I have heard it said that 'cover bands don't change the world', and this phrase struck a chord with me. It is certainly the case in church planting that attempting to clone somebody else's church will be far less effective than planting something unique (whilst still learning lessons from what others are doing). I think there are three main reasons for this:
- You are not them. Each of us has distinct gifts, passions and calling. Just because a certain approach works well for somebody else, that doesn't mean it will work for you. Look at the way you (and others on your team) have been wired and let this inform the approach that you take.
- You are not where they are. Every community has its own nuances. In the place that you are planting, there will be opportunities and challenges that just don't exist where other people are. Similarly, others will have allowed their churches to be shaped by the dynamics of the community that they are in (which will probably be very different to where you are). What you do needs to be shaped by where you are.
- God may be doing something different. Again, the churches that you are looking to may have been shaped by the particular promises or prophecies that God gave them. What things has God spoken to you about? What would it look like for these to form the foundation of what you do?
In this collection of resources, we look at how we can contextualise churches to fit both the location that they are planted in, and the particular character of the planting team.