Monday, February 28, 2005

Tithing Church

OK, here's a crazy idea. It's threatening, it's crazy, and it's too out there, but it just might work. I challenge every church to do the following: Tithe the church.


OK, let me explain. Every church of some size, say, 150 attendance or more on a regular Sunday should tithe their membership and plant a new church. So, a church of 150 people would do the following with 15 members:

-Identify a group of 15 willing Christians from their congregation to plant a new church.
-Spend a minimum of 6 months equipping them for church planting.
-Build team dynamics.
-Send them through a specific type of training (Stadia, Kairos, Mission Alive)
-Intentionally plan this church to be a significant departure from the mother church (urban, post-modern, cross-cultural, cell, mission...etc)
-Fund this church with start up money and time limited operating money. (If you can't afford it, pretend you need a new church building. Yeah, the money is there. Have a capital campaign exclusively foe the church plant. There's an idea.)
-Free this church to be incarnational, even if it means being post-restorational (ie, get over our micro-doctrinal obsessions of instruments, church "service" three times a week etc)
-Fellowship this church without controlling it.
-Provide onramps for mentorship, guidance, and discipleship without controlling it.
-When the church recoups the tithe it "lost" to the plant, do it again.

There, I've thrown down the gauntlet.


Keith Brenton said...

There are a few out there who have heeded this call ... A small church that my family and I attended while we lived in Springfield, MO planted an even smaller one in nearby-but-growing Nixa, MO. Both, last I heard, are thriving.

Jeremy Gregg said...

Interesting idea . . . reminds me of what Larry James has often called for, in asking churches to set aside a "tithe" of their building funds to support urban ministries. Here is one article on it:

Thanks for connecting folks to Larry's blog - -- it truly is an amazing gift to work with him!

Try dropping by his agency's site, when you get a chance:

Happy Halloween!