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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Planting Trees in a Dead Forest

This morning I was driving down one of the main roads near my house in search of Shipley's Doughnuts for my wife. On one of the main corners right by my house I saw a church, and directly next to it another church. Across the street I noticed another church, with one directly next to it as well. 4 different churches on the same street corner!

For someone who feels called to church planting, the sight of four churches on the same street corner can be a little disconcerting. First off, how could I, or anyone for that matter, ever justify planting a church in a town that has multiple churches on every main intersection. Second, what is so lacking in anyone of those churches to necessitate three other ones directly next to them.

I have not been to those churches, so I do not know what is happening in them, what God is doing, whether the grace and glory of God is being preached in those churches. I hope that it is. I hope that God is using every single church on every single street corner in Dallas to further His kingdom.

But I can't help but feel like there is something wrong with this picture. Church planting can be thought of as going out and planting a tree in a barren wilderness. At least that's how I always thought of it. I always thought planting trees where trees were plentiful was kind of obnoxious. However, my gut is saying there is more going on, or I should say less going on here in the South, than meets the eye. My experience has been that, although the South is definitely bigger on religion and church being part of everyday life, being spiritually alive is not much more prevalent in the South than it is anywhere else in America.

Which makes me wonder. Could church planters also be called to plant a tree in a dense but dead forest? I have to think about it, but I feel like there's more to this. I'm sure I'll be writing more about this.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Dude, I've had this same feeling several times here in Dallas. I'm looking forward to talking to you more about it over lunch Tuesday!