Lifestyle Church Planting
…the passionate choice to plant “wherever-you-live-life” churches
You thought you had it all figured out.
You were working on or had a degree in hand.
You even had a job lined up or perhaps you are pulling in the bucks doing exactly what you were trained to do.
Then IT happened . . .
You felt God’s call to do SOMETHING.
That means pastor or missionary, right?
That means seminary or more education, right?
That means starting all over, right?
Wrong. Or at least not necessarily.
Reaching those who have not yet heard the gospel (or seen it lived out) in a way they can understand or embrace it is going to take on many different forms. We’re going to need communities of faith who come together where they work. We’re going to need house churches and ones that meet in apartment complexes or student dormitories. We’re going to need churches that are defined by the people, not a place.
And much of what is yet to be for the church will not be led by salaried staff. So, PLEASE, don’t give up your day job!!
We used to call such a choice “becoming a tentmaker” – ala Paul supporting himself on his missionary travels. Check out 1 Corinthians 9 in the Message and you’ll find:
“I want to make clear that I’ve never gotten anything out of this for myself, and that I’m not writing now to get something. I’d rather die than give anyone ammunition to discredit me or impugn my motives. If I proclaim the Message, it’s not to get something out of it for myself. I’m compelled to do it, and doomed if I don’t! If this was my own idea of just another way to make a living, I’d expect some pay. But since it’s not my idea but something solemnly entrusted to me, why would I expect to get paid? So am I getting anything out of it? Yes, as a matter of fact: the pleasure of proclaiming the Message at no cost to you. You don’t even have to pay my expenses!”
While Paul also points out that “the Master directed that those who spread the Message be supported by those who believe the Message,” it’s almost as if he saw the days ahead and knew that as non-believers become believers they don’t instantly become supporters.
He doesn’t let the church off the hook but he certainly suggests that church planting and especially movements where the action is non-stop and practically chaotic aren’t always going to be funded by established means.
So Paul took up a profession that kept him out and about and one that could be easily resumed in a variety of locations.
There are dozens of guides/courses/websites on how to begin a church, ranging from very simple to thoroughly detailed. The key, though, is to see that what you are really doing is living life with people, not establishing another institution or establishment. With that in mind, new faith communities can begin almost anywhere. In places like:
- Mobile Homes
- Community Centers
- Club Houses
- Parking Lots
When you “live life” with people and know their likes, dislikes, what makes them who they are, what they consider to be real and what reeks of falseness, then you can begin to see the contextualized approach to take as you share what a difference following Christ makes in your life. That means that all these “communities of faith” will look very different and act very different from one another, but nevertheless, they will each still be a body and part of the Body of Christ.
If you are in that wonderful stage of having options as to what you are going to do to support yourself, you could consider at least some of the following as you complete that application or send out that resume:
- A job that allows for flexible timing . . . you never know when you might need to drop everything and “pastor” someone in need
- A position that covers insurance costs, even if it’s not in the salary range or hours you prefer
- Somewhere that allows you to connect regularly with folks you believe God wants to use you to reach
Currently, there are churches emerging that are led by salesmen (everything from insurance to batteries to candy), technicians, consultants, marketing gurus, office and warehouse managers, coffeehouse staff, and students. Frankly, you are only limited by your own thinking on this one! (excerpts from original article y Karen Simons)
Ideas, examples, pics, videos, and mini-guides freely available at: