Author Topic: STOP FUNDING CHURCH PLANTS - Start Funding Missionaries: A Plea to Denominations  (Read 1388 times)

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Offline Jetavan

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In evangelizing, American Protestants have often set up "church plants", new churches that receive their initial support from a mother church, but soon have to become self-supporting:

Quote
Traditionally denominations have funded church plants. They do this by providing a.) a full time salary plus benefits for three years, and b.) start-up funds for equipment, building rental etc. to a well-assessed church planter (read entrepreneur). The goal is a self-sustaining church in three years paying its own pastor’s salary and assorted sundry costs of running the church’s services. The costs are astounding, perhaps 300-400,000 dollars or more to get a church plant going.
 
Today, in the changing environments of N American post Christendom, this approach to church planting is insane. For it not only assumes an already Christianized population to draw on , it puts enormous pressure on the church planter to secure already well-heeled Christians as bodies for the seats on Sunday morning. This in itself undercuts the engagement of the hurting, lost peoples God is bringing to Himself in Christ
Recently, there has been a call to abandon that approach, and instead send small teams, perhaps composed of several couples, into an area, setting up a church in their spare time while working full-time secular jobs:

Quote
Instead of funding one entrepreneurial pastor, preacher and organizer to go in and organize a center for Christian goods and services, let us fund three or four leader/ or leader couples to go in as a team to an under-churched context (Most often these places are the not rich all white suburbs where evangelicals have done well planting churches).
 
Fund these leader/leader couples for two years instead of three. Fund them only with health insurance (in the States) and a reasonable stipend for housing. This gives them space to get a job on the ground floor of a company, at the bottom of the pay scale, learning a skill, proving themselves. They can do this because they have certain benefits and a place to live for two years.

I was wondering how this compares to how Orthodox parishes/missions get started.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 02:14:45 PM by Jetavan »
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Offline WetCatechumen

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We could always follow the Mormon model.
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Offline smithakd

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In evangelizing, American Protestants have often set up "church plants", new churches that receive their initial support from a mother church, but soon have to become self-supporting:

Quote
Traditionally denominations have funded church plants. They do this by providing a.) a full time salary plus benefits for three years, and b.) start-up funds for equipment, building rental etc. to a well-assessed church planter (read entrepreneur). The goal is a self-sustaining church in three years paying its own pastor’s salary and assorted sundry costs of running the church’s services. The costs are astounding, perhaps 300-400,000 dollars or more to get a church plant going.
 
Today, in the changing environments of N American post Christendom, this approach to church planting is insane. For it not only assumes an already Christianized population to draw on , it puts enormous pressure on the church planter to secure already well-heeled Christians as bodies for the seats on Sunday morning. This in itself undercuts the engagement of the hurting, lost peoples God is bringing to Himself in Christ
Recently, there has been a call to abandon that approach, and instead send small teams, perhaps composed of several couples, into an area, setting up a church in their spare time while working full-time secular jobs:

Quote
Instead of funding one entrepreneurial pastor, preacher and organizer to go in and organize a center for Christian goods and services, let us fund three or four leader/ or leader couples to go in as a team to an under-churched context (Most often these places are the not rich all white suburbs where evangelicals have done well planting churches).
 
Fund these leader/leader couples for two years instead of three. Fund them only with health insurance (in the States) and a reasonable stipend for housing. This gives them space to get a job on the ground floor of a company, at the bottom of the pay scale, learning a skill, proving themselves. They can do this because they have certain benefits and a place to live for two years.

I was wondering how this compares to how Orthodox parishes/missions get started.

I've seen a slow move supporting what you're saying, Jetavan, in my research.

I would suggest that Orthodox are not even up to this point...funding for missionary activities in the West seems limited.  The OCA has 5 church plants each year, and IIRC, these are to relatively established missions; I imagine other archdioceses' grants are similar.  New churches tend to be in areas where there are already Orthodox, who then found a church and (ideally) support a priest.
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Offline bogdan

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For Orthodoxy, rapidly-secularizing Protestant strongholds *are* mission fields, so perhaps we could steal pages from their book.

But for prots, this exemplifies the move to churches becoming personality cults of their preachers. I've seen it several times. These church plants mostly happen with some rising preacher in the center. I never want to hear complaints about sheep stealing when prots are the ones who do it the most--among themselves.

We could always follow the Mormon model.

How do they do things?
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 08:32:39 AM by bogdan »

Offline vamrat

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We could always follow the Mormon model.

How do they do things?

Despite being heretics, they take the "I was hungry and you fed Me" seriously.  The ones I have seen are generally morally upstanding people.  They are industrious and organized.  When I helped my buddy move his mom to a new apartment, about 20 of them showed up from her church.  Got a day or two's worth of work done in a couple hours.
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Offline Punch

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We could always follow the Mormon model.

I am more partial to the Islamic model, but, to the occasional frustration of my priest, I am still a work in progress.
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Offline JamesRottnek

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We could always follow the Mormon model.

How do they do things?

Despite being heretics, they take the "I was hungry and you fed Me" seriously.  The ones I have seen are generally morally upstanding people.  They are industrious and organized.  When I helped my buddy move his mom to a new apartment, about 20 of them showed up from her church.  Got a day or two's worth of work done in a couple hours.

