Church Planting Theology

Click here to see the syllaubs for Dales “Church Planting Theology” class to be taught in alternating years at ACTS Seminaries (BC Canada) beginning in the fall semester 2016.

The articles in this section could be classified under the following kinds of titles: 

  • Thinking Theologically about Church Planting
  • Church Planting in Theological Context
  • Theology for Church Planting
  • Toward an Evangelical Ecclesial Mission

Writings on church planting seem to give only introductory or tangential attention to elucidating a theological foundation for church planting. At best it seems church planting is viewed primarily from a sociological or anthropological perspective, and at worst it seems to have been confined to thorough pragmatic analysis. In either scenario, church planting has been subject to only cursory theological study.

For example, although most books on church planting provide a tangential biblical and theological framework for church planting, few have theology of church planting as a major theme. Moreover, although there are many helpful books on theology of mission, most give little or no consideration to church planting.

Judging from this lack of literature on theology of church planting, church planters, church planting mission agencies, and missiologists apparently sense little need for laying a foundation for church planting other than a pragmatic or methodological one that focuses on strategy rather than theology.

Despite the apparent lack of published theological reflection about church planting, cross-cultural church planting ministry remains a high priority among evangelical cross-cultural missionaries and mission agencies. Therefore studies that attempt to place church planting in theological context are timely.

Church planting without theological perspective is like a diamond in the rough. Theology is a largely untapped resource for church planters.

Thinking theologically about church planting has great potential for encouraging and equipping church planters.

The articles in this Church Planting Theology section of iTheology.net are an attempt to integrate church planting and theology so that evangelical church planters might be affirmed in their ministry and might recognize that theology can indeed be the handmaiden of church planting.

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PERSONAL NOTE: I am preparing two full length articles for publication, with tentative titles "God's Missional Community" and "God's Ecclesial Mission and Ours." Once published, perhaps summaries will appear here. The idea is that these kinds of longer articles as opposed to the mostly short inspirational ones indexed at the left, combined with other of my writings (see list here), will form part of a future book on church planting theology, entitled something like An Evangelical Ecclesial Missionary Theology. (December 2015)

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