When churches blur the lines

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I’m a sucker for podcasts. So much so, that a drive to Orange County from San Diego is something I look forward to.  After all, when else will I get so much uninterrupted listening time? Some of my favorites are standard podcast fare: The RobCast with Rob Bell, OnBeing with Krista Tippet, This American Life, Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me. And then, there are the unexpected delights, podcasts so compelling and gripping, I wish I had a long road trip to get lost in the story.

The recent podcast series from StartUp is one such treat, a story told over 5 episodes  looking at Church Planting from the lens of a business start-up journalist. I have a lot of friends who are pastors and/or spouses of pastors, and I think we all agree that planting a church is a huge endeavor. And, for those who’ve been part of a church plant, the risk of “failure” is always on your mind. Now,  imagine planting a church as if it was a business..complete with budget, board of directors, business plan and a clear strategy.  And this is exactly what many church planters across the U.S. do.  Sometimes, it’s a recipe for success, but for some pastors, the definition of “church success” creates an unhealthy tension ultimately bringing down the whole endeavor.

This podcast offers a small group an excellent opportunity to consider what church is all about and to reflect on how we, as church members, are called to partner with our pastors in growing healthy and vibrant churches.  I could easily envision a church council using this series as a way to refine their parameters for measuring “success.”

Episode 1 Church Planting-The Movement

Episode 2 Church Planting-The Pastor

Episode 3 Church Planting-The Paradox

Episode 4 Church Planting-The Conversation

Episode 5 Church Planting-The Retreat

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