This week I’m at a conference – ‘Church Planting Movements’ with David Watson. Very interesting and hugely challenging. TiM have facilitated this and the question posed is ‘time for Europe’? We’re well familiar with the fact the church is growing on every continent apart from Europe and so we do pose a rather different challenge.
Well, I came because we’re planting, but at a rate of one at a time and I’ve been exploring how we can begin to multiply. I’m also very conscious our models, in the main, are limiting by their very nature – too resource hungry and not proving to be particularly reproducible.
One of the key challenges I’m facing this week is the extent to which the models were hearing about are transferable to the UK. Been talking to Pete here who’s working with the Simple Church ideas in and around Nottingham and he seems pretty confident what we’re hearing is transferable, so it seems the next step is to give some of it a go and see.
I’m a little stunned by the lack of UK focused people here – I understand it was limited to 50 spaces and because a couple of mission agencies bought in 2/3 of the places it’s bound to be limited, but it still doesn’t explain the seeming lack of interest. One explanation I’m leaning towards is because we still have a one planter, one church model and we have very limited experience of multiple planters or, as we’re focusing upon this week, facilitating planters.
My hunch to try and work with a group of non-trained ordinary people has been backed up by what we’re hearing, but the main ‘planters’ used are not always Christians, which is another step we hadn’t thought of. Basically they become the facilitators of a new group of interested people and the discipling process begins well before faith I Jesus is a reality.
It’s been good to revisit Pilgrim Hall even if we’ve had almost constant rain.