Do Seminary Church Planting Classes Count for Anything?

          Far be it from me to disparage seminary training or classes on church planting. For a number of years I taught seminary-level courses on both domestic and cross-cultural church planting at various institutions. Those classroom days seem to be over for the moment. For some odd reason (and some other good ones I’m sure :-)) there are fewer invitations to teach church planting when you are actually doing it. If you teach church planting you are likely to raise less controversy than if you do church planting. And for sure it’s more difficult to be away and spend time in a classroom unless the seminary is local.  However, it might be more accurate to say that I taught about church planting.

          Teaching church planting is not like teaching Greek or Hebrew or theology courses. Because of its practical nature it cannot be taught in a classroom.  It is best done in working with church planters. There are numerous church plants in Philadelphia, besides our own, which would welcome prospective church planters to work with them. Many of these plants are in hardscrabble blue-collar neighborhoods and are not for the fainthearted. Others, like ours, are in more gentrified neighborhoods or neighborhoods in transition.

          Wherever you are in the city, you will need to be in it for the long haul. Few church plants in Philadelphia are self-supporting even after five years or more. Of course there are exceptions here and especially in cities with a large Christian base. Many churches (read suburban) with resources do not see domestic church planters as missionaries needing long-term support. It does puzzle me that many churches will support national missionaries in foreign countries for years on end but not national missionaries in their own country. More on that rant another time.


2 Responses to “Do Seminary Church Planting Classes Count for Anything?”

  1. you don't give yourself enough credit….you were the best church planting professor I ever had!  OK, so you were the only one I had…but you were still the best!  LOL!

  2. […] Teaching church planting is not like teaching GreekArticle source: Related Reading: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy Newsies (Collector's Edition) Born Again […]

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