20051004

funding or sales market [a rant]

it is so hard to realize that there are more people out their striving to make a buck on church planting. they claim to help fund church plants and in reality simply see church plants as a funding source for their business - when did honesty and grace fall out of "para-ministries?"

as we search for funding at 247connection [where i am the lead pastor] we keep hitting walls of "sure, we can help but first you need to come to "our boot camp" [at a very hefty cost] and buy our stuff [at an additional hefty cost], and we will think about giving you a stippen to get you buy as you plant the church - and then you will need to pay it all back, and tithe to us for the next five years." [and if anyone can point to the bibical model for this, that would be very cool] which is just crazy. you see, we are three years old and just moved into a leased building where we were hit with some very large and unexpected outlays of cash [$80,000] which hit us hard, and most of our savings - so we are actively looking for a loan of $50,000 to help pull us over the hump. we are even willing to talk with denominstions and join if they could help. so, if you know of one willing to take a 9,000 sqft coffee shop with alternative music, a tatted pastor with a shave head and a growing gathering, tell them about us and let's talk.

because we do not "own" the building, we have nothing to give in exchange for the funds - except a promise that we will pay it back - and elders who will sign on the dotted line to do so. yet, even in the christian community, where christians should help each other, we find "business" as the center of what is called grace. for me, not being raised in the church, i had very different expectations of how this would come to be and how the church would help. boy, did i not expect the disconnect.

here is what i would love to see happen. a new gathering of churches who would pool their funds and help plants get over hard spots - without asking for a building, blood, or the first born; a gathering of all denominations who did not care about what "theology" you followed, but would care only that you were reaching those outside the church; a gathering of churches that would say, "let's help and get churches going" - because today more churches close then ever before. and when organizations that are suppose to help, turn a blind eye we will not gain a footing in the communities we serve." i know, i could be dreaming.

if you are interested in helping get this off the ground - spread the word and let others know - because if we all just pool a bit of cash we can do some very cool things - let's get action and stop the talking. if there is a person in a church with a butt load of money looking to "bank-roll" such a cool thing as this - let's talk and get this happening.

at 247connection we know that God will provide the funds [and that person you know with a butt load of cash can help if they desire :)], and we pray that it happens soon :) but more then that, i pray we can come together as a emerging community and help others in their time of need.

and a note: for all your organizations that want to charge for "coaching" and "advise" and offer for sale some book by some guy no one knows about - shame. shame on you for taking advantage of those in need, those called by God to plant a church and reach those outside the church. i am sure you think you are doing good, but please stop looking at us as if we were an untapped market to take from - but rather as a gathering of people looking to do as God desires - you are like snake oil salespeople seeking only to gain from a pot that is very low.

4 comments:

monts said...

john,
i linked to this post yesterday and a guy by the name of travis suggested checking out the Acts 29 Network. In fact, they're partnering with Vintage 21 to put on the luncheon you were talking about earlier...might be a good connection to make.

blessings.

Jeffrey said...

A-FREAKIN'-MEN.

As God forms us here in Middle TN into a new community of faith and reshapes are views on what that means, we've run into the EXACT same problems. Well, not the building costs, but the brick walls in funding. I share your same frustrations john.

I agree with a network of churches that pool funds together to help e/o. As a matter of fact, I was just expressing a similar idea to my wife yesterday. Funny how God moves people's hearts in the same direction at the same time in different places in the world to accomplish His good and perfect will.

John said...

john again thanks for another great post. so many thing ring true with me too. but i know a few of those people who coach and get paid for it and they are not as bad as you think, they are following what they believe God has called them to also. but i agree there are those out there trying to market to a new group and the need for money is great. i pray we can hook up f2f soon i feel a connection with most of what you talk about and want to just sit with you and be together and talk as the spirit leads, so u coming to delaware any time soon.

blessings
john

iggy said...

jox,
Amen to all that. I am currently reading a book called "the best church planting book out there" (not the title) so far the book is basically worthless and to follow it's advise I should not be doing what I am doing!

My prayers are with you bro, I hope yours are with me...

By the way my budget is an uncashable $20 dollar check. Uncashable until I get another $280+ to open a business account.

Oh well!

blessings,
iggy