Church-Planting Teams: A Proposed New Hermeneutic for Church-Planting Strategy -- By: John S. Bohannon

Journal: Faith and Mission
Volume: FM 22:2 (Spring 2005)
Article: Church-Planting Teams: A Proposed New Hermeneutic for Church-Planting Strategy
Author: John S. Bohannon

Church-Planting Teams:
A Proposed New Hermeneutic for Church-Planting Strategy

John S. Bohannon

Ph.D. Student in Applied Theology (Preaching)
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, North Carolina 27587


Church planting research demonstrates weaknesses in sending out solo planters.1 In a recent analysis of the Southern Baptist Convention’s church-planting process, which analyzed responses of over six hundred church planters, the data revealed loneliness and isolation to be a significant problem.2 When church planters were asked, “What were the three most important things you wish you knew before you planted?” many responded about their struggle with loneliness and disconnection from support structures.3 More than one respondent claimed they wished they had known “how incredibly lonely it would be after arriving on the field.”4 The research also revealed their desire for a team approach to church planting.5 Ed Stetzer, who conducted the research, concluded in his summary of the data a clear need for an improved support system and team strategy method for church planting.6

The church-planting research of Stetzer and others raises challenging questions about the current approaches to planting churches.7 If church-planting research reveals weaknesses in the solo-planter model, while simultaneously illuminating the need for a team approach, then why is this particular church-planting method still the most common model implemented in North America?8 If church planters are asking for partners, then why is the team model the least used methodology?9 Is there any further evidence that would support or warrant a shift in paradigm from a solo-planter model to that of a team approach? What discussion might stimulate debate for churches and church-planting sending agencies to reevaluate their current church-planting strategies?

The aim of this work seeks to answer the abovementioned questions by examining the evidence for a team (plurality of leadership) hermeneutic10 as a viable alternative to the solo-planter model in planting churches.11 This argument will consist of two parts that represent separat...

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