I ordered the church planting manual from Redeemer Church Planting Center. For those of you who aren't familiar with Tim Keller, that is his churches' training arm for church planting. As an applicant with Acts29 we're required to attend a boot camp for 2 days and the one I'm looking at attending will be at Keller's church in April 2008.
I'm excited to get the manual, as I am with just about any church planting resource to see what they have to say. I've never planted a church before so I'm eager to learn and to digest as much as I can. I would say that I have experience growing ministries, but this seems to be a much different ballgame with some similarities thrown in.
So I open to the first page and here's some of the first material you dig into, and mind you this is just an introductory letter on the first page of the manual. WOW!
- First, we believe that the gospel is "the power of God unto church planting" as well as "unto salvation". The first key to any effective ministry is a firm grasp on the gospel's uniqueness and ability to continually revitalize people and communities.
- Second, Christian leaders regularly underestimate the importance and complexity of contextualization. The second key to any effective ministry is a creative ministry model that honors both Biblical commitments---the realities of the context and the gifts of its leaders.
- Third, we believe that, paradoxically, churches grow best not when they aim at church growth as much as when they serve the peace/shalom of the whole city. St. Augustine believed that citizenship in the City of God made us the very best citizens of the human city.
So when you start out with that focus and with that mindset, how can you not REALLY look forward to the next 265 pages of wisdom, practice, methodology, recommendations, and insights that this manual has to offer.
I'm curious if anyone else has ever gotten their hands on this manual and what was your take. Was it helpful in your efforts to plant your church?