26 May 2006

Core Group?

Lord willing, I will complete a two-week class on church-planting today. My favorite days of class were the days we had seminary grads, Brian Brock and Ken Brown, come in to tell us about their recent church plants, Life Point Baptist Church and Community Baptist Church, respectively.

Through the use of a phone program, Brian started with over one hundred people in his first service. Very few of these first participants were believers from other churches, so there was no core group committed to him and to his vision for ministry. Starting with unchurched people presented some interesting challenges for Brian, and he invested a lot of brainpower and footwork to gather a large group into a church with a common purpose and vision. However, one of the greatest hurdles for church planters to overcome is the impression a very small church gives to a community; Brian had the advantage of starting out without this hurdle. After a year of ministry, his church is stable and growing.

On the other hand, Ken Brown also recently planted a church and came to speak the day after Brian. He highly recommended the core group approach, and he spent a great deal of time finding the right people and getting the small group on the same page before actually starting the church. By developing this faithful core, he has been able to launch a stable, healthy, growing church in his community.

God uses means, and he is not bound to use the same means to accomplish the same purposes in different circumstances. Any thoughts on the pros and cons of using a core group to plant a church?

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