A New Kind of Christianity … from a potential church planter

Here’s the Q:

Hey Brian, just finished the book and I love it. I’m there. I’m with you. Here’s the problem: [Our church] is due to plant a [daughter] church…

More after the jump…

How that plant looks is still up for discussion. There are quite a few who want to plant a church that is “in the familya” of the current church. I’m not sure if I’m one of them because I’m pretty sure that they wouldn’t say what I just wrote: I’m there. I’m with you.
The tension is represented in the the quote at the end of the book – alone, we go fast, but together we go far…
How do I know when I’m supposed to go alone and when I’m supposed to submit in love and grace and humility to what’s happening already with the hope that we might go farther that way, eventually? The last thing I want is a church disagreement but the equally last thing I want is to feel as though I can’t explore some of the questions you and others are asking because I’m under the umbrella of something else.
Disagree, but do it gracefully… Does that really always work? At some point, it’s just not graceful, given some of the issues we are disagreeing over? Is it ever worth some of those rough edges (which Christianity has long been, unfortunately, known for) to pursue this new kind of christianity in a new kind of church setting?
Whether you have time to answer or not, thanks for the great book!

R: Thanks for your question. I know a lot of people will resonate with it. In addition to what I wrote in Chapter 21, I’d say that the more the new church is under the control of the mother church, the harder it will be to engage with these new questions, unless the leaders of the “mother” church explicitly give the new congregation freedom to experiment. Another way to increase the possibilities of the new community having some more creative space would be to set aside at least one year for “gestation,” a kind of pregnancy period for the core team to think things through. There would be a lot of creative ways to spend that year – visiting a wide variety of churches and learning from them all, spending time with non-church folks and really listening and engaging with them, reading and discussing some good books together, and so on. A younger version of your current church would be a good thing, I’m sure, but so would a faith community with a little more freedom to innovate. In the long run, as I say in the book, new churches that innovate will create models for existing churches to imitate. The new and the existing are part of one larger eco-system. May God bless and guide you!