In defence of church planting and Church planting movements

Church planting and church planting movements have been the big talk in Global Missions over the past few years. Internationally there’s Acts29 and City to City. Here in the English Midlands we have our own 2020 Birmingham which started with an aspiration of 20 church plants by 2020 and now is seeking another 3o by 2030 with the prayer that each of those churches will plant one more.

Not everyone is happy about this though. On certain parts of the inter-web questions are being raised.  The underpinning theme is “Is this Biblical? Or is it human strategy?” These are vital questions and as I’ve been asked them directly myself I want to respond to them. Continue reading

Journey into urban mission (part 2: My story with some observations)

Dave preaching at Bearwood Chapel

I grew up in Bradford West Yorkshire. I wasn’t an estate kid, the small cluster of owner-occupied houses where I grew up were nestled in between the large estates that dominate South Bradford. I went to the local comprehensive. The school was about 50% white working class and 50% Asian predominantly Muslim. Continue reading

Journey into urban mission (part 1)

Last week the Bishop of Burnley challenged visitors to the New Wine festival about mission to the poor. His charge was that the church had forgotten the poor and that event the recent upturn in church planting was primarily in student and wealthy areas. Continue reading

How might a pioneer church plant happen?

One of our #PlantBC aims is to support and encourage pioneer church plants.  A pioneer church plant happens when just one or two people start to reach a community with the Gospel. Over time as people respond to the good news they start to gather together for prayer, Bible teaching and praise.  This is different to a mother-daughter church plant where you send maybe 30-40 people from an existing congregation to start a church.  Continue reading

Church Planting Maths

One of the great encouragements of Gospel work in the West Midlands has been the 2020 Birmingham partnership.  2020 Birmingham set out in 2010 with the aim of planting 20 churches by 2020. As a church with a small building but a large heart to reach the community around us, we’ve found the advice, support and encouragement of our 2020 partners a big help. Continue reading

Mission is not the enemy of pastoral care

It’s one of the perennial challenges for church leaders. Do we focus outwardly on mission or inwardly on pastoral-care.  At times, it can feel like these two things are in competition. If our focus is always on outreach, then people in the church will go uncared for, unvisited, unsupported.  Of course, if we don’t do mission, then will we see any new people? Does that local church have a future? Continue reading

Church planting in the DNA

There’s  a lot of talk about church planting among Evangelical churches at the moment and what it means to be church planting churches that have church planting in the DNA. Some people are very passionate and excited about it. However,  for others talk about planting can be quite scary. It feels like something your church isn’t yet ready to do, it feels like something that will drain away energy, resources and key people. Others get uneasy, bored even.  Isn’t this just the latest fad. Continue reading