Monday, November 26, 2012

A Rant on Church Planting Conference

Found an advertisement for a big, and I mean, apparently a BIG conference on church planting. Over 100 speakers and workshops over 3 days. Topics include planting and growing a church through:

Recruiting, Funding, Casting a Vision, Generosity, Stewardship, Discipleship, Relationships, Score Cards (?), How to Plant an "Urban" Church, Effective Evangelism, Spiritual Leadership, Discipleship, Neighborhoods, Kingdom Movement Instead of Institution, Maximizing Leadership, Excellence, Being Multi-Ethnic, Being Holistic (?), Being Culturally Appropriate, Leadership (AGAIN?) Culture, Passionate Spirituality and Creativity (?), Modeling for Leadership (AGAIN?), Create Ownership, Getting the Bible into Water-Cooler Conversations, Avoiding Stress, Project Management, Recruiting, Teaching for Life Change, Personal Leadership (THERE IT IS AGAIN!), Financial Resources, Build A Better Worship Experience, Launch Larger, Get the Public's Attention, Financial Reso
urces (ALSO AGAIN?), Relationships, Reproducing Leaders (Honestly, Lord help me, this is getting ridiculous), Getting Apprentices, Creating Artists (?), Planting in a Urban City, Discipleship, Missional Communities, Missional Paradigm Shifts (?), Multiplying Leaders (oh good grief), Future Travelers (?), Being Multi-Site, Being Multi-Ethnic, Being Small Town, Being Urban, Being Spanish, Things to Do Before, Things to Do After, New Ministries, Team Leadership (AGAIN?!?), Vision Casting, Women in Leadership (of course!), Communication, Leading your Family, Leading Through Crisis, Leading Ourselves (I think I'm going to be sick), Counseling, and of course, one more on Finances.

Not a single, solitary lesson/track/workshop/session on PRAYER.

I fear our church planting movement phenomenon is in SERIOUS trouble.


  1. I see your point but I think prayer is so central that it is woven into every seminar. And if this is the conference I believe it is, there are corporate devotions and prayer times as well as a prayer room available 24/7.
    Finally, approaching it from another direction, if you need a seminar on how to pray as an individual or as a church planter you have no business being in any kind of ministry leadership, let alone being a church planter

  2. Thanks for your input Randy. I sincerely appreciate it! I also posted this on my Facebook, and things got pretty hot over there!
    I acknowledge I am taking this at simply advertised value- I have never attended the conference personally. Also, I do accept that there are conferences out there that deal with specific "niches" and this may simply be dedicated more towards practical tools, procedures and systems. I attended a church planting school and one of the most important sessions was on legal issues to keep in mind when writing and enforcing church policies. Yikes right there!
    However, I see where you are going with the last statement, but I don't entirely agree. I don't know of ANYONE, especially MYSELF, who truly "knows how to pray." It is a lifelong learning process and relationship. Prayer and our walk with God is so paramount and important, I worry that we are sometimes substituting this stuff (our actions) for the work and power of God. While I agree we need to be diligently working, put forth our best and try our hardest to be the best church we can be, that doesn't negate our need to be dependent on God and HIS working in HIS church.
    Of course, people who misuse systems and ideas doesn't mean having systems and ideas is bad.
    Thanks for your interaction! Please feel free to share any more thoughts you may have!

  3. I've noticed this as a problem in every conference, every circle and every group. Prayer is neglected because we are so smart we don't need God's power.

    1. Great insight! Good reminder that the problem is everywhere. We ALL need a revival in our prayer life. Lord help our unbelief!