Guidelines for a church pre-planting strategy: a practical theological perspective
The church is facing one of its biggest challenges since the dawn of the church age. In fact some philosophers are referring to the current age as the post church age. This in itself points to the challenges local churches face with declining membership numbers and the constant struggle against humanism. Many scholars are of the opinion that planting new churches is the answer to the dwindling numbers. The challenge with planting new churches seems to be the fact that most churches are started with no strategic objective and plan in mind. This leads to the slow organic growth of the church within communities that is, if they grow at all. With this in mind a qualitative study is undertaken with selected church planters within a specific geographical area. Deductions from the qualitative study are that organic church planting was the norm with no strategic planning conducted. A literary research and dialogue with other disciplines indicated the real possibility that strategic planning principles can be identified and employed as guidelines to assist new church planters during the pre-church planting phase. Following these planning guidelines, the church, in theory, could grow at a faster rate and reach a set strategic goal. In order to validate these principles it is vital that the purpose of the church and planning within the context of the Bible is investigated. From this perspective we can deduce a biblically correct picture of planning and the use of it within the backdrop of church planting. With this understanding of the function of the church and planning within the biblical context, as well as the best practices identified through dialogue with other disciplines, principles are presented and guidelines established to assist the church planter during the pre-church planting phase.
- Theology