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insights from redeemer's church planting center

This past Wednesday Kevin and I went to NY to visit with the some of the staff of the Church Planting Center at Redeemer Presbyterian Church. As I mentioned before, they are #1 on the list of Top 25 Multiplying Churches in the United States. Terry Gyger and Mark Reynolds graciously gave up their morning to give us the opportunity to sit down with them, ask questions, and learn from their experiences and expertise in being a global church planting church. As we're in the process of building a church planting center as well, we wanted to learn from the best - and very few are as effective as Redeemer.

Dr. Gyger and Dr. Reynolds were unbelievable in their grasp of church planting, gospel movements, city culture, effective systems, and the many, many facets of becoming an effective church planting church. Being around Terry Gyger you get the sense that he's forgotten more about church planting than you'll ever know. He was incredibly gracious, and you would have never known that he was the one who actually recruited Tim Keller to come to New York, unless you had read Keller's history of the church. Dr. Gyger's influence is pervasive in the PCA church planting world - his fingerprints on Redeemer and Perimeter Church, two of the top 5 multiplying churches in the U.S. (#1 and #4 respectively), may not be outwardly visible, but pervasive nonetheless.

Here are a few insights from our time there:
  • Church planting has to be who you are - it has to be in your DNA - and it can't just be a side thing; make it a part of all your vision statements.
  • Key question the Redeemer CPC asked themselves early on, "Are we going to be a CPC that serves Redeemer or serves the city?" Their answer - the city.
  • They partner with a ton of people in the city - their Church Planting Alliance has over 17 different denominations.
  • Bring in people who are experts in the specific are of church planting (assessment, coaching, training, etc.).
  • To reach the world, reach the world's global cities.
  • 3 things to look for in a "global city":
    1. local influence
    2. regional influence
    3. global connectivity
  • The KIND of church they start is VERY important - a gospel-centered, balanced ministry, holistic, church planting church
  • Plant fewer churches and train longer.
  • Plant resource churches (hubs in a city).
  • Their goal - to create city-renewing movements.
  • Quote of the day: "We will know we're finished when we've become a forgotten entity."
  • Movements attract and prepare leaders.
These are just a FEW of the insights we gained from Redeemer. Keep in mind that they also sent us about 50 pages of documents on their distinctive vision, strategy and theology. That, along with their "Church Planter Manual" and "Coaching Urban Church Planters" Manual were invaluable to getting us prepared to understand and learn from their unique success in planting.

More to come later...

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  • Blogger Jacob Vanhorn says so:
    5:28 PM, June 07, 2008  

    Very excited to hear how this shapes and catalyzes your planting efforts in the city and beyond. While Redeemer does not list Austin as one of it's global cities that it is targeting (Houston and Dallas beat it out), I believe that it definitely meets their criteria of local / regional influence and global connectivity.

    I have been digging around your blog some and I would love to meet up again to hear your thoughts on missional communities and forming a new church around them.

    Let me know if I can help you guys in any way. I would love to add some value to our relationship. top

  • Blogger shaw says so:
    5:59 PM, June 07, 2008  

    I positively can't wait to read all that stuff. top

  • Blogger Mike says so:
    3:24 PM, March 23, 2009  

    Stew, you mean to tell me you were in NYC and didn't come and visit us at emergence??? ;-)

    Great Post! top