The Multiplying Church 7: Start with Society

I’m gonna do a few series kind of interacting with and starting discussions about themes in some books on church planting. This first series comes out of the The Multiplying Church.

One of the main themes of Bob Robert’s life and book (you need to read it!) is that we need to start with society, not the church. The way Ed Stetzer talks about this is that too many planters start the church in their head rather than in their community. They arrive already knowing what they’re going to do, which doesn’t allow the church to be indigenous.

Roberts takes this a step further than almost anyone I’ve heard. He suggests, “Perhaps ‘community faith engager’ is a better term than church planter. Church planters should think like community developers more than anything else. They go into a community to scout out everything and then get to work” (p 116). His suggestion for the initial concern when a planter moves into his community? “To start a church that starts with society, you have to identify where to jump in from day one. … Where is the biggest challenge? How will we first engage?” (p 122).

If this idea is new to you, and you’re going to the Exponential Conference, let me suggest that you attend: Pre-Launch Track, Session 2 – The Community which will be led by Dave Mills and Rick Rusaw. You may also want to check out:

If this idea isn’t new to you … what do you think of it? Any faults in this line of thinking?

And: How have you done it, or will you do it, or have you seen it done? If you’re starting a new church (or pretend you’re starting a new church) how would you “start with society”?

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