OrthodoxChristianity.net
September 20, 2014, 06:16:47 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Church planting??  (Read 885 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Timon
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,490



« on: December 15, 2011, 10:59:41 AM »

Ok... So I feel like I have completely detached myself from protestantism, then something like this pops in my head and I begin to wonder if there is still a little bit left... Ha!

What is your take on protestant style church planting?  As you may know, this is very common in the protestant world and to me it doesnt seem like an all bad thing.  I know people who plant churches all the time because they feel that God has called them to.  They make great sacrifices to make these things happen, so who am I to doubt that God called them??

Is there similar stuff that happens in Orthodoxy?  It is my understanding that not just anyone can plant an Orthodox church like you can a protestant church.  Why not exactly?

And to be clear, Im talking about church plants who believe in the Trinity, that Jesus was both God and man, and would be in agreement with the Creed, although they may not recite it regularly. Im not talking about wacky church plants like the Westboro Baptist or whatever.

Would this type of church planting be a good thing? Or bad thing?
Logged

Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

— Chrysostom

BLOG
Father Peter
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: British Orthodox Church within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate
Posts: 2,645



WWW
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2011, 11:11:47 AM »

Orthodox are doing this all the time. It is how new missions begin.

I am myself in the praying and planning stages of planting an English language Orthodox mission in central London.
Logged

Lord have mercy upon me a sinner
http://www.orthodoxmedway.org

My blog - http://anorthodoxpriest.blogspot.co.uk

The poster formerly known as peterfarrington
dcommini
Tha mi sgulan na Trianaid
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 1,202


Beannachd Dia dhuit

dcommini
WWW
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2011, 11:49:05 AM »

One of the posters on this forum is a member at a mission that was started by my parish, and I hear of a few parishes starting mission churches where there is an Orthodox presence but not in a location to regularly attend. I guess that you could call these "plant" churches.
Logged

Gun cuireadh do chupa thairis le slàinte agus sona - May your cup overflow with health and happiness
Check out my blog...
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2011, 11:53:58 AM »

Yep, Orthodoxy was brought to North America through Alaska by the same means. Such a project would require approval from the bishop because they are the guardians of the faith.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 11:56:16 AM by Ortho_cat » Logged
Benjamin the Red
Recovering Calvinist
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America, Diocese of Dallas and the South ||| American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese
Posts: 1,601


Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.


« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2011, 12:01:22 PM »

New Orthodox Missions spring up, really, all the time. The U.S. is full of 'em (as well as many other non-historically Orthodox lands). They're quite vital, actually, because a new mission is how the Church comes to reside in yet another city. While people in a certain area may discover a parish and convert, it is important to plant new missions in other places as well, that a previous "unserviced" or "untouched" area would have an Orthodox presence and develop itself as a parish (which from the Greek simply means something like "neighborhood" or "community", lit. "para" + "oikos").

How do missions start? There are probably as many stories of how missions begin as there are missions. Every community has it's own history. My parish came into the Orthodox Church already as community of Christians, members of the Evangelical Orthodox Church. The parish was received into the OCA wholesale under the omophor of Abp. Dmitri of Blessed Memory. Other times, a group of people (usually several famlies, if a mission is to succeed) will inquire to the closest parish and, upon deciding to convert, will begin working to establish a mission where they already live instead of moving to a parish. The nearest parish will catechize, baptize and chrismate them. Then, they will find a space for worship and hold reader's services, usually a priest will come for Liturgy every once in a while. Eventually (God-willing), the mission will be sent a full-time priest, gain full parish status, and build a permanent Orthodox temple for worship. These are just some examples of how missions start. Again, there are probably as many ways to start a mission as there are missions!

