I find myself thinking more about gospel planting than church planting this week. The problem I encounter, whenever I say "church planting" is the image I can almost imagine forming in the mind of the person in front of me.
Because most of the leaders I speak to tend to be Baptists you might imagine these mind-pictures would not automatically feature a paid full-time Minister, a church building and a music-group led worship service. Wrong.
Therefore, I am beginning to wonder whether my usage of the term church planting is really helping convey what I'm thinking about any more. The problem then becomes what do I say?
If I want to plant the seed of the good news, which is Jesus Christ, in a new community - I'm often left with a Home Mission application form in front of me, which demands a whole list of questions to be answered. Good questions (usually) but pre-supposing an ordained person, paid, meeting in an existing building and preaching to the an already legally constituted group (church) of people. My instinct and conversations, however, suggest 'forget about a constitution until you need one, which wont be until you've at least gathered 25 fully committed people.
My problem is I'm a Regional Minister and everyone presumes our system can answer such conundrums. That leaves the words 'Regional Minsiter' and 'problem' in the same sentence!