Monday, October 10, 2005

Planting For Organic Growth

Our church has recently moved into a new location, one that is within a new neighborhood in far north Ft. Worth, and has not developed a strong sense of community. The school we are now meeting in is the first public building within the community(currently around 1000 households). Our planting core is busy studying our community and how we can be incarnational within it; how we (especially the families in our core who live within the community) can be Jesus followers organically growing there. Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch, in their book The Shaping of Things to Come, give some ways of listening to the context of the community in which a church is planting:
  • Observe the organic social rhythms of the host or target community
  • Watch for the social patterning
  • Ask where the social centers in your community are. Or as Brian Ollman at the millennia Co-Op in Los Angeles says, "Where are the ant trails? And where are they leading?"
  • Ask "What is church for this group of people?" and "What will a Jesus-centered faith community look like among this people with their particular culture?"
  • Do not import an alien or artificial model of church. Try to help develop one that is truly indigenous to that culture or subculture.
  • Keep asking, "What is good news for this community?"


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