Carol Howard Merritt reflects on church reinvention
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Perhaps when we plant congregations, we should plan on starting two: one that lasts and one that doesn't.
Two churches in my town offer a contrast in style, substance, and mission. We both love Jesus and long to love our neighbors.
Congregations often cater to those who show up and pay the bills. But as Jesus said, we need new wineskins to hold new wine.
New church communities have sprung up across the nation. They differ in many ways, but most have one thing in common: their small size.
New communities spring up at coffeehouses, on Habitat for Humanity worksites, or at 5k races. What makes any of them a church?
Do women plant churches differently than men? Do they use different methods or a different style?
Sustainability is certainly a goal for most church plants. But have denominations set up a model that is sustainable for pastors?
The night Rebecca and Luke Sumner met, they discussed church planting. They ended up planting a church together.
Anyone can see the rippling effects of God's kingdom in buildings, movements, and practices. I couldn't comprehend it all without Diana Butler Bass.
The people at Friendship Church make creative use of art. They have also learned to be creative as they form their community and shape their narratives.
James Lee had been commissioned to start an African-American congregation. After reading Acts, his group decided on a multicultural plant instead.
One day, a soup-kitchen guest named what was happening: church, a worshiping community distinct from the larger congregation.
"Why go to the city?" asked one of Bec Cranford-Smith's seminary professors. "There are enough new churches there."
Carol Howard Merritt is a founder of UNCO, author of Tribal Church, and cohost of God Complex Radio. Her blog is hosted by the Century.
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