One of the questions that I consistently get in this church planting journey is, “How are you different from every other church out there?”
As I’ve thought about it, it’s a great question. It’s a great question not just for church planters and church plants but also for every local church. What is it about your local church that distinguishes it from every other church?
Years ago, I heard a friend and colleague ask the question (and I’ve blogged about this before), “How does God want to express himself through our church in our community at this time?” We may not always have that answer at our ready, but it’s one that we certainly should think about because, whether we admit it or not, there should be something unique about us.
All that being said, I was asked this by someone on my team last week. It got me to thinking about it and wondering, what’s the answer to this?
Our experiences are going to dictate our response and approach to the present and the future. That’s certainly the case with church planting as well. The things that I have experienced over the years as I have been a part of churches as a volunteer, an attender, a staff member, and a pastor, those things will dictate how I move forward and what things become most important to me.
As I’ve thought about it, there are five things that I’ve distinguished as different. Now, when I say different, I don’t mean that there are no churches out there that do these things, it’s just that in my experience, they are not always the norm among churches.
The other thing that I think it’s important to point out, these things are not an indictment of every church that I have ever been a part of. Identifying these things does not mean that all the churches that I have been a part of in the past have lacked these qualities, it just means that these are the five things that I have identified as important.
Without further ado, the five qualities and distinguishing factors that I have identified are:
- Who we are for
- A redefined mission
- Partnership is key
- Trust matters
- A parish model
Over the next few weeks, I will look at these qualities. So, hope you come back to read what I have to say about these as the weeks go on.