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Perhaps the problem lies in the definition of church planter? Not long ago, I watched a video on Setzers blog of him interviewing a mega church junior pastor and referring to him throughout as a "church planter".

Now, I am familiar with the guy and was wondering how on earth he qualifies as a church planter unless the definition changed. He makes a 6 figure salary at a mega church that was a mega church long before he came.

Then it dawned on me. The satellite campi! That has to be it. The mega "planted" satellite churches in high end socio economic metro areas where there are plenty of churches, btw. The sermons are downlinked so the "church planter" can be listened to at each location. That makes him a "church planter".

Perhaps Setzer changed the definition and you are simply not up to snuff on it? Lots of changing definitions these days to keep up with. Perhaps there is a category for vanishing church plants?


Unfortunately, I think that NAMB is embarking on throwing millions of dollars of CP funds into these models of churches with "young leaders" at the helm. Where is this idea of "young leader" in the Bible? Where do we see Timothy being told to go to Peter and tell him to step aside because the next generation is here and they are demanding leadership positions. How ridiculous is the idea that college graduates get out of college, go on job interview and explain to the interviewer they don't need to start at the bottom because they are a "young leader" and so the old guys need to vacate the corner office. The only reason anyone pushes this idea of "young leader" is because the young see themselves as superior to the old because of their Calvinism. It's Paul telling Timothy not to let anyone despise him because of his youth - the people Paul was warning against were not other Christians. So today we see that "young leaders" believe themselves as true Christians as opposed to old leaders who reject Calvinism.

But the SBC is headed for some serious failures. There's a reason that throughout history the young have not been put in charge of important difficult things without having gone through seasons of trial and testing. These young men NAMB is pushing to start all these wonderful Calvinist churches all believe they are going to be the next Matt Chandler or Mark Driscoll. It ain't gonna happen and when these men fall away from the ministry because real life ain't like the bubble they've been living in has led them to believe they will leave a lot of destruction behind.

But if only NAMB were keeping track of the particular types of churches they're planting. According to them the only criteria they have is the BFM and they don't bother to look any deeper than that when planting churches. NAMB does not have to answer any questions regarding what they are doing.


Lydia, the Calvinists are now taking over the older struggling churches as satellites, taking away the satellites autonomy so now they are creating is the word bishorphics? The elders at the mother church are controlling all the satellites which goes completely against Baptist ecclesiology, but it is a way for the Calvinists to get more messengers to the State and National Conventions and of course they remove anyone from leadership who are not Calvinist.


Bro.Peter quit being so provocative and act as though only your understanding of scripture and the way to faith is right. Many godly men, including Spurgeon and Edwards, held onto a Calvinistic understanding of scripture. Were not these men used by God for great purposes? To me you seek to divide and hurt instead of uniting and helping the cause of the gospel.

peter lumpkins

Provocative? PROVOCATIVE? Why, I can't believe someone would think I've ever written a provocative phrase in my life!

peter lumpkins

Oh, and by the way, I'm not following how mentioning a failed church plant and asking why it failed is supposed to be considered "divid[ing] and hurt[ing] instead of uniting and helping the cause of the gospel."


Andrew, Baptists have a tradition of wanting to know how money is spent. Well, at least we used to.

Now it is considered an attack on Calvinism to ask? Maybe instead of "provocative" you should have called Peter a liberal. That seems to be the new dichotomy. One is either conservative which now means "Calvinist" or liberal which now means not a Calvinist. Well at least to Mohler's guy Chitwood at the KBC. :o)


Well this just goes to show, "God is sovereign after all!" LOL. Could it be the residents of Forsyth County just weren't part of the "elect"?

peter lumpkins


It is a problem defining "church planter" in light of the new multiple-campus approach to church starts. And, it's very difficult to distinguish the models from a similar bishop-empowered mini-denomination...

peter lumpkins


Yes, we're throwing big bucks at church planting and have no real way of knowing how successful the strategy is. In addition, while it's being publicized that CP money is up, I, for one, suspect something really strange about the so-called rise in CP giving...

