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April 26, 2005



Maybe the best you can do is know whether you are having success or not. It does not seem possible that you would be able to quantify it - but you would know it if it wasn't there, or if the stories do not line up with the Biblical story. In some sense, though I really am tempted to jump on board with this idea, isn't it like relying on people's emotional state to tell you where exactly they are? It can be a major factor, but can be very deceiving.


I think there may be something to Myers idea. I read this article:
and in it Bob Hyatt says that perhaps Church plants which we may consider to be failures may in fact not be failures. Yes, the church may have fizzled away, but did the people who attended that church have a deepening relationship with God? Who knows? We need to rely on personal stories and peoples' willingness to accurately share their personal stories. If a person came to know Jesus at a church that soon fizzled, but they remained a Christian, I do not think you can consider the church plant a failure...perhaps God only wanted the church there for a short period of time and then wanted to release the members to take on other callings. I understand that this idea may be used as an excuse to justify closing a fizzling church, but there may be something to it also. I also think Daling has a great point in saying that "...people's emotional state[s]...can be very deceiving." I think there is a way to quantify some aspect of the "success" of a church according to the types of stories it tells. The stories, however, depending on their content may point to success or failure.



It's funny that you should mention this article-- given that it is kind of what started this whole thread. Read Why Should(n't) You Plant a Church?as part of my response this exact article-- and the lengthy discussion that Bob and Daling get into on the post.

With all due respect to Hyatt, I think his arguments there are wrong. If you set out to plant a church and are unable to see a community of faith develop that is self-sustaining, reproducible, and reproducing-- you have failed. You should rejoice and thank God that He drew people to Himself (in light of what you said above)-- but if you don't have a community of believers, I don't think we should call it a success.


The link I gave was wrong. What kind of issues do I have that I can't even link myself correctly?

HERE is the correct link for my critique of Bob's paper.


"If you set out to plant a church and are unable to see a community of faith develop that is self-sustaining, reproducible, and reproducing-- you have failed."

I don't know that that statement is completely accurate either. When you are dealing with a church plant, you are dealing with many people coming alongside the "Pastor" to assist. What do you call it when you have read all the books on church planting, done all the right "things" the books say, tried to cultivate a community of believers, preached, taught and after years it still doesn't take off.

Personally I have a hard time saying that YOU failed. I am assuming when you say YOU, you mean the "Pastor". I believe everyone that was a part of the "church", "fellowship", or "community", whatever you want to call it....FAILED.

Not only is the "Pastor" responsible for various things, but the people coming are just as responsible for the way they respond to the messages taught, the word preached and the application of that in their lives. If they don't apply it...there is nothing the "Pastor" can do. As the old saying can lead a horse to water but you can't make'em drink.

So there is more going on than just the "Pastor's" success or failure. If you are talking about a community of believers, then it's everyeone's resposibility to do their part. Therefore....a success is everyone's success...or a failure is everyone's failure.

It ain't about 1 man ("Pastor") tooting his own horn about his success. OK...I digress. I'm sure you get my point.

Kevin Cawley

The "you" referred to the church, and I don't care about the points of anonymous commenters.

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