I’ve been told I have blown up the church planting model I was given. I didn’t mean to do it. It was all quite innocent. I didn’t realize it was going to shape up this way.
The first model is based on marketing. It requires a team of helpers and lots of advertising. My model requires joining organizations, volunteering for service projects, and starting conversations with strangers. One model starts quickly and then builds relationships. The other starts slowly and builds relationships one at a time.
Both are valid, serviceable models. Which one is used depends largely on the personality of the church planter and the context of the plant. I wouldn’t recommend the networking model for everyone.
My strategy comes partly from pragmatism. I don’t have the money for marketing, and I don’t have a core team to help me with the project. So I have to do things that are within my reach. Joining the Chamber of Commerce is something I can do. But not spending lots of money on mailings.
Of the two models I like networking best. It fits my spiritual gifts well. It’s one of the things I enjoy and feel passionate about. It also forces me to exercise my faith that God will bless what I am doing even if I can’t see around the next corner.