I’ve kind of held off posting this blog for several weeks to think through . . . and pray through my feelings. Consequently my views and convictions have not changed.
Over the last several months I have spent time with five "church planters" that seem to have no problem with transfer growth – in fact they are encouraging it. Transfer growth is where a church atrracts people already involved in church. I understand that some transfer growth happens with most new church plants just by the situation. However, these "church planters" are actually targeting church people. They are doing "outreach events" on Christian college campuses, they are specifically targeting leadership in other churches to be on their core team and they are purposely acquiring meeting locations within blocks of where recent church plants have begun. It’s really . . . sad!
I think the most disturbing conversation I have had is when I asked one of these "church planters" what his goal was for reaching unchurched people. His reply was something like, "My goal is to re-educate Christians." Funny, but I fail to find that calling in the Great Commission.
Where has the passion for reaching unchurched people gone? Where has the drive to plant churches that are soul winners gone? Where has the desire to begin something new and different to reach new and different people gone? Where has the calling to follow the Great Commssion gone?
I find it an outrage that money is being wasted on these kind of "church plants". I am extremely bothered that denominational leadership is encouraging this pitiful excuse for church planting in order to "report the numbers". I guess I am most bothered by the lack of integrity, accountability and intelligence of "planting" churches that are only concerned with reaching church people.
I am no expert, but I have been a church planter for a while. This is only my opinion, but if a church is being planted with the goal of reaching mainly churched people then it is . . . not church planting!!!