what is church planting and
why does it matter?
As early as 1991 Revd Bob Hopkins, the convenor of the Anglican Church
Planting Conferences and author of two Grove Booklets
on the topic,
coined a working definition.
Church Planting is creating new communities of Christian faith as part
of the Mission of God, to express his Kingdom in every geographic and
This concise wording has stood the test of time. It is theologically well
connected, flexible about forms of church and the varieties of mission task.
`Church' and `plant' both have a variety of meanings. But when the two are
combined, they modify each other. Breaking New Ground rightly argued
that the two words, `church' and `plant', should be used separately and
not used as a new hybrid noun a `churchplant'. It is important that what
comes to birth is recognized as church and the verb `plant' is allowed to
indicate an organic process.
what is church planting?
Breaking New Ground paragraph 2.2 thought in terms of `the transposition
of a worshipping community of people into a located place or building'.
It described the usual characteristics of a church plant as follows:
It arises from a conscious evangelistic purpose to inaugurate a
It involves the transfer of people from an initial congregation to create
or revitalize another congregation.
It has a known corporate identity and style.
It has an identified leadership recognized by others inside and outside
It has identifiable pastoral structures.
It is intended to serve an identifiable group, culture or