Organic Movement – Reverse Church Planting

Planting Organic Churches

Today, a lot of what is called church planting is really starting a new 1 hour service for people to attend.  There's a belief that just by opening your doors and great preaching, you will start a revolution.  We've seen these new churches spring up and begin to market themselves as the cool new 'un-church' where they hope to get marginal Christians to commit to the new endeavor.  The debates go back and forth about planting with a core or planting big and gathering a core from that.   As we've been involved in church planting, our thinking has changed.  Here is how we envision Planting New Gatherings in the City (pdf):

1. A Team (some call this an Apostolic Team) of people (Missional Community) are on mission in a specific area of the city.  This Missional Community has the DNA intended to replicate, be on mission and disciple people.

2. The Missional Community multiplies.  See also:  Missional Community Leader Development (pdf)

3. As several new Missional Communities are formed in an area, they begin to be trained to create a new gathering in the city.  This includes a weekly worship service to gather the communities to celebrate, worship and hear the Word of God.

4. A movement of Missional Communities and gatherings spreads through the city as a visible witness and gospel hermeneutic.

See also: Leadership Development in Community and people of God exercising their gifts as Prophets, Priests & Kings.

  • Michael Foster

    March 5, 2008, 10:18 am

    I tip my hat to your chart making abilities!

  • Keith Watson

    March 5, 2008, 6:52 pm

    I think the most interesting part of the “debate” on methods for planting is that there is 1 single “right” way (not saying that you have done that here Drew). The New Testament doesn’t seem quite that clear. Jerusalem started huge and grew quickly. Of course they had a core of 120. Paul traveled into an area, proclaimed Christ in the synagogue and then in the public square – the people who believed formed the church. How do we connect synagogues and public squares to our modern culture? Is the “right” way in San Diego the “right” way in Macon?

  • D. Goodmanson

    March 5, 2008, 11:12 pm

    Good point. Our thoughts have been what is the best form to see gospel change. So we are not opposed to larger gatherings or smaller contexts.

  • Joe Miller

    March 7, 2008, 12:44 pm

    Hi, my name is Joe Miller. I came to your site today for the first time and was very excited to see the direction you are leading.

    I am doing a church plant in Orting Washington. We are coming up on our 1 year launch anniversary! I am working on my Doctor of Ministry project through Talbot School of Theology. My dissertation is focused on the development of teams for planting churches.

    I am pleased to have the participation of guys like Eric Bryant, Gary McIntosh, Gary Irby, Nelson Searcy and several national leaders of church planting movement. I also need more church planters who have built a Core/Launch Team. Guys who have developed several teams and guys who are early on and just now developing a team for the first time can support this project. I would especially love to have your input because I think you are doing some things that are different than some of the other guys helping on this project.

    Would you be willing to share your expertise by helping advance this project? If so, please take this short 5 minute survey.

    Thanks for your time and help the cause of church planting!

  • D. Goodmanson

    March 7, 2008, 12:52 pm

    Joe, I’d encourage you to connect with Soma Communities near where you are.

  • Joe Miller

    March 7, 2008, 7:00 pm

    Will do. In the meantime, if you have 5 minutes, I would love your input on the survey.

  • Reid

    March 18, 2008, 7:59 am

    Drew – thanks man. I am in the middle of this stuff as we are moving to Jersey in two months. My gut is that when we gather for word and sacrament in my house that we are “a missional community” – and that this is not just people working to have a service soon.

    I just read and reviewed Searcy’s “Launch” and it seems his work is “best of breed” on the launch the service side of things. I feel like his book would be helpful to dudes who have big needs in learning to plan, raise money etc. yet the focus simply on the service lost me a bit.

    I have Total Church coming soon in a sexy little brown box. I appreciate you guys labors on this stuff and seems to resonate what I am thinking. Missional communities yet which still gather (and the gathering doesn’t have to be just thrown together) for preaching and sacraments.


    March 20, 2008, 6:51 am

    this site is good, it contain what is vital to the ministry and i have develope a good atitude of visiting it every morning.My desire and a call is to start a church or plant a church in Nairobi kenya, how can i be help in planting?yes i would want to plant if possible in the month of july

  • Rob Olson

    July 29, 2008, 7:20 pm

    Good stuff. Thanks so much for sharing. Being the “technocrat” that I am, I have a couple quick questions. As you have lived this model, what has been the time table from taking a brand new follower of Jesus to a leader? Do you have a “curriculum” you use with the modeling that takes place, or is it more or less up to the “mentor” as to how the protege is trained? Thanks for your work. It’s exciting to see the Lord use so many different ways to reach the lost and equip the Church.