I think WetCatechumen may have been referring to the method where the Mormons send out missionaries in pairs of two to be involved in the community doing everything possible (including going door to door) to preach Mormonism.  It really is something interesting, especially how the Mormon church doesn't fund the expeditions, but rather you get funding from your family, friends, community, and self.  If Orthodoxy had as many missionaries per capita as the Mormons do, we would be taking the world by storm.

Both the trait I mentioned and that you mentioned, are truly admirable things in the heretics.
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Offline orthonorm

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Both the trait I mentioned and that you mentioned, are truly admirable things in the heretics.

Heretic,

I agree and it is very much like in AA. AA doesn't cost a damn thing and people are loyal and help one another out, for the most part in my experience.

Right now, I know that there are at least 50 people who would answer a call from me and go out of their way on a Friday night and drop plans, if I needed it.

I am not sure if 50 people in my parish know my name.

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Offline JamesRottnek

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Why did you call me a heretic?  I once was a heretic.  Now I am just not yet a Christian.
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Offline Jason.Wike

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It takes time to grow a hardwood tree, weeds grow fast and proliferate... and die every winter.

Offline orthonorm

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Why did you call me a heretic?  I once was a heretic.  Now I am just not yet a Christian.

EDIT: See edit below.

I am using your definition.

Shall I link to the thread? You were rather clear.

So now, there is a third category? Christian, heretic, and not-yet Christian?

Yet you are clear about the status of everyone outside the Orthodox Church regarding their status of being a Christian. Perhaps they too are not-yet Christian.

I was just trying to be polite and uphold your understanding of this subject. If you have changed your mind, I gladly change my address.

I imagine it sucks to be called a heretic. I wonder how others feel when you use that word not only absolutely incorrectly but also freely when judging them.

EDIT: I see you have changed your mind in the other thread and consider yourself heterodox and others so. In that case, I concede. I will no longer adress you as such.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2011, 11:05:52 PM by orthonorm »
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Offline vamrat

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Why did you call me a heretic?  I once was a heretic.  Now I am just not yet a Christian.

EDIT: See edit below.

I am using your definition.

Shall I link to the thread? You were rather clear.

So now, there is a third category? Christian, heretic, and not-yet Christian?

Yet you are clear about the status of everyone outside the Orthodox Church regarding their status of being a Christian. Perhaps they too are not-yet Christian.

I was just trying to be polite and uphold your understanding of this subject. If you have changed your mind, I gladly change my address.

I imagine it sucks to be called a heretic. I wonder how others feel when you use that word not only absolutely incorrectly but also freely when judging them.

EDIT: I see you have changed your mind in the other thread and consider yourself heterodox and others so. In that case, I concede. I will no longer adress you as such.

In James' defense, I was the first in the thread to call them heretics.  Do you consider their religion to be Christian?  (Not attacking you, I'm just not sure what you would call them.)
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Offline JamesRottnek

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No, I think he was calling me a heretic.

In my definition, I said that one must be an Orthodox Christian.  This does not mean all non-Orthodox Christians are heretics.  In context, my statements were clearly meaning that those who claim Christianity as their religion are heretics, not that every non-Orthodox is a heretic.  I am on the path to becoming Orthodox, and am consequently on the path to becoming Christian.  Elsewhere I have stated that I don't consider Muslims to be heretics as was suggested by at least one poster.  I would not consider Buddhists to be heretics (though, certainly, they believe heresy, something that is not Orthodox).  By contrast, I would claim that Mormons are heretics.  Someone not claiming to be a Christian, and thus a member of the Church of Christ, is not a heretic.  Someone claiming to be a Christian who is not Orthodox, is a heretic.
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Offline smithakd

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I would love to hear more ideas about how Orthodoxy could establish church plants better or more effectively.

I know that we've need of it where I come from, I'm sure that other places are the same...
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Offline Jason.Wike

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I would love to hear more ideas about how Orthodoxy could establish church plants better or more effectively.

I know that we've need of it where I come from, I'm sure that other places are the same...

I think some kind of networking site where people could express an interest would be really useful. Say there are 10, 20 or 50 people or whatever living in an area without an Orthodox church who are either Orthodox or very interested in it. They don't know who to contact though, or they each individually are expressing their interest to different people; priests they know from far away, the Bishop of their particular jurisdiction, or no one because they don't know anyone or who to speak to. Each one priest or bishop (or no one) is only getting the message that there is a desire for a local church from one or a few people so it does not seem justified. But if everyone in the area can find each other and speak with a unified voice regardless of their particular jurisdiction there will be a much stronger case for starting a mission.

Offline pasadi97

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One thing to add, if you found, or establish an Eastern Orthodox Church, every Holy Liturgy done in that Church, you are mentioned . So even 1000 years after your death , This Church will pray for you and you get a very good place in prayers and are mentioned at HOLY LITURGY. And 40 Lituirgies can take souls from hell.

Another good things people can do is to give one Child to God or to Holy Mother of God. Elder Arsenie and Elder Cleopa were given to Holy Mother of God and Constantine the Emperor was given to God too.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 05:41:05 PM by pasadi97 »
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