If your church is considering how to start or should you start a new church, this book is a great tool to have. Our church has started a second campus and had we followed the guidelines in this book, some things could have been done more effectively. Most of it is common sense but some it we never thought about.
Churches have been starting new sites throughout history but most of them were separated from one another. In other words, one church would plant another church in a new neighborhood, give them some minor resources and their blessing and that was the extent of their commitment. In 2012 churches are starting new churches that remain part of the same family. Another word for these new churches is multi-site or one church in multiple locations. It is not uncommon today to hear of a church having as many as 3 to 10 other campuses.
These churches operate in various ways and some have proven to work better than others. This book is designed to help a church from the beginning thoughts of going multi-site through the first year or so of the planting. Chapter 1 addresses the “Paralyzing Fear” that so many people have that keep them from ever stepping out and growing the Kingdom of God as God intended. Chapter 2 addresses our “Values Disconnect”, what do we say the mission of the church is and what do we value and what is actually happening. Most churches in America say they value winning people to Christ but not many are growing. Chapter 3 “Lack of Trust and Accountability” this chapter addresses the fact that many times the parent church will suffocate the new start because they want to control and the new start needs to become independent and grow just as your child grows and becomes mature. Chapter 4 “Choosing the Right Model” I mentioned earlier there are several different models, Mother/Daughter, is just one model and is the model we used in our new start. Chapter 5 addresses “Choosing the right Planter. Chapter 6, Underestimating Risks, Chapter 7, Coaching issues, I am convinced in today’s world every leader needs a coach at some point, this is someone who have been where you are and has done what you are attempting to do. Chapter 8, this chapter covers funding. Today you will find grant funds in many mainline denominations to help with planting a new church and there will be churches who see the need and help support also. Many new church starts are being funding much like a missionary is funded, through individual donors. Chapter 9 addresses “Misfires”, Chapter 10 talks about when a parent church neglects their new child and we see that happen in new church starts a lot.
This is a great book with several assessment tools in the appendix for churches who want to discover if they are a candidate for such an endeavor as this. I know all of this is really new for most people and there is a great fear factor but I believe if we are going to win people to Christ, we are going to have to plant more and more new churches.
5 out of 5 starts for this one as a needed tool to follow.