Archive for the ‘Church planting’ Category

City to City is the church planting and resourcing arm of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, where Tim Keller serves.

City to City Australia is hosting a conference in a month’s time, March 13-14, called Centre Church, after Keller’s new book of the same name. 

Based around the key concept introduced in the book – theological vision – the conference will feature videos of Keller exploring at depth the key component features of the theological vision, along with insightful Australian contextualisation by experienced practitioners.

It promises to be a great conference – with action outcomes attached.

UntitledTo find out more, and register click here.


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Under God, and in the power of his strength, CCIW is planting a new congregation – FD@5 (St Alban’s Five Dock, 5pm on Sundays).

The thought behind this is to gather together some of those who are moving out of home / into the inner west, and invite them to do that in a missionally intentional way.

We’re having a lunch for anyone who’s interested in a congregation that has 2 decisive characteristics – it is highly missional from the get-go, and is deeply member-driven, through a clear and coherent structure.

The lunch will be at St Alban’s, Five Dock on Sunday Oct 25, 1-3pm. Anyone interested, please email me (andrew@cciw.org.au) or Marcus Lockard (marcus_lockard@hotmail.com) to let us know for catering purposes.

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Chris Swann – uber-insightful 4th year MTC student and CCIW catechist (not to say incredibly regular blogger) – made a comment last night that crystalised a thought for me.

Church / congregation planting only succeeds by spoiling the relational intensity of planting, which was the necessary pre-requisite to getting the plant off the ground.

Planting starts with a core group – they work, plan, pray and dream hard. It binds them together. Then the plant is launched, and God willing, new people arrive. The only way for the plant to succeed is for the core group to ‘break up’ – to genuinely let go of that intensity and connection, in order to make room for the newcomers. Otherwise, they will always know that they are the second-tier members.

There are lots of ways for this to happen – if there’s a sudden influx of newcomers, it forces the issue. Or if there is a porous structure, so that newcomers are included in the ministry of the congregation from when they arrive.

But either way, a plant will kill itself if it doesn’t break open the relational intensity of the core group!

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It’s happening!

There’s been lots of talk – and it will be a while before there’s a whole lot of action – but the church planting movement which is capturing the imagination of under the 30’s is here in Sydney, and with bells on!

from flickr by NaPix--Hmong life

from flickr by NaPix--Hmong life

The Rice movement – led by my good friend , the irrepressible Steve Chong – is launching a church planting movement, linked to Acts 29, and offering digital mentoring with big guns Driscoll, Chandler, Dever etc.

Called RICE en:trust, the starting point will be a dinner for 30 potential church planters on Aug 24. Check out the details here. Steve tells me invitations for the event are still open til midnight Sunday, so if you’re up for the hard road that is church planting, put your name in the hat.

RICE en:trust has the same huge advantage as Acts 29 – it is not a denomination, and therefore can work in with any and all denominations without being a threat. And it has the same disadvantage – it is not a denomination, and therefore the startup costs are huge! But talking with Steve, the plan is to find a way to gain the advantages and avoid the downsides.

Bring on energetic, missional church plants right across this city!

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Talking to my good friend Justin Moffatt about the first meeting toward A new congregation for a new kind of City (he reported it went really well), crystalised something I have been reaching toward for ages. It runs like this:

  1. Member ownership of the new plant is crucial
  2. Member ownership is closely correlated to member contribution
  3. Member contribution is directly facilitated by good structure.

Conclusion: when planting a church / congregation, it’s really important to have in place (or generate really quickly) a structure for the life and mission of the plant, sectioned into teams, with each team led and filled by members of the plant. The structure needs to be balance both the outreach of the congregation to the community, and the growth of the members of the congregation – neglect either one at your peril!

This is how we are approaching our missional plant at Five Dock – clarity of structure to facilitate maximum member contribution and ownership. The role of the staff – to resource, pastor and support the team leaders, and make sure the job doesn’t get too big for them while they juggle marriage / job / friends / family etc.

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A thought – if there’s enough interest in this, maybe a FB group would be a useful way of co-ordinating effort and sharing ideas.

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Missional moving-out

I call it the Inner West churn.

Every year, hundreds of Christians move in from the suburbs to the Inner West, looking for somewhere where the lights are on after 8pm.

And every year, hundreds of Christians move from the Inner West to the burbs, having had their kids and looking for the peace and security of lights out at 8pm.

It’s a normal part of city living.

But I have a thought – in fact it’s more than a thought, it’s a plan.

What if that churn could be used for church planting purposes? What if the moving into the Inner West could be a deliberate, missional moving out? Instead of scattering amongst lots of different churches, what if there was an intentional focus on a few churches, to work together in planting something new and creative?

At CCIW, under God we hope to harness the power of the Inner West churn to plant a new missional congregation at Five Dock, aimed with razor focus on the young workers/young couples who love the Inner West area.

It will be a congregation that seeks to reach its demographic:

  • clearly structured for maximum clarity and impact
  • thoroughly member driven and member led
  • high commitment, with a deliberate determination to embed in local community groups, clubs, sporting activities, pubs etc
  • responsively styled towards those who experience excellence is every other part of their lives

This congregation, along with the evening congregation at York St, will seek to be part of the very best of missional church / congregation planting.

So, if you’ve been thinking about moving out, and would be up for a missionally intentional move, then let me know. Justin Moffatt’s list of characteristics touches on some important points (I’ve adapted them a little):

  • You will need to be first Christ’s. And then keen, humble , unangry, and passionate to see the lost won and the Inner West transformed.
  • If you are moving in, we’d be keen for a reference of good will (verbal or written) from a minister.
  • You will need to fit with the team as God provides.
  • You need to be prepared to move into the Inner West,  so that you can bring your friends / neighbours / colleagues to church.

Missional moving out – it could see new, missional works flourish!

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