Tuesday, September 03, 2013


As an experienced church planter I've come to realize that special care needs to be shown when a group is in the incubation stage.  During this stage the new group is especially susceptible to hijack by unhealthy extremists.  In fact, many churches that start with great promise are taken off course almost immediately by radicals.  For one, when a group is just starting out it doesn't yet have a history to set precedent (which, while sometimes limiting in a bad way, can also be limiting in a good way).  But also, when a group is small it is easier for a single individual/family to push it around or dominate it.  One person in a living room exerts much more influence than one person in a group of a thousand.  This may actually explain why some people are "church start-up junkies."  They love having such inordinate influence, and when that begins to wane (i.e. the church begins to grow) they become dissatisfied, sense that "the Spirit is moving" somewhere else, and move on to the next place where they are "needed."

Being part of a network such as CTK can help.  You can borrow some history and mass for protection.  When I first came to Skagit County in 1999, our group was new, but the move of God had roots going back more than a decade.  So when people came into our fledgling story with alternate agendas, I was able to point them in the direction God was leading us, and had been, for years.