William Marshall

Bro. Peter,
I do have an honest question. If we have a larger number of Calvinistic pastors graduating from our seminaries, and if you do not support them going into Churches which are not Calvinistic and they should not plant Churches with NAMB, how can they serve in the SBC? I really am curious as to what you think on this one. Thanks for your time!


Paul Owen

The YRR church planting networks seem to have a cluster of characteristics:
1. They are led by young men of modest intellect and a smattering of theological education. Just enough knowledge to be dangerous. They strike me as the sort of men with little patience for real learning, though they like to have the appearance of being theologically astute.
2. They wear the title "Reformed" as a badge of honor to show their superiority to other Christians. By contrast, term like Baptist, Presbyterian, or Episcopalian are used to highlight distinctives in a group, not superior status.
3. Their churches are led by handsome men with attractive wives. These guys were the smug jocks in high school who dated the cheerleaders. They have a charismatic quality about them which can sometimes gain a following. But that does not alwys equate with wisdom or true pastoral gifting.
4. They have little appreciation for the wisdom of the past, or the traditions passed on to them by men of a more godly era.
5. Their services place a focus on lengthy expository teaching, which puts the pastor up on stage for the bulk of the service, and makes him the center of attention.
6. They are intent on being contemporary, relevant and non-traditional in worship. So while they insist on traditional gender roles, the worship of God is conducted according to the fads of the culture. In other words, the face of the church is stuck in adolescence--lots of testosterone, little respect for those who have gone before, combined with generous doses of immature energy.


William, I'm not Peter, but perhaps you won't mind my few thoughts.

#1 the large number of Calvinists graduating from Seminaries shows that the SBC is not being served by the Seminaries anymore. If you are nonCal church looking for nonCal ministerial candidates you have to ignore the resumes from at least two of our Seminaries and be very vigilant of the rest.

#2 where should the Calvinist go? How bout the Calvinists churches support them. Calvinists churches would refuse to hire nonCal so why is it bad that nonCals won't hire Calvinists anymore.

#3 Should NAMB be taking money from a convention of majority nonCalvinists churches and not just plant churches that aren't like them, but these church models have such restrictive church covenants and membership requirements that they would refuse those who are funding their churches membership.

#4 Acts 29 churches and the knockoffs are encouraged to give only to Calvinists causes - they designate their funding around those who are not like them in the SBC.

So in summary should the SBC which at this time is majority nonCalvinist fund people who want to use that money to exclude all those who disagree with them?


I think a post like this is the place to remind everyone that Calvinists are the superior evangelists. Just because we know some who don't baptize people in their churches and church plants fail - just remember Calvinists are the superior evangelists. Because they tell us so all the time to stop focusing on things like numbers and church failures.

The problem with all these Calvinists churches is that there aren't enough Calvinists to move around and join them to keep them going. The growth in Calvinists churches tends to be more lateral - as in people leave one church to join another. Eventually you run out of Calvinists who can switch churches to support the new church plants.

peter lumpkins

Dr. Owen,

Your characterization will not be well accepted by YRR readers but nonetheless it is spot on.

While it cannot be stated by any means as unique to YRR types, some of the YRR celebrities have not proved themselves as morally mature enough to pastor a church. Last year, a very well known YRR celebrity figure in SBC life was quietly released by NAMB without a word about his multiple affairs he had going on on the side while his precious but betrayed wife stayed home with their quiver full of children. He was a celebrated church-planter in Georgia and national keynote speaker for NAMB. I'm not suggesting we "air" our dirty laundry; however, nothing was so much as mentioned about this anywhere in the media that I recall. Sorta the same old thing Mahaney reportedly had going on in covering up child-abusers (though obviously one is criminal and the other is not).

peter lumpkins


Do you recall Jared Moore's post wherein he appeared to be boasting--or, at least unconcerned--if I recall correctly, that he baptized no one in an entire year?


I cannot say what happened to the church Stetzer and his companion started.

I can speak from my experience of starting a church with 5 couples and 4 small kids.

It is tough. There is nothing easy about it, except that you don't have to fight entrenced ideas, past battles etc. because there aren't any.

We have been quite fortunate, and I give every bit of the credit to the Lord. We might be looked at as a success story by some, and a failure by others.

