Urban Church Planting - Lesson 1


A discussion of how we can employ the Nicene ecclesiology to discern the nautre of church movements today.

Don Davis
Urban Church Planting
Lesson 1
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Class Resources
  • A discussion of how we can employ the Nicene ecclesiology to discern the nautre of church movements today.

  • The New Testament does not legislate any particular definition of the church but it does give us images of what the church should be. In attempting to describe what church is, images may be more effective than dogmatic assertions. This is illustrated by the fact that Christian theology has never agreed on a definition of church.

  • Seven core passions of revolutionary spirituality as defined by Barna. What matters is who you are, not what church you associate with. The nature of the revolution Barna describes is about building relationships, commitments, processes and tools that enable us to be the God-lovers we were intended to be from the beginning of creation. It’s not about eliminating, dismissing or disparaging the local church.

  • Can you truly be saved and be growing without being connected to a local church body? The biblical emphasis on the people of God as a community of believers versus the modern world’s emphasis on a totally individualistic understanding of life.

  • When considering church tradition, it’s essential to be able to distinguish between the core evangelical convictions, those contexts where our own distinctives can be made and the organizational structure we share because we choose to.

  • The message of the Gospel is that we are free to love God and serve others. We are free from the heart and shouldn’t be doing things only because of tradition. There are certain structures and patterns in the Bible that we are not free to innovate on (e.g., leadership nomenclature like elders, deacons). The early church was not into relationship as much as structure. Structure trumps relationship.

  • Beginning of examining conclusions about the nature of church plant movements. You have a greater success of establishing community if the people perceive themselves as having a common identity.

  • There are elements of church planting strategies based in Scripture that are working in other parts of the world that would also work in an urban setting in the U.S.

  • Successful urban church planting often involves people from the same group, share a common identity and share spirituality in a coordinated and integrated way. We should plant grow and sustain churches within a particular linguistic, cultural and ethnic identity. God blessed culture. We retain our differences and we share a common calling.

  • An effective leader needs to be able to think and evaluate situations “Christianly.”

We will consider the factors and forces connected to a remarkable phenomenon of church planting movements taking place throughout the world today. At a time when definitions of the Church have become more and more loose and individualized, we will analyze all church plant and growth theories as they relate to the Nicene marks of the Church in the world. Using these marks as a representative of a legitimate biblical view of the Church, we will then discuss and investigate the connection between church planting and world evangelization, growth, and leadership development. You may also access this class at Tumi.org under the title, "Winning the World: Facilitating Urban Church Planting Movements."