You mention that, " It is my understanding that not just anyone can plant an Orthodox church like you can a protestant church.  Why not exactly?" In a way, this is true. Anyone can petition the Church to establish a mission, must this must receive the blessing of the local bishop to proceed. Why? Because the Church is not some loosely-affiliated group of folks who sit around and read old books whilst eating bread and drinking some grape juice. The Church is a visible body, established by Christ and led by the Apostles, who have ordained their successors that have come down to us into the present day in the episcopate. The unity of the Church is in the bishop, who is surrounded by his priests, deacons and people.

In short: no bishop, no church. Period. ecclesiology is sacramental in Orthodoxy. The office of bishop is endowed with a certain role, a certain grace, as are the priests, deacons, etc. You can't have sacraments, for example, without a priest (baptism in extremis being an exception). No priest, no Eucharist, no chrismations, no marriages, etc. And priests are always attached to and assigned from a bishop...they serve at the behest of their hierarch. So, again...no bishop = no priest = no sacraments = no church.

But anyway, to go back to your original question: Yes, new missions exist and are founded all the time, particularly in historically non-Orthodox areas. You won't find as many in, say, Greece...Orthodoxy has had a firm hold on the population there for quite some time! But, places where the church is growing, they're everywhere! There's probably one that isn't terribly far from you (maybe further than you'd care to travel regularly, but still..."terribly" is a somewhat relative term!).
Logged

"Hades is not a place, no, but a state of the soul. It begins here on earth. Just so, paradise begins in the soul of a man here in the earthly life. Here we already have contact with the divine..." -St. John, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, Homily On the Sunday of Orthodoxy
mike
Stratopedarches
**************
Offline Offline

Posts: 21,467


WWW
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2011, 12:33:23 PM »

My grandmother and a few friends of her started a parish in their town.
Logged

Byzantinism
no longer posting here
Timon
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,490



« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2011, 12:34:47 PM »

Thanks for the replies everyone!  

So, if you were talking to a protestant who says he is a "church planter" and spends his whole life planting churches, would this be a good or bad thing to you?

I guess I am of the opinion that its better for someone to attend the local baptist/lutheran/methodist/etc church than not attend any church at all.  I guess thats why I am a little more sympathetic to so many evangelical church plants popping up all over the place.  I do realize the dangers however.  It is somewhat discouraging that anyone cant start a church based on their interpretation of scripture with no one for them to check themselves against.  One baptist church may teach a completely different idea than the one a mile down the road.  Heck, I even know of churches where the youth pastor doesnt even see eye to eye with the head pastor! I guess this is good to have a bishop, or someone over you to guide the process.
Logged

Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

— Chrysostom

BLOG
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,291



« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2011, 12:40:05 PM »

I might be a little more sympathetic if they were planting churches where there were no other Christian churches. That's really not the case, however.
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
mike
Stratopedarches
**************
Offline Offline

Posts: 21,467


WWW
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2011, 12:40:55 PM »

So, if you were talking to a protestant who says he is a "church planter" and spends his whole life planting churches, would this be a good or bad thing to you?

Neutral. Personally, I don't care about protestant sects.

Quote
I guess I am of the opinion that its better for someone to attend the local baptist/lutheran/methodist/etc church than not attend any church at all.  

Well, I'm not. The Church ministy isn't a hobby you can have because you are bored.
Logged

Byzantinism
no longer posting here
dcommini
Tha mi sgulan na Trianaid
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 1,202


Beannachd Dia dhuit

dcommini
WWW
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2011, 12:47:03 PM »

Thanks for the replies everyone!  

So, if you were talking to a protestant who says he is a "church planter" and spends his whole life planting churches, would this be a good or bad thing to you?

I guess I am of the opinion that its better for someone to attend the local baptist/lutheran/methodist/etc church than not attend any church at all.  I guess thats why I am a little more sympathetic to so many evangelical church plants popping up all over the place.  I do realize the dangers however.  It is somewhat discouraging that anyone cant start a church based on their interpretation of scripture with no one for them to check themselves against.  One baptist church may teach a completely different idea than the one a mile down the road.  Heck, I even know of churches where the youth pastor doesnt even see eye to eye with the head pastor! I guess this is good to have a bishop, or someone over you to guide the process.

