OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.

It depends on one's SHAPE

It depends on one's SHAPE

What kind of ‘church’ do you want us to plant Bob? (And Chris, for that matter!)
I’m all for the church planter planting the kind of church he feels compelled to plant. No one model is sufficient. I often cringe when I hear people denigrating the “old dead church” they grew up in (you know, the one where something was sparked in them to serve God in a shiny new way). As long as a church really is a church, then she’s Christ’s beloved bride, empowered by his spirit, and a force that hell’s gates must reckon with. What people call out-dated models of church are often just an earlier generation’s cutting-edge model, and while they may not be for “us,” they frequently spawned “us” in the first place and still have their appeal. We need churches for the remnants of those earlier generations, even if we also urgently need churches for different new cultures.

My own ministry philosophy is for a church planter (or team) to consider their “SHAPE” (per Rick Warren) in plotting their strategy:

  • S = Spiritual gifts
  • H = Heart (passion)
  • A = Abilities
  • P = Personality
  • E = Experience

    (If memory serves.)

    We need churches for old people whose friends and relatives are dead or dying and who can’t quite figure out how things are changing around them. We need churches for dysfunctional people who are doing well just to show up for life every day. We need churches for prodigal Christians who are afraid they’ve blown it with God. We need churches for secular people who never give God much thought at all. We need to nurture, challenge, and equip. Churches that are strong in one area inspire those that are weak, and are often inspired in their turn.

    So, I’m not real picky on what kinds of churches “we,” in general, should plant. When it comes to enlisting my own financial support or my personal involvement, I tend to consider SHAPE. Otherwise, I’m just glad a new church is being planted.

  • Why YOU Should Plant a Church By: Bob Hyatt (19 replies) 25 February, 2005 - 22:31