New churches and the people supporting them need to understand the commitment they're making.
Two churches in my town offer a contrast in style, substance, and mission. We both love Jesus and long to love our neighbors.
New church communities have sprung up across the nation. They differ in many ways, but most have one thing in common: their small size.
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.
As I sat in a circle of church planters discussing ministry, a stream of confession emerged: "I've made a lot of mistakes."
"Co-creating is a lot of fun," says Jenn DiFrancesco. She and her Slate Project colleagues don’t show the same sort of weariness church planters often display a couple years in.
When Jeff Richards paints a picture of church in downtown Sacramento, the church doesn't tower over the other buildings. It inhabits them.
A few weeks ago, I was feeling nostalgic. It was the fifth anniversary of my family’s pilgrimage from Southern California to suburban Chicago for my interview weekend at First Congregational Church of Western Springs. It feels odd to call it that, though; it wasn't so much an interview as a time of holy conversation, prayer, worship, laughter, feasting, and fellowship. The terms of my call were unofficially worked out at a kitchen table while the Super Bowl droned on in the other room.
Under Ruben Duran's leadership, the ELCA has started an array of worshiping communities in homes and bars and on the streets and in train stations.
When I, along with a friend and colleague, started planting a new church in Chicago about five years ago, we had lots of ideas about how to do church, but one thing was certain: we wanted to do church differently. Lots of church planters have the same mission. We told other existing churches that we weren’t in competition with them—we wanted to attract people who, for whatever reason, would never set foot in a narthex. In other words, we didn’t want our church to be too. . . . churchy.
While many churches are at the end of their lifespans, others need to take root. And we need people fresh out of seminary to start them.
Some church planters refer to denominations as "widget factories." A big cultural commute exists between fledgling communities and church hierarchies.