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View Urban Church Planting Models

Models for Urban Church Planting

Purpose: To create the makings of a well conceived church plant project in the initial phases in an urban setting.

Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raised up the age old foundations; you will be called repairers of the walls, restorers of streets and dwelling.
Isaiah 58:12

Destructive forces are at work in the city, threats and lies never leave its streets.
Psalms 55:1

At a recent Center for Community Transformation workshop a group of Covenant church planting pastors came together under the aegis and desire to develop fundamental ways to be more effective in Urban Church Ministry. We also discovered that there are several models in urban church ministry that have found themselves in the historic fabric in our cities through out our urban landscape. Hopefully, whether this is a replant, transplant adoption or a new church plant, each one of these may find themselves embracing one of the models listed below as these churches establish their identity as a strong and healthy church ministry in our urban centers.

Generally these churches are revealed to us in 6 areas:

a.  First Church Model                      
Aging church whose glory days has long past by and is usually located in central urban downtown areas. However over time they have found creative ways to provide critical and productive ministries

b.  Inner City church Model                
Mainly in ethnic economically challenged communities that has limited resources

c.  LaSalle Street Church Model            
Multicultural church with a predominant anglo congregation with strong social and community ministries

d.  Bridge Church Model                    
Church that geographically borderlines central city and 1st ring suburban communities in order to accommodate both demographics

e.  Transition Church Model                
Church that is going thru ethnic or gentrification and transition in its immediate community

f.  Urban Middle Class Ethnic Model      
Church that have a strong preponderance of middle class ethnic persons that provide relevant urban ministry.

It is critical in each of the models mentioned that over a period of time we:

a.  Seek specific churches across the country that matches those models.
b.  Secondly, look at the fundamental challenges that each have historically faced.
c.  Thirdly, seek the basic opportunities these ministries provide to a community.
d.  Lastly, explore the principles under which each of these models exist and have found themselves successful.

It is our desire to not give the green light on any project that did not have a clear blueprint that was not “A urban well conceived project”. There were two broad principles that has to be defined by the prospective church planter before a urban project emerges:

a.  The soil of the church plant has to be properly prepared
b.  Secondly, the seed of the church plant has to be properly placed in the ground

      A.  SOIL – The conditions to begin the project (2 phases)

      Phase 1
      1.  A parent or partner churches to be signed off on this project
      2.  An advisory board would need to be formed comprising of pastors, lay and community leaders etc.
      3.  Well written urban project proposal
      4.  Set up urban tour of several churches that is similar to the plant that this proposed plant is developing
      5.  Partner ministries that would lend support to this project
      6.  Line up a friends of the ministry prayer support team
      7.  Core team of a minimum of 20- 30 adult persons
      8.  A goal of sending out quarterly newsletters to your total support team.

      Phase 2
      Extended 4 stage launch/ or a series of 4 developmental formations or phases that would be customized to fit a specific cultural group.

      a.  6 month period to begin building alliances – a 1 to 3 month urban tour would begin
      b.  An extended core group development formation for a period of 6 to 12 months
      c.  Covenant agreement may need to be extended in some cases

B.  SEED – The germination of the project

      1.  Determine the felt needs of the community – establishing the essentials of how this project will begin
      2.  Determine the type of worship style this church will establish – what type of church will we become?
      3.  Determine how the community will be ministered to – how will this church be involved in this community
      4.  Determine the right place for worship – what will be our first stage semi permanent facility
      5.  Determine the support system needed for this to be well conceived – how can they create sustainability for the long haul and not a mission dependent church ministry

Beyond all that was mentioned above there is a critical foundational issue that rises above all and that is who will be the church planter (Triple A)?

a.  Apostolic – does this person have the ability to drawn critical masses of people to their ministry. Are they networked in their community? Do they have evangelistic gifts?
b.  Anointed – Is there a sense that God is sending this person to do a special work? Has the senior pastor given his or her blessing on this person and new church plant?
c.  Academically prepared – has this person gone thru biblical or theological training? Have they been under authority in the recent past as a associate minister or pastor at a local church?

The second question that has to be unashamedly asked is what are the intrinsic gifts this person brings and more essentially, does this person have a specific call for this particular work?

DD 12/04