Monday, March 2, 2015

Conversation with Hugh Halter on bi-vocational church planting

Interesting conversation today about bi-vocational church planting of small kingdom communities in the United States as a means of multiplying the church, doing evangelism among friends and forming relational communities that are connected. It costs almost nothing, allows those driven for evangelism and ministry to use their gifts and multiplies the church.

This is not the answer for all church planting but it is a lane that needs to be far more visible and honored in the United States. Interestingly this is exactly what we do internationally. The three largest inhibitors to the multiplication of the church globally - including the United States is the belief that you need to have real estate, a building and a full time pastor. Forming Kingdom communities costs almost nothing, releases God's people and is all about relationships. It is similar to what happened in the early church.

We use this approach in the developed and undeveloped world but it is not an honored model in the United States but I predict it is coming. Many young leaders are not interested in the traditional model but are interested in an evangelistically and discipleship model based on relationships, community, releasing everyone in ministry and keeping expenses low. These Kingdom communities can multiply in relationship together and form a larger community.

What gets in the way of seeing this as a viable model in the US? It is our metrics of success which focus on numbers, buildings, budgets and staffing. But often to the exclusion of relationships with unbelievers, evangelism (rather than church transfer) and releasing everyone in ministry within close community. 

Unfortunately in the large church model we often pay people to do ministry rather than open opportunities for the congregants to do significant ministry. Kingdom communities open doors for far more significant ministry for ministry driven professionals and congregants. 

This is not an either or but a both and. Those denominations that open a lane and honor those who plant Kingdom communities will lead those who only use the traditional model where it is not unusual to invest $250,000 in a church plant - many of which fail.

Check out Hugh's book. We do it internationally. Why not domestically?

All of T.J. Addington's books including his latest, Deep Influence,  are available from the author for the lowest prices and a $2.00 per book discount on orders of ten or more.

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