September 10, 2013

EDOW: Report on the Church Planting Academy 2013

Today, we published an report on our attendance to the church planting academy in August. Here's a bit of that:

“Church planting” is a curious term. In a Diocese where the majority of our parishes have existed for over a century and many of them are struggling to survive, how does one plant a church? This is exactly what 18 representatives from our Diocese explored in mid-August when we attended the Church Planting Academy in Minneapolis, MN. There, church planters from across the country gathered to share concepts and practices for starting new Christian communities.

The term “church planting” works well in traditions with less polity and greater autonomy. As Episcopalians, we approach entrepreneurial, evangelistic ministry – the very things that comprise “church planting” -- a little differently. We come at it acknowledging the tradition and the family of faith communities that are already with us. We aren’t lone rangers, so we must beware how our ministry impacts others.

Some may begrudge this truth of being a part of denominational system. I don’t. I came from independent, low-church, evangelical stock – the very same origin as the majority of the conference speakers. And as I’ve “come of age” as an ecclesio-entrepeneur, I’ve discovered the value in being a part of something bigger than my own work. I’ve discovered the beauty in bringing together fresh expressions with seasoned traditions. And I’m convinced it is a blessing.
Read the rest...

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