A denominational-focused marketing approach works only among people with a high level of denominational loyalty. In the United States, we typically find this level of loyalty only among recent immigrant groups from places with a strong denominational presence, such as Presbyterians from Korea or Methodists from Samoa. A doorstop-visit campaign works only in communities with a lot of people who are at home during the day and who are willing to interrupt their work to entertain visitors. With changes in productivity demands on US households, most people are working more hours each week, working even while they are at home, and heavily scheduling their nonworking and after-work hours. A denominationally credentialed planter being immediately accepted as a capable pastoral leader requires a society that has both a high regard for clergy and a high respect for institutional authority. Both of these factors have signicantly decreased in the United States, especially among middle-class, suburban dwellers.
—Bener Agtarap & Curtis Brown, Ready, Set, Plant: The Why and How of Starting New Churches (Discipleship Resources, 2021)
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Barnabas went to Tarsus in search of Saul. When he found him, he brought him to Antioch. They were there for a whole year, meeting with the church and teaching large numbers of people. It was in Antioch where the disciples were first labeled “Christians.”
—Acts 11:25-26 (CEB)
Prayer for the Week
Holy God, thank you for the opportunity to plant a new faith community. Help me to have wisdom and discernment as I develop relationships with the people in this community. Guide me to stay close to you through prayer and Bible study and to love the people who cross my path. Amen.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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