Emergence Theory in Church Planting

Occasionally, Coram Deo takes so much flak that I question whether we really have any clue what we’re doing. Other times, someone says something that validates our model and convinces me that God is indeed moving in a fresh way to raise up biblically faithful and culturally relevant churches. Today is an instance of the latter.

I just finished reading an article written by someone on the staff of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC. It outlines a way forward for the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) as they seek to be more effective in church planting. And basically what it says is: the PCA needs to plant churches that look like Coram Deo.

Here is an excerpt from the thesis statement of the article:

From a human perspective, there are three principles that need to be “enculturated” by the church planting networks of the PCA and by our churches to foster the spontaneous expansion of evangelism, church growth and church planting that we dream of.

Principle #1 = Indigenous leaders
The movement from an emphasis on ordained ministers (product) to the identifying, equipping, releasing and coaching of indigenous “native” leaders (process).

Principle #2 = Entrusted with Proclaiming the Gospel
The movement from the control of doctrine to the depth proclamation of the gospel.

Principle #3 = Creating Missional Communities
The movement from our churches facing inward as “bounded sets” to our churches facing outward as “centered sets”.

Sound familiar? The article fleshes out each of these principles in depth. It’s 22 pages, but is worth a read for those of you who are interested in the philosophy and methodology of church planting. When Tim Keller and his crew affirm what we’re doing, that’s a big shot in the arm. Thanks, Jesus!

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