The New York Observer is a culture watch newspaper. The paper keeps an eye on the culture and movement in New York City. While some may say that reading a paper like this doesn't give a broad look at our culture, the truth is that all studies say NYC is the number one city of influence in the U.S. and the world.

April 8, 2013 0 0 comments

The promise of the kingdom in Luke 1-3 is a kingdom of great hope where the rich and powerful are brought down and the poor and struggling are lifted up. The promise builds and builds and then it comes crashing down: John the Baptist, the great announcer of this kingdom, the harbinger of the kingdom is put in prison by Herod. The powerful take...

March 31, 2013 0 0 comments
Resource, Chart

Here's a chart outlining the growth of a cluster and its seven characteristics.

March 20, 2013 0 0 comments

I was reminded recently why getting a good Bible translation for study and getting the full sense of the text matters. I was reading the story of Samson. The ESV in talking about Samson's desire for the woman at Timnah says, "But Samson said to his father, 'Get her for me for she is right in my eyes.'" The NIV translates the same verse, "But Samson said to his father...

March 18, 2013 0 1 comments
Resource, Article

Many are asking how to get a ministry cluster going. This article by Randy Rowland will offer a step-by-step approach, with this proviso: This is a basic template, not a blueprint.

March 17, 2013 0 0 comments

The opening of the book of Luke is filled with hope and lofty speeches and songs. Underlying it all is the promise of God's kingdom where the rich and powerful are put in their place, the poor and weak are lifted up and all is made right. It is pretty heady stuff.  As John the Baptist comes on the scene Luke uses words ...

March 14, 2013 0 0 comments

Disney movies. For the most part we feel comfortable taking our kids to them. The language is decent, the plots are kind with the good guys winning at the end, and there is a lack of ambiguity in them.  The right people do the right things--they may wander for a bit, but they get back to it in the end. Meanwhile, the bad folks get what is coming to them--gently...

March 11, 2013 0 0 comments

There is a continual theme that pulsates through our culture. The theme is "God is love." The thing that always intrigues me about this idea that God is love is that love gets defined in a way that reflects whatever a person wants. So if I want my god to be loving so that he would never demand anything of me, then that is love. If I want my god to be the kind of god...

March 2, 2013 0 0 comments
Resource, Website

A partnership between the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) and the Reformed Church in America (RCA) involving pooling resources in an innovative church-planting movement that will spread the gospel by reaching out to people in the places where they live.

February 28, 2013 0 0 comments

Yesterday I decided to start again on Luke's gospel taking time to read and study it closely. In the first few chapters there is the wonderful unfolding of the story--rich with hope and wonder. But I also noticed something else that I want to keep my eye on as I continue, namely, the story is never kept quiet, it is always shared with others.

February 25, 2013 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

The post was written by Larry Doornbos, Home Missions Church Planting Team Leader.

The gospel of Luke has always drawn my attention. Perhaps it stems from the radical edge of the gospel from Jesus' proclamation in Luke 4 of the "year of the Lord's favor" to his positive treatment of...

February 25, 2013 0 1 comments
Discussion Topic

Enjoying creation in its fullness comes with taste, smell, sight, sound, and touch. What is the rhythm of your life where a moment comes and you say, TGIF?

February 22, 2013 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

For a certain number of pastors Monday is their Sunday. Personally, I rarely take Monday off. I think that Rick Warren got it right when he said that he didn’t take Monday off because it was the day he was most wiped out.

February 21, 2013 0 2 comments
Discussion Topic

The post was written by Larry Doornbos, Home Missions Church Planting Team Leader.

I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you...

February 19, 2013 0 1 comments

Planting churches and revitalizing churches calls us to move outside the four walls and into the world. Moving into the world, however, presents more than a few challenges.

February 18, 2013 0 0 comments

When I was growing up and doing Sunday school I remember going to other churches and seeing the cool prizes you could get for perfect attendance and for memorizing scripture. To be honest, I always felt a bit bummed that we didn’t get those things in my church. As I grew up however, I began to wonder about these ways of getting kids to places and getting ...

