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.