So now the rubber actually hits the road.
I have talked and dreamed about planting a church and now we were finally on the ground. It’s July 2009, and we live in glorious Manchester!
We joined Christ Church Manchester, which at the time was based in Hyde on the east side of Manchester. They wanted to see something planted in the South of the city, that could gather a different demographic, which is exactly what we wanted to do. CCM, very graciously, gave me a job for a year to assist the church leader and to try to start a meeting.
The parameters of what I was doing were very loose and the bar for success was very low! Basically, this was a perfect scenario for me. They made it very very easy for me to screw up without too many consequences.
The other element to this was that I was not on my own. Most church planters go with a team and then just have to get on with it. I was based in a church with the intention of planting a site. We were at the beginning of developing an entrepreneurial multi site model, although we had no idea that’s what we were doing at the time. The strategy developed over the last four years and is still developing now.
Our original plan was to settle in Manchester and start looking at a new site after a year or so. We quickly realised this was a waste of time and that we might as well get on with it. The only reason to go slow was my own innate sense of chicken.
We had a few people in CCM that were keen to start a new meeting/site/plant/whatever on a Sunday evening, and we needed to get a few more people. The only way I could think of to get more people was to just start a meeting and see who showed up.
I once met a church planter who wrote a whole pamphlet on the church plant’s vision, recruited an eldership and gathered a core of 30 people before he would even consider a public meeting. We, on the other hand, had 5 people, a broken PA and a vague idea of what we wanted to do.