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The Need for Multi-Denominational Church Planting Networks in Our Cities

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One tribe can’t teach you everything you need to know.

In 2007, I had coffee with a church planter in New York City who had recently moved there from Dallas, TX. This was at the height of the urban church planting craze and I was looking to plant in an urban city with the denomination I belonged to at the time. I was intrigued by this planter because, although he came from a Baptist background, he was part of a multi-denominational church planting group and was being mentored by a Presbyterian pastor in Manhattan. (Any guesses?)

I’ll never forget what I learned from him in that noisy Starbucks at 34th and Park Ave. I took it with me when I planted a few years later:

You need to have mentors from outside your tribe because, in a diverse and complex environment, one tribe can’t teach you everything you need to know.

I’d venture to say that most church planters have found this to be true. We need the benefits of multi-denominational partnership.

About two decades ago, multi-denominational church planting in North America started taking off. Some of it was in response to a slow-down in church planting experienced by denominations. Entrepreneurial leaders were willing to manage the tension of theological and philosophical differences for the sake of the kingdom.

But, also, some networks were started with the vision of seeing the Church at large work together as a testament to the Gospel and Jesus’ unifying mission. These networks weren’t just starting churches around tradition and funding. Churches were aligned around core theology, ministry context, and passion for their own cities.

Today, the growing trends seems to be that multi-denominational church planting networks are regionalizing and becoming city specific.

A network like Austin Church Planting Network …

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Source: Christianity Today Magazine

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