Church Plant Boot Camp Pt. 2

What is the purpose of planting churches?

Generally speaking, churches are to make disciples.  Churches are to be the Body of Christ in the world.  Churches are to reflect God’s love.

Curiously, in the curriculum for the Boot Camp was this statement,

“Church planting is about one thing- Putting People in Seats.”

I posted this on my twitter feed and some comments came in regarding the above statement.  I wanted to spend a little time talking about this.

  • I don’t feel like the presenters have made the case that we plant churches to get people in seats.
  • In fact, one of the presenters Top Ten Mistakes New Church Pastors Make states, “Pursuing the Great Commission to the Peril of Ignoring the Great Commandment.”  We were told to be a lover of God trying to plant a church rather than a church planter trying to love God. 
  • In a sense, it is more difficult to make disciples or share the Gospel if we do not get people in the seats.  Our worship services are not to be Holy Huddles, but we are to reach out and invite others in.  However- weekly worship services are not the only place where disciples can be made.  We must be willing to go outside the church walls and build relationship with those who do not know Christ.

While I don’t think the presenters really mean putting butts in seats is the most important task of church planting, I wish the above statement did not appear in the material.  Much of what is wrong in the church growth movement is the importance that is placed on getting butts in the seats (and dollars in the offering plate).  The emphasis for the church planter is to develop and missionary heart and love for the lost and to live incarnationally among them- inviting them to encounter the transformational love and grace of Jesus Christ.

About Steve LaMotte

Husband of Andrea and father of four amazing children. Pastor at Avenue United Methodist Church in Milford, Delaware.
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