I was recently asked for any suggestions I have for planting in a new community, different from where you currently live and know. There is a group of 25 plus people who are leaving the comforts of home in California and traveling to the state of Idaho to plant a church. I love that kind of faith.
If you don’t know, Grace Community Church is in my hometown, so I am very familiar with our community, but I planted a church before this one in a city in which I didn’t know anyone well, so I have some experience in this area. Still, as I thought about these suggestions for planting in a new community, I really believe they are shared for any church plant (perhaps even any church.)
Of course, these are given assuming you have a clear calling as to where you are to plant, but here are some of my suggestions for planting a church in another community. There are probably hundreds of others, but these were the first seven that came to my mind:
7 Tips for Planting in a New Community
1. Learn the culture
Every city, every village, and every group of people have their own unique identity. What matter’s most? What do they celebrate? Where do people live and play? What do they do for fun? What’s their language? What are the traditions unique to this area? What history do they value?
2. Learn the market
Are schools an option for a building? Is the community in a growth mode or a declining mode? What are the major problems, concerns, and needs of the community? Who are the leading employers? What are the demographics?
3. Learn the competition
Before you get too excited…it’s not other churches. It’s anything that has the people’s attention you are trying to reach besides a church.
4. Planting in a New Community Means Buying Into that Community
Immediately find ways to get personally involved in the community with volunteer investment. That could be through the Chamber of Commerce, schools, festivals, etc. Give back…believe it or not, that gets attention.