New details about “Plan It Calgary” are now out. It is a long term plan to develop Calgary into a bustling modern city.
Here are some websites with details on the plan:
Clearly, the city is doing some serious thinking about what neighborhoods will look like and how density levels will change. Now, more than ever, we need to do some serious thinking about how the Lutheran Church in Calgary will grow with the city. Where are the up and coming neighborhoods? Is there any designated space for churches? Why not? Can we carve out space in the up-and-coming neighborhoods now?
If we cast a vision in Calgary today, we can establish centres of Christ-centered worship, service, and the hope of Jesus Christ. What if we were proactive and charted a new direction? Church planting is essential to the wellbeing of our Synod and the ELCIC as a whole – let’s see what can be done!
Maybe we could start by forming communities of faith rather then church planting. The persons of faith (church) are already planted we just need to gather them together into an intentional community.
Scott, What I hear you saying is that we need to gather persons of faith together into intentional community. I think that’s what a Church is – a gathering of people of faith for the purpose of intentional community in Christ. As Calgary creates new neighborhoods, the Church needs to be present – living out the Message of Christ and inviting others into the community of faith. Church planting may not mean building a building, but it does mean establishing communities of faith wherever people live – and right now that’s not the case in Calgary.
Church planting v forming faith communities. TomAto v toMAHto.
But I think new churches/faith communities are what’s needed for renewal in our beloved ABT Synod and ELCIC. Most pastoral resources note that the it is new church developments that grow the fastest and easiest. I think this is for two reasons:
1. They’re not bogged down by an institutional mindset, and therefore less resistant to change.
2. They often have an excitement for mission that’s lacking in more established churches.
But I also think we have to consider more broadly what we mean by “church.” And even what the goals of our faith communities are. Are we trying to establish garden-variety ELCIC churches who use the new hymnbook, dress up in robes, and build buildings?
Or can we think of churches/faith communities that gather for a season, live out the missional mandate that God has given them, then disband, knowing that they’ve been faithful to God’s call?
That is what I was getting at in “church planting”. We use the same “seed” that will grow into the same varietal that we already have; a copy of that which already is.
While the freedom even in the use of “faith community” may create a life of its own not bound by the institutional mindset. If we do not intentionally spread the living faith beyond the walls of the established church we will soon leech all the life out of the soil and the “church” will die of starvation.
Excellent point. Scott, a agree. Do you think you might be able to come to the Church planting Congress? It’s about more than just starting churches, it’s about being missional and reaching out to our neighbourhoods.