In Breaking the Missional Code (154-155), church planters are used as an example of how to reach a community. Pastors and established churches need to learn from planters rather than being jealous or judgmental of them.
“Church planters who break the code are learning a better way. Instead of franchising the successful models of megachurches, they are finding methods and models that connect with their community. How?”
Here are three ways church planters do this…
- They are learning their contexts before choosing their methods. You have to know people before you reach them.
- They are learning from others without copying them. Planters are still learning from innovative pastors, but they are doing so with more discernment. Instead of copying they are modifying. It is not necessary to reinvent the wheel, but it is wise to see if the tire fits your car.
- They are finding new methods and models by learning from their predecessors. The seeker churches of the eighties and nineties taught us much about how to reach the unchurched. Now, emerging leaders are recognizing that “seeker sensitive” may not mean the same thing today as it did in 1980. They are learning from the models that came before–adapting them to new cultural realities.
“Methods and models change as cultures do. Few of us would disagree that some methods from the past are out of date and ineffective today…As church planters and church-planting leaders, we need constantly to evaluate our methods and ask, ‘Is there a better method or model that would reach my community with the unchanging gospel?'”