Micro-planting is here to stay!
It’s exciting when we begin to see so many others starting to speak our language, especially when the territory we have been exploring has been on the margins of what most churches have considered important for decades.
Whether the language is missional communities, house churches, microchurches, or new worship communities, it makes little difference. So many in our post-Covid landscape are seeing the need to get the church out of the building and into the unreached parts of our communities, towns and cities.
I’ve been talking to many leaders of large churches who have built their reputation and growth on the big, gathered, attractional expressions of church; where programmes, ministries, and small groups have all been built on the back of, or in support of, the Sunday gathering. But now the tide is changing and many leaders are making the uncomfortable discovery that ‘what got us here, won’t get us there’. And new movements, like the Myriad initiative of the Church of England, are looking to plant 10,000 new scattered expressions of church over the next 10 years.
So micro-planting is here to stay. It’s been a growing emphasis in Kx for the last 3-4 years, and this February (at our annual Community of Practice in Coventry) we will be launching a national network of Microchurches, to support the pioneers who want to take new ground. I’m very excited about this!
The church, for most of its history, has been seen in terms of both its Modal expression (Maintaining, centred, gathered, stable, established resource base), and its Sodal expression (Sent, extending, apostolic, pioneering, missionary network of planters). I believe we are moving more towards a better understanding of how our movement will better and more fruitfully express these two historic modes of the life of the church. Who knows, perhaps in our day we will rediscover a movement that, as with the early church in Thessalonica in Acts 17:6 (ESV), ‘turns our towns and cities upside down’.
Looking forward to being with many of you in Coventry.