February 11, 2013 0 0 comments

Every once in a while someone asks me about the passage in 1 Corinthians 11 that deals with the Lord's supper. What does one do with this verse and who can dares to take communion in the light of eating and drinking judgment on yourself, after all, even the most committed and faithful of us never gets the faith completely right...

February 9, 2013 0 0 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

Ministry development guidelines from Christian Reformed Home Missions

February 8, 2013 0 0 comments

Last week the Church Planting Teams of the CRC and RCA came together for two days of "meetings".  Some of you may be aware that the CRC and RCA are working together to catalyze mission in North America.  About two years ago the Church Multiplication Initiative was started. In the last 24 months there have been 10 regional areas...

February 4, 2013 0 0 comments

In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die, where you invest your love, you invest your life. For today, simply this, we need to decide where we will invest our lives and how we will pursue that investment. That's what we are going to explore from many different angles in this...

January 27, 2013 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

I would love some feedback on this idea!

First, three observations:

(1) There is a huge initiative right now to church plant in the CRC (and in many mainline denominations).

(2) There are also many churches in the CRC who have been declining and have reached a critical point (...

September 4, 2011 0 14 comments
Discussion Topic


A few years ago I attended a West Coast Regional Ministry Summit which got me thinking about church multiplication and ways to get it done.  The illustration was shared by our guide for the discussion comparing...

June 22, 2011 0 9 comments
Discussion Topic

I'm wondering if there are any CRC churches that are transitioning to 'missional' along the lines that Hugh Halter proposes in his books with Matt Smay: The Tangible Kingdom and AND: The Gathered and Scattered Church.

I'd be interested in a dialogue with others who are working to...

February 22, 2011 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

Have you ever wondered how to start a movement.  Church planting as I have come to understand over the years is less about creating a single static community that meets on a Sunday morning, and more about starting a movement of believers who want to join in what the Holy Spirit is doing in a...

January 11, 2011 0 9 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

In 2007, Home Missions updated its strategy for Classes to use when looking at mobilizing church planting and church development. Although time has passed, this document still is helpful for classes wanting to be strategic about growing their churches.

December 20, 2010 0 0 comments



First, we need to trust God.  I know that sounds like a stupid oversimplification, but it is so important, that it can never be forgotten nor neglected.   It is God's kingdom, not ours, and we seek God's glory, not our own (personal nor denominational).    So, the issue of bringing God's word is not separate from denomination, but always it is first God's word, then perhaps denomination.   The more we focus on denomination, the less the denomination will benefit.  

We do not plant churches just so we can say we have more churches, do we?  do we?  Aren't we planting churches so that no lambs and sheep will be lost?   So that God's word speaks more clearly?   So that is what we should focus on first. 

In a "planting" situation, we plant God's word.   To bring in the lost.   Then we use God's word to encourage the saved.   Bringing new believers to a greater knowledge of love and grace in Jesus is good, necessary.   But in essence, it is the same purpose for old believers;  a greater knowledge of love and grace in Christ.   Just at a different stage.   And we know how quickly and urgently new believers capture this knowledge, often not taking it for granted, nor being complacent like "old" believers.  

The new church plant should be a natural consequence of the mission effort.   And I certainly do not agree with the nonsense of having a group that has been worshipping together, being called an emerging church for ten or twenty years.   That is simply absurd, hierarchical, autocratic, and egotistical.   The normal situation would be perhaps about three years, maybe less.   This sounds scary sometimes.   But only if you put on unreasonable expectations.   And remember, we need to trust the Lord. 

So what are the implications of this for church multiplication?  Should we be concerned with planting institutional CRC's or should we be more concerned with bringing new believers to a greater knowledge of the love and grace given in Jesus?  This is where my dilemma comes in.  I am a committed member of the CRCNA as a minister of the Word in that same denomination, but my greatest concern is for the advancement of Christ's Kingdom to the furtherance of God's glory.           Are these two separate issues?  

