Notes from the Dwell UK session by Scott Thomas, 12th July 2008, at St Paul’s Church, Robert Adam St. London. In my opinion this was the weakest of the sessions.
Am I a Church Planter?
The way to find out is to match yourseld up against this list.
- Am I a Christian – is Jesus Lord of every area of life?
- Does the Bible affect my heart?
- Am I Spirit-filled and led?
- Am I qualified as an elder (according to the model offered by Titus – being above reproach etc.)?
- Do I love the local church as an expression of a gospel community of mission?
- Do i feel like a missionary to the city I am in?
- Do I have a clear vision for how the work would happen?
- Am I willing to pour myself out in obedience to the vision?
- Am I physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally healthy?
- Am I a leader that other people will follow – have I had experience to back this up?
- Can I preach effectively?
- Am I theologically clear an can you Biblically back it up. (people with doctrinal error who leave some churches often start new ones)
- Can I put in steps to start a new thing (part of this is understanding who you are and what skills you have)
- Am I called to plant a church at this time an at this place. (Do we love the place?)
- Have my church leaders commended me for this work?
- Am I hard working? (will i persevere)
- Am I adaptable to new people and things?
- Can I raise funds to support me and my families needs, not just the needs of the church?
- Am I humble enough to learn from others who have gone before?
If questions 1-18 didn’t get you, question 19 is sure to! As I said I thought this was the weakest of the sessions at the Dwell UK conference. What bothered me was a couple of things. Scott Thomas kept going on about being a family man and the importance of family support – it was like he was saying that you needed to be a married man in order to even consider planting a church.
Early on in the session, he sais “You never want to just plant one church!” He claimed that as a church planted you should try and plant many. I think I disagree with this. Many people are called to cplant a new church in a particular area, and part of that is being committed to the area for a long period of time. Bill Hybels planted the Willow Creek church in Illinois as a youth congregation. It is still there, he is still there and the church is thriving. Hvaing said that, I’m sure Willow Creek as gone on to plant new congregations from it’s first one.