Krish Kandiah wrote this article, about Saddleback recruiting leaders to plant a church in London. The comments on this article are fascinating from so many different view points.
Take the comments and put them in bolder questions to highlight some of the ways that we think:
(1) is there a right size for a church, so that it can only be “half full”? How do you determine the “right size” for a church? [clearly, in the comments we are defining the right size of the church as being the maximum occupancy of the building it is presently in. If the building is less than full, the church is failing. When the church blows out its occupancy, it has wildly succeeded. This means you really ought to choose a new building with a maximum occupancy where your current regular attendership is about 80 to 90% of its size, so that at Easter you can blow it out.]
(2) which comes first, organizational vision or community vision? When is it ever the right time to plant a church? Would an “unreached area” ever ask for a church? [if businesses "sought the perceived needs of the community" you'd never have the iPhone or iPod or iPad]
(3) “we run it ourselves…” ?! I know it goes against those denominations, but I think this is the way churches ought to be run to begin with.
(4) we should “fill up the churches over in America before planting churches abroad” – if this is based on #1 above, we would never send missionaries anywhere. Or rarely, at any rate.
(5) If you plant a church in a place where there are other churches, it must mean you think the other churches aren’t doing it right. [London, however, is rapidly becoming a "World B" heavily evangelized majority non-Christian country with lots of World A unevangelized individuals, because of the influx of immigrants.]
(6) What about Nigeria? Hmm. Maybe Saddleback should recruit a Nigerian pastor. Africans in Europe are known to be among the best and most prolific church planters…
What do you think? What thoughts come to your mind? What questions do they reveal?