So, here is a 15 minute discussion with David Fitch - a writer, church planter and teacher who has been quite influential for several of us church planter types. He is discussing issues of church planting in a post-Christendom context (if you aren't sure what that means, Fitch describes it in the clip). Let me just say that we here in the metroplex are not really in a post-Christendom context YET. It is happening but this is still the Bible Belt.
I think that many of the people we encounter are post-Christian - they don't know much about Jesus and don't necessarily care. But our culture is still filled with images of the megachurch and expectations of program and event driven church models.
In this clip, Fitch lays out several struggles that we are definitely experiencing. Interestingly in talking about his 7 year-old church he references their near-death experience around year 3. His conviction is that missional church plants must hang on because it takes about 5 years for the community to really solidify. We're in the middle of that battle right now. Christ Journey is doing great things, but there are some serious hurdles that must be overcome.
He also talks about bi-vocational ministry. This is an issue that we've wrestled with in prayer. Chris and I are both pursuing several things to bring in some additional income, but have decided that for now, an additional 20-30 hour/week job is not the right route. We're about to enter into a new period of discernment regarding the next phase of life for Christ Journey and our families...hopefully it will be spiritual discernment and not merely financial pragmatics that decides the issue.
In any case, I thought the video was worth posting here. Thanks to James Nored for putting it up on missionaloutreachnetwork and Chris for linking it on facebook.
Take a look and tell me what you think.