Most 25-year-old church planters are planting the same way we’ve always planted.
I’ve written a lot on church planting. One of the things I’m continually reminded of is that as culture changes, so too does our strategy and methodology for planting churches. If we are focused on reaching people for Jesus, then we must be willing and able to plant churches which most effectively do that.
As I continue to look at church planting, let me share just two trends I’ve noticed over the past few years, but also talk about their counter trends as well.
Trend 1: An Emphasis on Urban Centers
A number of major denominations continue to emphasize church planting in urban centers. Part of the urban trend is because people are going back to the cities. Church plants follow people. And church plants in urban centers must deal with serious issues of gentrification, poverty, and marginalization. As people move back to cities, some people are pushed out, which creates more tension that the Church must speak into.
Unfortunately, with the urban focus has come a less organized urban focus among the urban poor. Although there are exceptions, what’s happened is that strategically, denominations and their resources have been focusing on more of the following the people to the city instead of planting among those who have been there for decades.
The good news is that there’s always a flow of under-the-radar, economically depressed, marginalized people planting churches reaching other marginalized people. There are people who feel the Spirit move them and they go plant a church.
A note on counter trends: If church plants follow people and a trend is towards urban centers, I must also say that there are now movements in the rural areas to counteract the high emphasis on cities. When urban centers become the focal …