Posts Tagged General Church of the New Jerusalem

Adopted Parent Congregation(s)

Existing congregation to sponsor through advocacy, prayer and support; possibly (but not necessarily) also contributing funds, people or other resources. No particular congregation has formally adopted Austin as a “stepchild” church, yet. There are several possibilities.

[This is from the Launch Plan for New Way Church in Austin, TX. Yesterday: Peer Network. Tomorrow: Launch Team / Core Group.]

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Advisory Board

The following people, drawn from different areas, make up an advisory group that is consulted on various aspects of this plan on an ongoing basis.

Rev. David Lindrooth – General Church Outreach Director

Rev. David Roth – Pastor and past church-planter, Boulder New Church

Dr. Chuck Ebert –General Church Outreach Committee

Dain Kistner – General Church Budget and Audit Committee

Amy Bruno – South east Austin.

Cedric Williams – North east Austin (Georgetown).

Martha Brown – South Austin.

Jeff Jackson – North west Austin. Likely treasurer, once board of directors is formed.

[This is from the Launch Plan for New Way Church in Austin, TX. Last week we looked at the Initial Leadership Team. Tomorrow: the Peer Network.]

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New Way Church: Launch Strategy for Austin, TX

This is the plan for the launching of a new New Church church (sic) in Austin, Texas, named “New Way Church”. This is will contribute to the General Church Strategic Plan, which calls for (among other things) the planting of new church societies on an ongoing basis. Although this plan, if successful, will result in the creation of multiple congregations, it is not intended as a complete solution to the General Church plan. Rather, it is just one suggested model that ought to be tried at least once, and then modified and reused, in other locations, for future General Church sponsored church starts.

[As announced yesterday, I am serializing my launch plan for planting a church in Austin. Before getting into the meat of things (tomorrow), we’re starting (above) with the 30 second intro to give you some context. Remember to share this with interested New Church folks who want to learn more about church planting. Tomorrow afternoon: “The Point“.]

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New Way Church, Austin, TX: Launch Strategy

Hey there! I have decided to start to share parts of my plan for launching a new church in Austin here on I’ll be releasing pieces of the plan serially, all under the Strategy subcategory of the Church Planting category. I’ll probably publish about one excerpt a day, at least on weekdays, and usually some time after lunchtime here on the east coast.

So over the next few weeks, here is a list of topics I’ll be posting on:

As I post on these topics, I’ll link them back to this outline to help you navigate among the sections.

Why am I doing this? To satisfy curiosity. To solicit support. To stimulate thinking. To encourage others to come up with their own, better plans, for their own, better projects. And especially to start a conversation. I am happy to answer questions as they come up. So if you know someone who is interested in the topic of church planting in the New Christian (Swedenborgian) context, invite them in. I’d love to hear from you all.

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Money and Church

This week, the General Church and Academy Capital Campaign kicked off. I’ve been reflecting on the issue of giving to the church for some time, now. We often try to avoid talk of money in the church, and especially from our priesthood, I think in part so as to avoid any appearance that the church has any motivation beyond serving the Lord and others. I think it’s good that we are not driven by profit, and that we want to be clear to others about that. But money is a tool—a very necessary tool—and I worry that by being cagey about it for a hundred years we have developed habits and ways of thinking that will strangle our ability to function in the natural world.

Interestingly, money corresponds with truth, the true spiritual wealth. And so the Lord speaks in His Word quite frequently about coins and precious metals and business practices and such.  And I wonder if the discomfort we sometimes feel in sharing our truths with those new to the church is somehow connected with our reluctance to talk about money. I haven’t sorted that out, yet, but it’s something to think about.

What I do know, though, is that the material business of performing the uses of the church and the priesthood takes a certain amount of natural wealth to accomplish. In the history of our organization we have had wealthy individuals who were moved to support the church to such a degree that the average member could contribute not a penny and the church would continue on. And now we have investment funds and endowments that likewise give the illusion that the average member’s contribution doesn’t matter. And this is really unhealthy. Across the world, tens of thousands of churches survive—and thrive!—hand-to-mouth without endowments or foundations, but somehow we have come to assume that without such things we would cease to exist. This is both false and unhealthy.

It is true that schools have different (and far larger) financial needs. But churches don’t. Churches and schools work best with very different models. (And this makes our odd situation—being a church born out of and acting more like a school—quite challenging.) What churches need is committed members who give of their time, their wealth, and their affection, on an ongoing basis, because they believe the church will be useful not to themselves, but to other people. And in doing so, they still benefit themselves. Not only do they get a church, but they get the rewarding delights that the Lord uses to encourage all charitable behavior.

[This also appears as the “Pastor’s Box” in the 2009.09.14 Bryn Athyn Post.]

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