Key Thoughts on Church Planting

Various leaders have responded to Martin Robinson’s excellent talk this morning. Here are the highlights of their responses in which i see an immediate connection with emerging church;

Mattias Martinson (EFS Sweden):

As the Father has sent me, so I send you

– Need to be “mission-shaped” or “missional”

– Tell stories

– Be postmodern to reach postmoderns.

Helge Standal (Lutheran Church of Norway)

What does it mean to plant non-traditional churches in this setting?

Birger Nygaard (Denmark)

What does church look like when we have lost our Christian cultural memory?

There is a strongly growing hostility toward religion.

Bonhoeffer suggested “religionless christianity”

Internet – what is “real’ in ministry?

Reinhold Scharnowski(Europe)

Overcome Christendom thinking and regain a Kingdom mentality

Will we continue to be attractional or are we becoming missional? incarnational?

Develop apostolic ministry – find apostolic people of peace

Martin Robinson responds to the response and adds more:

Emerging church has a problem when it focuses on models. – creates a dichotomy between inherited church and the new. Better to talk about “emerging mission” because church comes out of mission. Focus on emerging mission and let church grow out of that.

Find those with “apostolic genius” (Hirsch)

Let our new Christianity be a way of life.


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Pasor Astor says:

    Im an hour away from Copenhagen, and a former student of SALT, but hadnยดt heard about the gathering… I hope you are having a good time, I sure would have liked to be there!

  • With words having negative connotations today in our society, i really find the word ‘kingdom’ problematic, especially in light of colonialism. What other words can we use so as not to shut people off?

  • hi EP. I am not sure yet that “Kingdom” is a negative word in Denmark. Its possible that they have had good experiences with their royal families. Orkney Islands was one of Denmark’s colonies and they were quite happy to give it to Scotland in the 1470’s
    so maybe there is more to the concept than first meets the eye.
    In USA, I think Wendall Berry’s term of God’s “Economy” is a better word for Kingdom – which taps into the oikos idea and the household of God idea
    but . .. I am not in USA right now.. am I?

  • Mark Berry says:

    Blimey, is this the same Martin Robinson who was so poor at Mission21… including the bit when he said that he thought it was wonderful to have all these Emerging Church experiments finding the new models of church planting for the mainstream to follow?

  • Marcus says:

    What a bunch of meaningless semantics. Why not just preach Christ and Him crucified? That’s what the Bible says to do.
    Those who respond, praise the Lord. Those who don’t, leave them to the Lord to deal with. Some places Paul went, he won many converts. In other places, fewer.
    Working so hard to be “relevant” to whatever you think you’re relevant to, makes unregenerate people sitting in an unregenerate church. The simple truth has worked for 2,000 years and counting. You don’t need to add nor take away from it. It is, again, Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
    If that message doesn’t work, nothing will, and those you think you “won” to Christ, will be gone in time.

  • marcus – where did “relevant” come from? i dont think anyone here said it.
    please come back and tell us what has happened to those people who prayed with you to receive Jesus, the ones you just left with the Lord to deal with. I sure hope he is still dealing with them . . don’t you?

  • mark – same martin who must have been reading your blog because now he is saying very wise words about the emerging church.

  • Mark Berry says:

    well thats great news! Not that he’s been reading my blog… that I very much doubt… and doubt it would have any influence on Mr Robinson or anyone else for that matter… but it does sound like someone has been giving him the ‘skinny’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • si says:

    hey, haven’t been in here for a while. How are you good sir Jones? W.r.t existential punk’s ‘kingdom’ question, I too have considered this metaphor problematic, especially considering that I come from a country where language of kingdom/nation-state etc causes division. Few of us live in kingdom’s, so it’s a dead metaphor that we needn’t stick slavishly too. I’ve given lots of thought to an analogue and the best I can find it ‘Symbol Society’. Symbols have depth and various levels of meaning. They’re able to defy the reduction words/propositions suffer at our hands and often cryptically point beyond themselves. We live towards the ‘Symbol Life’ (ie., that of Jesus). I can’t use words to unpack the symbols, but I can invite you into symbol living if you are willing to share life with me. Any thoughts?

  • si says:

    by the way, that last comment was rhetorical, i don’t want Andrew’s readership booking flights to Ireland tonight…I’ve not enough Bushmills to go around.

  • Marcus says:

    Andrew, it is from the “be postmodern to reach postmodern”. In all those discussions of whatever a bunch of people think “postmodern” is, they never bring up the cross.
    Jesus Christ is eternally relevant to every human being, no matter who they are or where they’re from or what culture they belong to, because every human being is a sinner on the way to hell. That makes Him already pretty relevant. The cross is more important than anything else we can discuss.

  • thanks marcus – the speaker i was listening to was talking about the apostle Paul being all things to all men and this was the context for what he said about being “postmodern”
    As for me, I was recommending we move away from that word back in 1999.
    But other countries have their own time frame and their own terminology to describe it and if a well known leader from a region or a country says this is a big issue for his people then i try to understand what he is saying through his eyes.
    The cross is the hinge of history, always relevant, always offensive, always a stumbling block. I dont think any of us would disagree with you on that. And the speakers you are criticizing (some in their sixties) have probably been bringing up the cross for much longer than you have been alive. I hope that if they read your comments, they will assume you are very young and they will cut you some slack.

  • Marcus says:

    Andrew, I’m not terribly worried about what any of the people/speakers you’ve cited, would think of my comments. I live to please the Lord, not man, and I don’t think anyone who labors to stress the cross is in a bad light with the Lord, no matter what any man thinks anywhere.
    I have heard too much of the McLarens and Rob Bells in the “emergent” thing rejecting a literal hell and questioning the truths that Jesus Christ Himself preached. I’m sorry if the speakers you cite are in a situation of guilt by association, but that’s where you’ll find some people’s views of the “emergents”, if you’ll take the time to understand where some of us are on all that. From the Lord Himself have we learned to avoid all who question His holy Word as McLaren and Bell have had habit of doing. I hope you do understand, as I’m citing this in the most non-antagonizing way I know how.

  • marcus – thanks – i understand where you are coming from. actually, Denmark has an event this week where they are discussing the emerging church and some of these controversies will be discussed. you might want to keep them in prayer.

  • Marcus says:

    Andrew, I will do. I love to see the cross as the center of everything ๐Ÿ™‚ When His work on the cross is in it’s rightful place, the peace that overcomes the heart is unmatchable. Peace with God. That’s true peace, nothing the world can ever duplicate ๐Ÿ™‚

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