What if we started replanting churches? Church Planting is at the forefront of evangelism plans and denominational strategies and that is awesome. I am excited about church planting and support it enthusiastically. As a pastor I have helped daughter a church plant, I have taken a church planting intern on staff, I have coached church planters, give financially to support church planting and have helped do some mapping for potential church plants. At one point my wife and I moved to a community for the sole purpose of planting a new church. It didn’t happen due to very poor choices on my part and misunderstanding with some other church leaders. So as you can see I am engaged with, and invested in, church planting.
For some time I have had a growing thought of the need for us to do church “replanting”. Not just a refocus or revitalization of an existing church. My current thought stream on this idea is to actually “replant” churches. I don’t want to get too hung up on the difference in terms. The goal is to see some existing churches renewed in such a way that they are reaching new people, impacting their communities and investing in other churches. I really believe that if we are going to be as impactful with the Gospel as we can be we are going to have to give significant time, energy and resources to replanting some existing churches, while continuing to aggressively plant new churches.
For a few years I have been wrestling with a process of replanting that involves “partnering”. This is where more than one church partners to replant an existing church. This partnering could involve sharing staff, sharing facilities, sharing some physical resources and possibly sharing finances. These concepts have been used to plant many new churches and I believe with some adjustments could be used to replant existing churches.
A few years ago I approached a ministry leader with this concept of partnering to replant, or renew, an existing church. The individual was polite and listened but did not encourage me to pursue it at all, so I let it rest. Then a while later I put some of the thoughts on paper and even created a partial plan for a church and shared it with another ministry leader. This person was more receptive and took the material but I never heard anything back. So I let it rest some more and I am now feeling a stirring again to throw the ideas out there and see if anyone else thinks it has merit.
I realize that in this blog post I am just presenting a vague concept, but to be honest I am a little gun shy. What do you think of the big picture concept of partnering to replant an existing church? What other questions would you have if someone approached you with this concept? What drawbacks come to your mind? Do you see any possibilities in this?
I am working on creating a plan on paper, but don’t know if I will share it or just do it to see how far I can develop it. The title of this blog is “Pastorsview” and the tag line is “We all have a view of the world, this is mine.” So I guess today I am just sharing my view of the idea of replanting existing churches. What is your view?
Here’s hoping I hear from some of you.