It really depends on the situation. I know of a few churches/organizations that grant themselves the ability to ordain people in their charter or constitution and then ordain their head pastor (sometimes being the founder of said church/organization). I would disagree with a split church or planted church in this situation as the "ordained" person may or may not have any theological training and could very well come up with some pretty zany ideas.

However, I do not necessarily see it as a bad thing when say a Baptist church decides to plant a church in an area that may not have any churches (or a Baptist church), as long as they go through the proper channels and are not just pumping out ordinations and coming up with their own theology (which the Baptists already did... just saying).
Logged

Gun cuireadh do chupa thairis le slàinte agus sona - May your cup overflow with health and happiness
Check out my blog...
Timon
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,490



« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2011, 12:57:23 PM »

Quote
Quote
I guess I am of the opinion that its better for someone to attend the local baptist/lutheran/methodist/etc church than not attend any church at all.  

Well, I'm not. The Church ministy isn't a hobby you can have because you are bored.

I realize that. Im just saying if I had a family member who wasnt a Christian, and I had been praying that they would come to know the faith, I would be happy for them if they told me they were attending a protestant church. At least it would be a huge step in the right direction, and at least they would be developing a relationship with Christ.
Logged

Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

— Chrysostom

BLOG
Timon
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,490



« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2011, 01:03:33 PM »

I might be a little more sympathetic if they were planting churches where there were no other Christian churches. That's really not the case, however.

I agree with that! It seems these days that a lot of people plant churches so they can be the next cool thing.  I see so many billboards and get so many mailers advertising churches and they always have a picture of a totally sweet electric guitar or something.  Its like theyre saying "all the other churches are boring. Let us show you how its really done," even though there is another church doing the same thing right next door.

I know people who feel bad for people who grew up in traditional (catholic or even traditional protestant churches) because they dont have cool rock bands with lights and stuff.  Its just getting weird to me. 


Logged

Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

— Chrysostom

BLOG
katherineofdixie
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,291



« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2011, 01:14:17 PM »

I might be a little more sympathetic if they were planting churches where there were no other Christian churches. That's really not the case, however.

I agree with that! It seems these days that a lot of people plant churches so they can be the next cool thing.  I see so many billboards and get so many mailers advertising churches and they always have a picture of a totally sweet electric guitar or something.  Its like theyre saying "all the other churches are boring. Let us show you how its really done," even though there is another church doing the same thing right next door.

I know people who feel bad for people who grew up in traditional (catholic or even traditional protestant churches) because they dont have cool rock bands with lights and stuff.  Its just getting weird to me. 

But that's the "logical" outcome of Protestantism - everybody gets to make it up as they go along.
Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom
IsmiLiora
Chronic Exaggerator
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: One step closer!
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA)
Posts: 3,434


Back by unpopular demand.


« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2011, 02:03:17 PM »

I might be a little more sympathetic if they were planting churches where there were no other Christian churches. That's really not the case, however.
Yes. We have a local church where an individual pastor has a dream -- to plant churches up and down the 95 corridor.

Um. While he has his grand dream, we are worshiping at an Orthodox church down the street (no bells and whistles like they have). There is a Roman Catholic church about 10 miles away. There are 7 Baptist churches between that church and my house; about 10 or 11 non denominational churches; 2 Methodist; 2 Pentecostal...should I go on? And that is one TINY part of the 95 corridor.

Seems like a Godly power trip to me, frankly, branding it with his own name. As if the other churches in the area aren't sufficient.

I was actually talking about this with a Presbyterian friend a while ago, and she said that her pastor said something along the lines of, "I know it sounds crazy to have a million churches in one town, but we want to have enough seats, just in case the entire town converts!"
Logged

She's touring the facility/and picking up slack.
--
"For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow." Ecclesiastes 1:18
--
I once believed in causes too, I had my pointless point of view --
Life went on no matter who was wrong or right
Maria
Orthodox Christian
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 9,427


O most Holy Theotokos, save us.


« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2011, 02:17:59 PM »

I also attend Holy Services at an Orthodox Christian mission.

Since Reader Services must be held in the absence of a regular Priest, it is difficult.  A priest or a bishop will visit at least once a month to celebrate Great Vespers and Divine Liturgy. Nevertheless, we are blessed to be able to rent a wonderful building that now includes a modest chapel, restrooms, kitchen, small social hall, and a parking lot too.
Logged

Glory to Jesus Christ!
Glory to Him forever!
genesisone
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antioch
Posts: 2,492



« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2011, 06:30:45 PM »

The episodes of this podcast are about the development of a new mission parish. I found it interesting.
Logged
Benjamin the Red
Recovering Calvinist
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America, Diocese of Dallas and the South ||| American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese
Posts: 1,601


Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.


« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2011, 06:39:36 PM »

I realize that. Im just saying if I had a family member who wasnt a Christian, and I had been praying that they would come to know the faith, I would be happy for them if they told me they were attending a protestant church. At least it would be a huge step in the right direction, and at least they would be developing a relationship with Christ.

I probably take a position somewhere between you and Michał on this issue. It's good to have something than nothing, I suppose, but at the same time...Orthodoxy is here, and reachable at least on occasion to most folks. I guess there are probably gradations of "good" as far as I'm concerned. Coming to an Orthodox Church is the most ideal, followed by Roman Catholic, Anglo-Catholic (not one of those evangelical local church deals...actual, traditional Anglicanism), Traditional Methodists/Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc. Baptist and Pentacostal would be pretty low on the list, as we quickly descend further away from the fullness of the faith. A person coming to faith in such a place may also pick up falsehoods that would actually hinder their conversion to Orthodoxy, rather than help it.

Thanks for the replies everyone!  

So, if you were talking to a protestant who says he is a "church planter" and spends his whole life planting churches, would this be a good or bad thing to you?

Depends on the situation: what church does this Protestant belong to? How are the plants being founded? What are they teaching? Are there Orthodox in the area? I'll be pretty sympathetic to high church Anglicans or Lutherans who are planting in an non-Christian town, or even a radically Protestant town. I will not be happy at all about Protestants planting churches into Orthodox communities and attempting to lure away the faithful, which is quite common.


I also attend Holy Services at an Orthodox Christian mission.

Since Reader Services must be held in the absence of a regular Priest, it is difficult.  A priest or a bishop will visit at least once a month to celebrate Great Vespers and Divine Liturgy. Nevertheless, we are blessed to be able to rent a wonderful building that now includes a modest chapel, restrooms, kitchen, small social hall, and a parking lot too.

Glory to Jesus Christ. Smiley I just love hearing about these little places, and occasionally getting the chance to visit one when I'm travelling. It warms my heart to walk into a little building or storefront and see how the space has been so beautifully consecrated by a small community, no matter how humbly done it is. It's proof positive of the growth of American Orthodoxy...so wonderful!
Logged

"Hades is not a place, no, but a state of the soul. It begins here on earth. Just so, paradise begins in the soul of a man here in the earthly life. Here we already have contact with the divine..." -St. John, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, Homily On the Sunday of Orthodoxy
Melodist
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: The Faith That Established The Universe
Jurisdiction: AOANA
Posts: 2,523



« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2011, 07:34:26 PM »

So, if you were talking to a protestant who says he is a "church planter" and spends his whole life planting churches, would this be a good or bad thing to you?

The question would be on whose authority he is planting all these churches. My patron saint spent a lifetime as a "church planter" in Ireland, and he did feel the Spirit calling him to his ministry, but he was also an ordained bishop sent by his brother bishops. And as mentioned above, I would prefer not forget to mention the eight russian monks who travelled as "church planters" throughout Alaska. And then there was the apostles. But once again, by whose authority were all these men acting?
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 07:35:25 PM by Melodist » Logged

And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

Made Perfect in Weakness - Latest Post: The Son of God
Maria
Orthodox Christian
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 9,427


O most Holy Theotokos, save us.


« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2011, 08:43:18 PM »

I think it was His Grace Bishop Benjamin of the OCA who referred to these Protestant evangelicals and church-planters as rootless Christians. They do not have apostolic succession. Therefore, they have absolutely no authority to go planting these churches. They are not rooted in the Holy Apostolic Catholic Church.

While on the one hand, they are preaching Christ crucified and may lead pagans and other non-Christians to Christianity, on the other hand, they may lead Orthodox Christians astray.

p.s.
I had my share of diversity classes while I was earning my M.A. degree,
so I tire of those who preach diversity and ecumenism, and who say that all religions are equal.
This thinking is false and dangerous.


So, if you were talking to a protestant who says he is a "church planter" and spends his whole life planting churches, would this be a good or bad thing to you?

The question would be on whose authority he is planting all these churches. My patron saint spent a lifetime as a "church planter" in Ireland, and he did feel the Spirit calling him to his ministry, but he was also an ordained bishop sent by his brother bishops. And as mentioned above, I would prefer not forget to mention the eight russian monks who travelled as "church planters" throughout Alaska. And then there was the apostles. But once again, by whose authority were all these men acting?
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 08:44:30 PM by Maria » Logged

Glory to Jesus Christ!
Glory to Him forever!
Melodist
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: The Faith That Established The Universe
Jurisdiction: AOANA
Posts: 2,523



« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2011, 09:03:26 PM »

They do not have apostolic succession. Therefore, they have absolutely no authority to go planting these churches. They are not rooted in the Holy Apostolic Catholic Church.

That's kind of what I was getting at.

Quote
so I tire of those who preach diversity and ecumenism, and who say that all religions are equal.
This thinking is false and dangerous.

I agree.
Logged

And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

Made Perfect in Weakness - Latest Post: The Son of God
Maria
Orthodox Christian
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 9,427


O most Holy Theotokos, save us.


« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2011, 09:17:37 PM »

They do not have apostolic succession. Therefore, they have absolutely no authority to go planting these churches. They are not rooted in the Holy Apostolic Catholic Church.

That's kind of what I was getting at.

Quote
so I tire of those who preach diversity and ecumenism, and who say that all religions are equal.
This thinking is false and dangerous.

I agree.

As I read your response, I remembered a sermon/retreat given by His Grace Bishop Benjamin.
His Grace said that he was approached by a man in Alaska who believed that he had a commission to convert everyone to his brand of Christianity. The bishop questioned the man in an attempt to enlighten him, and he revealed the Biblical passages about Holy Ordination and the laying on of hands that is done to this day in Holy Orthodoxy.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 09:18:35 PM by Maria » Logged

Glory to Jesus Christ!
Glory to Him forever!
Timon
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,490



« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2011, 12:30:09 AM »

They are not rooted in the Holy Apostolic Catholic Church.

This is true, but I dont really think they care!  The "C" word to them is pretty much synonymous with satan, demons, hell, fire, and death.

Logged

Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

— Chrysostom

BLOG
Alveus Lacuna
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,888



« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2011, 02:59:29 AM »

This is true, but I dont really think they care!  The "C" word to them is pretty much synonymous with satan, demons, hell, fire, and death.

Which shows just how far off the rails they are.
Logged
primuspilus
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America - Western Rite Orthodox
Posts: 6,416


Inserting personal quote here.


WWW
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2011, 02:05:21 PM »

I'd just like to say that I love our Mission Smiley
Pretty neat history on it too Smiley

PP
Logged

"I confidently affirm that whoever calls himself Universal Bishop is the precursor of Antichrist"
Gregory the Great

"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern." St. John Maximovitch, The Wonderworker
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.097 seconds with 50 queries.