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  • I'm a creator, entrepreneur, author of DREAM YEAR, and aspiring novelist. My wife Ainsley and I live in Virginia Beach with our five kids Wyatt, Dylan, Cody, Annie & Millie

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could you relate this to your personal experience in the DC area? [or maybe that is in your upcoming book... which we your readers would be okay with you then not writing about it here...]

what grammar?

Ben, this is getting me excited about your new book.

i completely agree. i also think that this can also apply to coming on staff at a church as well. it seems to me that there are basically two types of guys on a church staff. the hometown heroes who are called to the church as much as they are called to ministry, and then the hired guns, who are brought in and have to find their own way. it seems that there is a bit of a learning curve for the hired gun guys to get aclimated to the church and how things "go," in the community.

i planted a church the wrong way. But by God's grace, there's an amazing church there today led by my good friend Matt. But I've been asking every planter that I know how they started... and every conversation confirms there are certain sociological factors that must be in place for a new church to flourish.

We have really seen this to be true at BridgeWay. I was a hired gun with no roots in the community, but was able to build a deep core team by networking in the local music scene. Musicians have some of the deepest networks I've ever seen. Much of our growth has happened by mining those networks.

I agree totally with this post. I actually did plant in my hometown and have had much better growth than I would have had elsewhere. It didn't hurt, however, that our town needed what we are offering desperately or that I had already planted a church in a town where I was not known. I learned from my mistakes there and was able to do better here.

I'd love to hear some perspectives of what makes a significant core group (deep roots) from some of the church planting readers as well as your take Ben.

Looking forward to the release of your book more than any other this year.

hi there!

talking about just the sociological factors, here's my take...

people follow a person, before they follow God. and that person needs to be able to start a crowd, before he cab plant a church. thus (sociologically speaking) likeability, cultural know how, credibility in the community, proficiency in the local vernacular and just plainly knowing the neighbours, are huge benefits to any potential church planter.

its like you said, before that they're missionaries!

thx for the thoughts...

Intriguing concept, but I have to disagree.

As a guy who has lived in 9 difference places in the last 7 years I don't have a lot of "roots" anywhere.

I currently live in a town with a highly density of highly transient people. Mostly military and technology jobs - very few grew up here - very few stick around for any amount of time.

I believe it is precisely my instability and "newcomer" status that will allow me to minister effectively to the masses of people in the same boat.

For me, "deep roots" it absolutely not the ideal scenario. I may wait 5 years before I plant a church, but I'm not going to wait 10.

I moved to Cartersville in April of 2005 to start a new church. Knew no one and worked hard to build a core group of about 20 adults. We launched in August of 2006.

So I spent one year on the ground before having public services. That felt about right for me.

I have fairly stong opinions. I think the parachute drop idea is not a good one. Plant in a culture you know, where people know you. Our church launched almost 3 years after I moved to this city. I knew lots of people because I had a job in the city where I met many people. When it came time to develop a core group, it was much easier because I was well connected. I understood the people and I was fully invested. This strategy of move to a new city and spend 6-8 months before launch I think is not a good idea and becoming less effective all the time.

I'm in my hometown, and I will agree that it is the ideal scenario. Like Ron I feel like we're in a place that desperately needs what we're doing (we'll see for sure...launch is Sunday, so we've got a ways to go). I have heard the idea from others that starting a church in your hometown is easy, and I completely disagree with that. There are challenges in either scenario. So much of that depends on your background in the community I guess.

The fellowship that I belong to has been planting churches since 1980. Many have worked and many have not, it's a mix bag of things. One thing for sure that I know is that we have sent couples out to cites where they knew no one and have done very well.

For example we had sent out Kelly and Esther Lohrke from Los Angeles area to Kansas City, and the plant there is now running over 500 people. Most of the church plants that we have done the people leave their home town and go into other cities. Again that is just one example I can give more.

interesting post...my wife and i have recently felt the conviction to move back to our home town to start a church there. it will be our first launch but i have worked in a plant before. there is definitely a great need there for a relevant, but bible-based church focused on the local community!

i am not sure how it will turn out but at this point we have strapped in and are ready to ride the wave...

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