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16 Church Planting Lessons

12 January, 2005 12:49 PM

Lucas also asked in his email for my thoughts on planting a house church (or a 'simple church' as they prefer to call it). I too resist the 'house church label' - we don't refer to ourselves in that way (see some of my grappling with what to call ourselves at Sexy House Churches, Emerging, House, Cafe, Organic, Post-Modern? and Boxable Church).

My thoughts or advice or lessons on Church Planting are only given hesitantly as they are OUR lessons. 'Ours' not because we own them or have a patent pending but because they are what we've learnt in our context in the period of time that we've been experimenting. They may or may not be universal lessons applicable to all. I've previously written quite a few of these 'lessons' and rather than rehashing them all here I thought I'd just provide some links and headings:

The first ten lessons were written after one year of being established. They were perhaps a little more 'theoretical' than the last five. We were very much testing and experimenting in the first year.

- Church Planting Lessons - Part A

1. Get your DNA right

- Church Planting Lessons - Part B

2. Make Mission Central
3. Read Shaping of Things to Come

- Church Planting Lessons - Part C

4. Multiplication rather than Addition
5. Make it Simple and Replica-table

- Church Planting Lessons - Part D

6. Incarnation
7. Sending vs Attractional

- Church Planting Lessons - Part E - 8. Participation is Key and 9. Community is Central

8. Participation is Key
9. Community is Central

- Church Planting Lessons - Part F

10. Have Fun

If that wasn't enough I also wrote More Church Planting Lessons from the LivingRoom after another 6 months of meeting. These tips were perhaps a little more out of our experience. They are:

11. Go Slow
12. Make it as connected as possible to people's real lives
13. Don't just meet in Houses
14. Don't let Church Dominate Life
15. Be Shaped by the Outsider

I'm sure there will be 'even more Church Planting lessons' that I'll write at some stage after a little more reflection but this will have to do for the time being. I will however add one more brief one:

16. Be careful what you blog about - whilst blogging is a wonderful tool for communication, learning and networking it can also be used inappropriately. It might be worth having a brief conversation with your group as to what you can and can't blog about.
- I personally have chosen not to identify by names people in our group.
- I have posted a few photos from time to time but limit this. I also choose not to blog about decisions we're making in much detail until they have been made.
- I do not blog about our disagreements or about what individuals said unless I get permission first.

Whilst I want to be transparent with the world through this blog about who LivingRoom is - there is nothing to hide - I also want to keep in mind that our community is made up of real people who are entitled to privacy and a safe space to express themselves and their journeys. They are also entitled to not have our dirty laundry (not that there is much) aired publicly. This is just my position - I know other bloggers have taken different approaches - some it has worked out for, others it has caused some massive problems for. Just be careful.

I'm interested to hear your 'lessons' or advice to a group of people just starting out.



great stuff. hope you don't mind. i have suggested this for a feature on emergingchurch.info? you can always ignore the request... hope life is treating you well and vice versa

jonny » 13 January, 2005 2:34 AM

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