5 ways established churches can learn from church plants

5 ways established churches can learn from church plants

This is a great little article which offers some pointers on how established churches can keep themselves fresh in terms of their missions and evangelism to lost people. Read it here.

NCC is heading ever closer to full independence from Charlotte Chapel and I think we need a (1) overhaul of all of the ministries we’re currently engaged in to see if they are reaching people or merely filling time and (b) a renewed sense of vision and a statement of intent about who we are and what we are doing in Niddrie. This is the perfect opportunity for us to really look at everything we do and refocus on how effective we are in reaching ALL of our community.

My key concerns are how we are (1) building the Christian body and (2) serving the local community. The advantage we have at the moment is that we are not so entrenched in traditions that we are afraid to bin something that doesn’t work. On the the other hand, the danger is that things are going OK, so why change and push ourselves to move out into out neighbouring schemes?

My great concern at NCC is that we kill every unnecessary meeting and equip our people to be missionaries in their own right. Not everybody is going to be a gifted evangelist or apologist but people respond more to a genuine life lived out in front of them than they do to well crafted arguments (not that they don’t have or their place or are unimportant!).

Even in 4 years the culture of Niddrie has changed so much it is my feeling that we are going to have to evaluate our strategies again in the light of this. We need to go out again and rediscover our demographic and how we can be more effective in serving them and reaching out to them with the gospel. We have worked hard to win the affection of many of the long standing locals but almost (unintentionally) to the detriment to the new people and nationalities moving in. We need to be prayerfully thinking about redressing this.

Perhaps the most exciting thing is that we have a team here that at its core has been together for the last 3 years and is committed to the long haul on this scheme and others. We have a great opportunity here to plant in other areas and to train future generations for the particular task of reaching the inner city schemes of our country. I will be banging this particular drum a lot in the coming months but I really feel that God is moving by His Spirit and He has a plan for NCC to be at the centre of a new planting movement. I hope that are not grandiose sentiments but rather genuine, Spirit led convictions about the future.

The great thing about being ‘new’ in the revitalised sense is that we can dream big, plan bigger and trust in God to act according to His gracious providences,whilst remembering that He is able to do far more than we can possibly ever imagine.

Established church doesn’t necessarily translate into healthy church. Large congregations don’t necessarily translate into growing churches. We can remain small and still be effective as long as we keep the gospel the main thing, our eyes on Christ, our confidence in God’s Spirit to do His convicting and transforming work, and our complete reliance and trust in God the Father to act according to His revealed Word and according to His divine and perfect purposes. That’s what will keep us grounded and humble, yet excited, experimental and always looking to push forward for the kingdom in the coming days.