They are obviously not the same.   Unless you think only one denomination, or one local church is 'the church".    The church is the people of God, the body of Christ.    The institutional is a particular manifestation of that in a particular time and place.  I think the principles should be the same, but sometimes there is more discipline for example between church groups than within church groups.   Sometimes the confessions are professed more by one church, but practiced more by another church that does not have them down on paper.   Sometimes the best corporate worship is biblically practiced in a non-building setting, where people(two or three prophets) take turns in speaking, where each one shares a word, or a hymn or spiritual song, or a prayer.  

A certificate of incorporation is not a bad thing, but if we think the certificate is the most important part of authenticity or legitimacy, then we certainly have it wrong.

Thanks John.  It is good to know at least one guy thinks I am not nuts.  I recently shared the Bosch quote with another friend of mine and he said Bosch is drawing too much of a distinction between the church as institution and the church as organism.  Yet I see Bosch challenging the model of what the church as institution has become (i.e. "a place where") rather than distinguishing between the two.  I believe Bosch sees the church as institution (with creeds, confessions, sacraments, corporate worship, and preaching) and the church as organism are one in the same and ought to operate that way.  What do you think?

You are not nuts.   You are not crazy.   Some seminary trained preachers preach the pure word of God, but some don't.  Some established churches practices church discipline but some don't.   Some administer sacraments purely, but some don't.   A missional group may be as much "church" as any of these established churches, and may have the "marks" of the church, or may make similar mistakes or different mistakes than established churches.  Preach the word in season, and out of season (indoors, and outdoors, and without doors...).  

I think you your kidding yourself Brian. The changes we need are more than a "mini" movement. Look at the churches in Eruope. That is where we are heading.

I am a lifetime member of a crc but they are not there in my sickness. How are churches going to deal with missions when they struggle with their own? Wake up people,  you are one long term disease from a different oppinion and isolation.



 I think Allan Likkle named it.  We need to be about starting mini movements.  Allan tell us more about the Missional Cafe in Denver?  What kind of groove are they starting?  Are you out here in the PNW yet?

I wish you could hear what I am going to say from someone other than me because of my unstable emotional responses from sickness.

When we talk aboat following Jesus's commission and want to interact with the world, we have to consider how Christians are portrayed in public discourse. How do we change that image? One person at a time? Does this image exist because of a overt outside influence or decay from within or both. 

As leaders, you guys are the catalyst to accomplish this. Most people are followers which is fine if they are listening to their hearts from Christ.



The missional church isn't a program to adopt, it has always existed by God's will through out history after Christ's was born. In other words it is the body of believers that resides in and out of our churches.

What we need to do is pattern our churches on this understanding. That means being aware of the Holy Spirit and humbly following His cue's.

It's exciting to watch the Spirit work through people like Brian and Derek. what a honor it is to serve God in whatever your role is. Take nothing for granted, the Lord can accomplish His will through you inspite of you. You have to act as a vessel by haveing the faith to try.I can relate to the methods during my breif street ministry. They come naturally if you believe in what you are doing.

God bless you guys Ken

Great video lesson.  Now how do we start a movement in the church like that?  Slowly but surely.  I won't take my shirt off, but I may dance like that dude.  Good stuff.

There are different movement genres. Many church plants are "mini" movements. I believe the November gathering of missional leaders at the missional cafe in Denver could very well be the genesis of a movement among CRCNA leaders. I'll join any movement with Brian and Andy because I know whom they follow.

I'll follow to! Can't just have two nuts out there. Now it's three and we're a crowd! And let's take this a step further. What would a CRC church multiplication movement look like?

This video is excellent.  I'll be the first follower and say the Brian has given us a gem. 

This post also appears in the Leadership discussion forum. To keep the conversation together, please add your comments/replies there.

Found a good print website. You need a bit of lead time, but I was able to get 2500 full color double sided half page flyers for $130.

Interesting that we just talked about this at our council meeting last night. We had hoped to plant a church in our area, but because of a series of unfortunate events, the plan fell through. Still, we want to extend our mission and are excited about doing that through our established church. We'd love to hear more stories or ideas.

I've listened to Mike Frost live at a church planting congress, shared a cup of coffee with him, and I think his message of "missional", like that of Craig Van Gelder and Al Roxburgh is timely, inspirational, motivational, and biblical.

posted in: Missional Church