Paul was bi-vocational. It was partly so that he could eat. It was partly so that he could support his team (Acts 20:4). I believe, however, that Paul could have asked almost anything he wanted from his churches support-wise, but instead chose to go where the traffic was. In the same way, the apostles in Acts 3 are visiting the temple during the time of prayer (Acts 3:1). Church planters go where the people already are.
Alan Hirsch talks about proximity spaces rather than centralized gatherings in church buildings. (p25 hirsch) If people are at a coffee shop, why start a Christian one? The name of the game is infiltration, and if you want to infiltrate people, you go where they go. You don’t ask them to come where you are. To meet them on their turf, you may need to go to an MMA gym and partner with them like Josh Boyd from Fight Church in Las Vegas. You set up church in a motel courtyard in Stanton. In a Park on Sunday mornings in an inner city neighborhood.
At a recent coaching session we did with a church planter, he’d mentioned that they’d moved into the old church building in the neighborhood that was used for weddings and funerals. The old church had gone bankrupt and they were seen as the new church with money who had pushed the old one out. Damage control was what was needed with the community more than anything. The message they sent to that community was crucial. We suggested that instead giving a modernizing overhaul renovation to the old chapel, that they should try to reach youth, they restore the old chapel with money from the weddings and funerals and make sure that the people know that that building “belongs” to the community because their most precious memories were there. They could also open up the new building to be a multi-use facility. In other words, since they had a building, they needed to use it in a strategic way. It sits there week after week unused except for twice a week. Meanwhile, opening it up to Karate classes, ballet classes, gardening groups, would serve as a white flag to the community. In the inner city, you could start D.J. Workshops, vegan gardening groups, or infiltrate model car racers.
Buy Peyton’s newest book “Reaching The Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art” over on Amazon.com. You can also download a free chapter and watch a cool trailer for the book HERE or click the image below.