New Churches Out of Old

The best part about a new church plant is the fresh DNA imprinted in a way that is only seen with new life.

Periodically, some ask, “What do you recommend if we want to re-launch our small church plant using church planting methods?”

The adrenalin rush related to new growth and wholesale change is such that just the idea of starting something new gives us a burst of endorphins as we consider the possibilities.

Unfortunately, as exciting as the question feels, the answer is less invigorating.

An existing organism (church) desiring to be remade into a newborn baby organism again is more than just a bit unlikely.

In planting, the only way to see new life is for the seed to die, germinate and re-sprout into new life.

More succinctly for the linear thinkers, consider the following:

For a new church to appear and the previous to cease to exist,

    ▪    Close the doors and have a funeral for the existing church.

    ▪    Wait two to four months or longer before starting anew.

    ▪    Get a new name, building, org charts, staff, leadership and legal entity.

    ▪    Have “launch team” meetings and treat attendees as volunteer staff, not members.

Anything short of a death, burial and new birth falls short of having the new cultural DNA required for a church plant to survive. The durable existing church culture will win any competition for influence.

If we aren’t ready for closure of the existing, we should either work to prepare our hearts for this eventuality or start making a plan for the work of revitalization.