Monday, November 03, 2008

Driscoll's 300, Where Art Thou?

I know this three months old, but Church Planting is vital, and Shane got me thinking. The 5th Obstacle for evangelism in Driscoll's 18 was about Church Planting. Mark said:
No less than 300 men have walked up to me and said ‘I want to plant a church and I can’t. What do I do?’ They need to be assessed and trained and only those who are fit should be released, but they have to be released.
Yes! My questions: has anyone tried to gather these 300 men? Can anyone account for this number? Has any gone looking for them? Does Acts 29 know who they are? Are you one of them? Do you know someone who spoke to Mark about wanting to plant, but can't? Has anyone asked Mark about this yet? Can they be gathered for prayer and initial planning/dreaming?

Man, that's Gideon's whole army!

If it's true, you can change a nation with that many people.



Gavin Perkins said...

Perhaps they are out there... although I don't know 300.
Most are in the category of "I'd love to plant, but I can't do it because no-one has given me 30 people, $100,000 and a building. I'm just not supported."

Justin said...

Hey Gav.

Perhaps. But how do you know that most are in this category?

michael jensen said...

There's quite a bit of scepticism about this out there... I don't want to accuse the Driscollator of telling porky pies, but I do find it very hard to believe him. 300? You're having a laugh, mate! Perhaps we should ask him to tell us a bit more about this, really. Was he exaggerating for effect? Maybe it's one of those things where if the BIble does it, it is ok for us to do it (like being rude).

Gavin Perkins said...

Hi Justin
To give you the numbers... I know of about 10 young men who have talked to me about church planting in the next few years.
Four are at Moore and will probably take jobs in the Anglican Church planting post-College.
Six talk about church planting, but have not actually done anything practical about it. My advice to them is that church planting is basically just a from of organised evangelism... and so get on with evangelism where you are right now. And so 6 to 4 the "all talk, wait for the cash" group wins.
BTW none are thinking of just doing evangelism, gathering them together and starting from scratch.

CraigS said...

4 or 5 people spoke to me about church planting in the wake of BYPJ. Some may end up doing it...

geoffc said...

maybe the 300 were Moore college students, and then when Phillip Jensen came and spoke about what is required to be a church planter, and what an entrepeneur looks like, and that 6 of 7 plants fail, they all realised they weren't church planting material...

But seriously, if there were 300 people, my gut reaction is that while Driscoll was here they were caught up in some kind of 'hype'. I don't say that in a condemning sought of way, but there is this 'wave of excitement', it's hard not to want to be on that wave. It's exciting! Now, when people are calling them to come plant churches, there would be lots of "I have to get this done first...", or "I can't because of this..."

You think?

Sam said...

i know 1 bloke is seriously church planting. and good gospel minded men are looking at him going "wow! i don't know if i could do that!"

and if there are 300 then then not moving away from the comfort of Sydney!

Stephen Murray said...

Gavin - just wondering, but in our little denom in South Africa (Church of England in South Africa) we have some very set models about what church should look like and many young guys who would be keen to plant but feel the pressure to conform to the models of the system (which from my limited experience are very similar to the models in Sydney). I've heard senior clergy tell younger ministers who want to plant out of other churches that they can't until the church is over 200 strong and has a budget of x-amount. In many ways our neat structures don't allow for people to just go out and do evangelism and start from scratch wihtout breaking ties from the denom which we shouldn't have to do for gospel growth. Could it not be the case your side too?

Philip said...

I would love to meet some of these guys.

I can take 20 people tomorrow and stick them in towns with no gospel witness to start evangelising and church planting. We can provide oversight and mentoring from experienced church planters. And there is almost total freedom to just get out there and do the job. Any takers?

Oh, by they way they need to learn Chinese first - but we can help with that too ;-)

mandy malone said...

these are great points - esp. the ones about how people aren't willing to start from scratch, just get out there, share the gospel and form communities of faith from THOSE people

- why? it might not get as much recognition, might be slow going for longer. But it MUST be done: hey, that's what it's all about in the end. why plant churches? so we can have more churches? (please, save me!) it's all a bit contrived or fake if it hasn't come directly from people coming to faith.
BUt it's more fashionable to talk about church planting.
I think ANY believer can do it. actually ALL believers should be doing it in some way. even without Bible college necessarily.

PS.a hunch I have is that there is a lack of encouragement and training for those giving it a go in the background (i.e those actually sharing their faith, seeing people respond to the gospel, building faith communities from there). and sometimes people don't even recognize or appreciate the potential they have as a "church-planter" because its become this elitist thing

I think in Sydney (or maybe the west at large) we sometimes have found ourselves at the bottom of a sad, deep, dark, hopeless pit. We've become accustomed to people NOT coming to faith. That's the norm. Which may be why Sam, people say "I couldn't do that!" At least most of the time on the overseas mission field the expectation is there ("we implore to you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God!"), and even more crucially, the desire. ("my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved!")

good point Phillip. would they go to China? if they were serious, maybe they would.