by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., Biblical Leadership Magazine, 3/20/19.
Millennial leadership recognizes the need for cultural sensitivity, awareness and autonomy. Though there is a healthy respect for different traditions, there is also a concern that the body of Christ not be splintered into smaller and less holistic factions. Millennial leaders see two types of church planting and increasingly utilize internal instead of external church plants.
External church plants
When modern leaders think of church planting, they usually think about launching a new and autonomous congregation to reach a new culture. However, many millennial leaders have seen their parents’ churches use a “church planting excuse” to push out a different culture. Whether it be a generational culture or an ethnic culture, these ”forced plants” often don’t survive. The millennial leader often wonders, why can’t the church just get along and stay together as a spiritual network?
Internal church plants (or network churches)
This is an increasingly popular strategy that plants new sub-congregations, but keeps them part of one inclusive and multicultural congregation. Called “network churches,” these can be multiple-site and multiple-venue churches, and as such, they are examples of internal church planting.
Advantages of internal church plants
Sharing finances: In the business world this is called an “economy of scale,” which means that a network of sub-congregations will have more financial resources together than if each were independent organizations. For example, if emergency funds are needed by one sub-congregation, the network can provide those funds more readily and smoothly because they are all part of one organizational system.
Sharing facilities: Internal church plants that employ a multi-site approach foster a sharing of facilities, technology and physical resources. This can help fulfill John M. Perkins’ goal of “redistribution.”
Sharing staff: Network churches benefit from sharing support staff, allowing sub-congregations to avoid duplicating their workforces.
Culture sharing: This is a strategic advantage. More cultural sharing will take place if multiple ethnicities are meeting in the same building and sharing the same budget, etc. than will take place if an emerging culture is forced to move down the street to an independent church plant.
Disadvantages of internalchurch plants
They can become divisive:This is often cited as a main concern. But, if they exit the church, it is divided anyway. Division can be addressed by having different preachers at different venues/times share the same message and by holding regular unity events.
Marginalized cultures:Often the largest cultures will try, sometimes unintentionally and sometimes intentionally, to dominate the smaller culture. Yet, this should not deter a congregation from practicing a ministry that reconciles different cultures in the same church.
One way to address this is to require proportional representation on decision-making committees.
If these caveats can be addressed, the end result is the mosaic church, where the glue of being one united organization unites different cultural expressions. A true image of a “mosaic” is created, where different colors and shades create a unified picture when viewed from a distance, but up close reveals a collage of different cultures working in unity and harmony.
This Millennial “graffiti” leadership is full of colorful layering and icons that when combined produce a new multifaceted, yet integrated image. This is the church.
Excerpted from Organix: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church, by Bob Whitesel (Abingdon Press). Used with permission.
Photo source: istock
Read the original article here … https://www.biblicalleadership.com/blogs/how-millennial-leadership-grows-mosaic-churches/