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Think Spot – Why Should We Pioneer New Churches? 

It has been encouraging to see significant interest since the COVID lockdowns in the ‘planting’ of new churches. Leaders around Australia have shown a renewed commitment to pioneering fresh expressions of church with innovative and energetic ideas. Why is this important?

Smaller new communities are often more effective in recruiting volunteers and in enacting evangelism. Also, many localities and towns are in need of the Gospel of Jesus, including those presumed to have active churches already in existence but where such churches are often relatively inactive. Furthermore, the different DNA of a model that responsibly challenges old paradigms and mobilises different people can engender new growth, remembering that Christ’s mission should constantly add people to churches.

For all the interest in starting such initiatives, there are some significant problem … and solutions!

Resources may be minimal, but there are more than you might think. CCVT can assist with access to external funding for solid mission plans, and extra monies can be applied to new regional positions (by application to the ‘Leadership Team’).

Despite proactive conversations and growing conviction around models, the right volunteers are ultimately needed. Leaders, though, beget leaders just as churches beget churches. The CCVT Accelerate and Wavemaker programs can help, as these offer coaching, skill development, training, and resourcing through local churches, inclusive of internships. Young accredited leaders working under established ministers will often grow into a role they don’t yet seem ready for. This makes it entirely possible to multiply impact and output while aligning ourselves to new ideas that work.

Mono-ethnic services can use existing buildings with one minister and two interpreters for viability. Program-based entry points (such as marriage, finance or Alpha courses) can grow into hybrid offerings that allow a relational focus on common needs. Micro-churches can offer responsible central entity governance with smaller geographically-based groups that offer compelling and interactive mission that is inter-generational. 

Endless missional possibilities generating boundless energy that is optimally applied – could this describe your world in the year ahead?!  

To begin the conversation, please contact Philip Kua, 041200388, pkua@churchesofchrist.org.au.

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