise up indigenous leaders and church planters.
Here is my problem - there are already Christ-centred churches in Belfast. There are churches doing great work reflecting the "growing diversity". There are many congregations. There are churches in all five cities and every major town, and there are certainly indigenous leaders.

If the vision was to go into a specific community in Belfast and reach people (there are many really needy areas there!) that would be great. But, it feels like the actual aim is to put Newfrontiers churches where there are not any.

My suggestion - why not find people who are already doing great work in Belfast - and there are some great people - and offer the the people, time, money and resources to go and do what they are already doing better? Surely that would be a better testimony to Jesus?

I worry, although I would love to be proved wrong, that the reason not to do this
is actually in the rather sectarian title to Adrian's post -

A Reformed Charismatic Church in Belfast, Northern Ireland - the 11th Largest City in the UK

What are we here for?