“Church planting” – so hot right now, right? Sure. After all, the current church planting era is wonderful in that it breaks away from traditional growth structures and makes the church about the people who compose it, not those who run it – at least, that’s the idea.
Carol S. Wimmer, author of the poem “When I Say I Am a Christian,” shares her thoughts on the term (and what it implies) in a post on her website. In short, churches are not seeds that grow – they’re nets woven together:
Missional or not, church plants continue to model the traditional idea of attracting people to a person, a place, or a particular mission. These models are not any better equipped to fulfill the over-arching organizational vision Jesus had for his bride, than was or is the institutional model.
*Jesus claimed the organizational model of the 12 tribes of Israel… Furthermore, he knew that the original organization of tribes looked like a net. So Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a net.” And he called fishermen into his inner circle because they were the ones who had net-making skills!
Nets are not planted on the ground and they don’t grow from the ground. They are tied on the ground and then lifted up and cast outward over the spiritual waters of an entire geographic area—villages, towns, cities, regions, etc.
The whole post is worth a read, but what do you think? Does she have a point? Should we be looking to the sea (rather than the ground) when it comes to the way we think about church growth?