Church Planting in Rural Areas Church Planting in Rural Areas A Mission Historical Perspective In the past, churches have been planted in rural Britain The early churches British Parish System developed
16th 18th Century Dissent 19th Century Evangelism 20th Century Revivals Defining Church Planting A brand new pioneered church A local daughter church A second congregation in the same building A new church in redundant church premises A radically different church growing out of a previously declining church
Triggers Expansion of congregation Spontaneous and independent Extension a response to an opportunity Ex-Tension relieving stress Mission Strategy Adoption request Plant-back One Person in Six lives in the rural areas In scattered
housing and rural communities up to 5,000 Some who lives in rural Britain? Indigenous villagers Professional people Historic land owners Movers and shakers
New land owners The Good Life people Farmers etc Retired people Suburban commuters Second Home
owners and second home owners Some rural characteristics Sociologists note that quite commonly people in smaller rural communities can be characterised by Conservatism Resistance to change Insularity
Caution Suspicious of anyone/anything from outside So rural communities are unique combinations of various complex factors Size Proximit y to town or city Socioeconomi c history
Shape The People mix General location Current economic life Why plant churches? Fulfilling the Great Commission A consequence of evangelism
A means of fast-track evangelism A means of fast-track discipleship Increased gospel penetration Cultural adaptability What churches are present in rural England? 63% Church of England 26% Methodist 5% Baptist 3% URC and Continuing Congregational 3% Others
Current Opportunities Population movement People-group movement Culture change Past church closure Existing church failure Rural Opportunities Population growth Government development schemes Population culture change Closure of thousands of churches Ineffective churches
The Rural Constraints Small population : Church attendance (A highly effective rural church contains 3% of the population) Resistance from existing churches Requires high stickability Lack of sensible strategic vision The Rural Constraints Premises Finance Rural social traits Culturally sensitive evangelism
The right plant for the soil The importance of the local church being truly local Church Planting in Rural Areas Lessons learned Become an active part of the wider village community (avoid looking like a sect) Engage in local ecumenical activity Develop the gifts and ministries of
others Church Planting in Rural Areas Lessons learned Have a clear vision A sense of Gods will is essential A common purpose An agreement on style Employ an appropriate ministry style Urban concepts hinder Go gently
Go slowly Church Planting in Rural Areas Lessons learned Teach faithfulness from the start Have a senior friend Use home-groups Rural Church Planting The seven most common problems 1. Difficulty in motivating others to share responsibility/
leadership/ ministry a) Pioneer personality b) Conflict with secular role c) Target the teachable rather than the talented Rural Church Planting The seven most common problems 2. Ill-will from existing churches a) b) c) d)
Practise integrity Show concern for other churches Opposition subsides Other churches grow too 3. Conflict over vision/style Hidden agendas coming to light! Rural Church Planting The seven most common problems 4. Using public premises a) Availability
b) Suitability c) image of a proper church 5. Lack of consistent commitment No role models Rural Church Planting The seven most common problems 6. Poor foundations Malcontents! 7. Remote leadership Need to belong to the village
community Current Examples Of Fresh Expressions Mostly as part of an existing local church Mostly Messy Church and Caf Church Current Examples Outreach House, Cumbria Current Examples
Outreach House, Cumbria Commenced circa 2004 Small community church Outward Looking Shop Project Congo Project Witherslack Wellie Event Current Examples Light and Life Church, Cornwall
Characteristics: Outward looking Obedient Faith Current Examples Light and Life Church, Cornwall Free Methodist Began in 1984 (5 members in 1985) 1994 John Townley (45/50 members) 1997 98 members 2001/2002 Penzance 2006 Truro
2009 By now 400 converts, 700 members Current Examples Threshold, Lincolnshire Commenced 1995 Vision for planting churches in rural Lincolnshire Churches in Nettleham, Welton/Dunholme, and Lincoln Church Plants develop independent style and all meet together bi-monthly Healthy ecumenism Outward looking
The Birth of Pulse Cafe Next Village had no church local Christians had been praying Roots in the Lighthouse concept, we began imagining something regular and child friendly on neutral ground Informal Conversations with nearest clergy Practical support from a number of local Christians from different churches The church buying into the vision PULSE
Caf 3rd Sunday service Kids Aim: holiday Generous Style club Hospitalit Lay led, caf style y
service at All action Not a Little service!! Kingshill SAFE!! Caf - generous hospitality YOUNG PEOPLE have been vital 45
Sep-09 Aug-09 Jul-09 32 Jun-09 May-09 49
Apr-09 48 Mar-09 Feb-09 44 Jan-09 Dec-08
54 Nov-08 57 Oct-08 60 Sep-08 40
Aug-08 47 Jul-08 51 Jun-08 53 May-08
49 49 Apr-08 39 Mar-08 38 Feb-08 46
Jan-08 43 Dec-07 40 Nov-07 Oct-07 Sep-07
Aug-07 Jul-07 44 Jun-07 May-07 Apr-07 Mar-07
40 Feb-07 Jan-07 Dec-06 Nov-06 50 Oct-06
Numbers of Children Pulse Monthly Attendance 56 52 54 50 47 45 42 40
36 38 33 33 30 23 21 20 10 0
Where children come from? Great Kingshill Little Kingshill Prestwood High Wycombe Hazlemere Great Missenden Hughenden Valley Holmer Green Widmer End Elsewhere Cryers Hill Grand Total
58 22 21 11 11 9 9 5 3 3 2 154
Which Schools children attend? Great Kingshill Combined Little Kingshill Combined Prestwood Infant Prestwood Junior Gateway Elsewhere Great Missenden C of E Holmer Green Infants Chesham Prep Elmtree Chesham Godstowe Heatherton House Holmer Green Junior
Little Missenden Infants Speen Infant Woodlands Pre School Grand Total 75 38 9 8 7 4 3 2 1
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 154 Numbers Attending church that we know of No church we are aware of Little Kingshill Little Kingshill (New) Kings, Amersham
Hazlemere Holmer Green Baptist St. P&P Hughenden Prestwood Kings St. Andrews, Hatters Lane Prestwood, HT Grand Total 81 32 23 3 3
3 3 2 2 1 1 154 N.B. Little Kingshill (New) are those who have started coming to Little Kingshill since attending Pulse. This includes those who have transferred from elsewhere. Stepping stones for
some POSITIVES? Building friendships Relationships with schools Local Christians engaged in regular mission Christian presence in village Young people VERY Not so positives?
Demanding Upsets Continuity Leadership stretched Hard to keep the motivation we are now into our 4th year, and one of the secrets and joys
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