One of the most frequent questions I get about our church planting project is, “What will it look like?” Church for the next generation will certainly take different shapes and forms than that of existing established churches.
My first answer is almost always, “To be honest, we’re trying to be good missionaries, so we have to begin by saying, ‘We’re not completely sure yet.’ We’ll know more as we know more about Uptown and the kind of people that live in its vicinity.”
My second thought is to point to recently-started churches that look and function in ways I imagine the new church we’ll start will look and function. We won’t cut and paste any one model, but it is invigorating to see churches with the kind of DNA we dream of allowing God to infuse into what we do.
One such church is Circle of Hope in Philadelphia, PA. My friends Robert and Ruth are a part of this church. It’s an urban church that meets all over greater Philadelphia. They’re geared for the next generation—young adults ages 18-35. They are passionately involved in social justice. They are organically structured by smaller communities of faith. I love what they’re doing. Check them out and tell me what you like (or don’t like): http://www.circleofhope.net.
As far as Church structure and all, I have no clue what is best, or if there is even a “best”. But from what I can see, Circle of Hope allows their Church to be shaped by the Spirit & not by what other Churches have been shaped into. We are all called to do that individually, and as a community. COH looks to be doing just that. So, to take a theme from Ecclesiastes…..all else is meaningless.
Thanks for sharing. Miss you guys.
My name is CJ Reynolds. I am a member of Circle of Hope Camden. The same congregation Ruth and Robert are at. Ruth is actually part of my cell. Anyway, thanks for the kind words. Hope all is going well.