You never can know what is going to happen when you plant a church. One thing is for sure, you will die the death of 1000 dreams.

Other things I would say are that a church is just as legtimate when it has 5 people meeting in living room as when it has 1000 and a building. The average size congregation around the world is much smaller than we often think.

Planting a church is really about pastoring people. Helping them. Our world has a lot of hurting people. Hurting people need help. That's what churches and pastors do.

If you are looking for an ego boost in starting a church, you had better lose that in the first week, or you will not last.

Also, don't expect things to be fair. God will bless some guy you think is a goober with a free building and 1000 people in the first 2 years, while you sweat with 50 people and are under the constant threat of losing your rental space and not finding a replacement.

And don't expect your denomination to laud you. We were almost killed in the crib by our own state denoniminational organization. The people that lead the state offices now can't believe what happened to us.

You will get help from the unlikeliest of sources. We had people bless and help us along the way who were not, or barely, Christian. You just have to get used to that irony.

There is no doubt that the "church planting" thing is cool nowadays. But there is nothing cool about it.

Most plants don't make it. When that happens, what do you do? Look back and rejoice at the people you were able to help while you ministered.

That's what it's about anyway - people.

Scott Shaver


I think a starting point might be be to trace the historical rationale for why the SBC for a period both avoided and saw a waning of Calvinistic influence.

We didn't notice the signs while attending NOBTS (late 80's, early 90's)except for the use of James Kennedy's EE. Subsequent "SBC" versions followed.

The growing question in my mind has now to do with both the historical as well as theological support for the wane of hyper-Calvinism in SBC history. Might be the key to not repeating mistakes of the past.

As far as them serving in the SBC? Will ultimately depend on whether or not local churches and the folks in the pews can tolerate TULIPS in their midst. SBC has no control over that
dynamic. At least not in medium to smaller churches.

It is possible for SBC trained ministers to cross denominational lines in their pursuit of service (calling). Saw quite a few pastoral defections from the SBC immediately following and in the latter days of the "conservative resurgence". Check on the number of SBC trained and former pastors that moved to the Methodist denomination post 1985.

Door to and from the Presbyterian Church swings on a double hinge as well.

Paul Owen

You are spot on. How much discernment does it take to tell you are dealing with false shepherds when they take the sexual norms of the culture and somehow craft a "Christian" message around them? These men, if they had an ounce of godly character, would focus their preaching on the cross and the gospel, and not get distracted with trendy teachings which appear to be taken straight from the pages of Cosmopolitan magazine. The fact that "how to have hot sex" has become a commonplace topic in their pulpits and marriage seminars tells you all you need to know about the spiritual depth of these men. Come on Church! Wake up!


Peter, Jared and Mr. Unity will attack anyone who asks how many they baptize. Jared just recently used his platform at Voices to launch an attack against those who question the fruit of his church pointing to numbers. He tried to turn it around that people thinking numbers are important are the bad guys. And Mr. Unity went off in a comment stream about FBC Dallas because the name escapes me the Pastor pointed to church growth as God blessing the church - Mr. Unity wanted to know what was being implied about churches without growth. They protesteth a little too much. It just never occurs to them that they could be doing it wrong.


Here ya go Peter, is this what you were remembering? I think it got reposted recently but maybe he wrote another one like it. Not only does he defend not baptizing anyone but people who point out he's not baptizing anyone are foolish.



Something many won't know about NAMB, planting, and your CP dollars -- CP dollars, via NAMB, are being used to prop up *existing* churches if those churches have been successfully taken control of by Calvinists because, as far as they're concerned, that church now IS a plant!

I know firsthand...I left one of them.

And, strangely, the elders didn't track me down and threaten...er, share with me their concerns for my soul like you've heard Calvinist leaders do for all their sheep....

Seems that, if you either know or figure out who and what they are and are well-known and articulate enough to explain it to others, they're HAPPY to have you leave!


Some Mars Hill (Driscoll) pastors are now working for Sojourn here which is SBC. I keep trying to figure out how they can afford all those pastors/event planners/minister of this and that considering the size of their respective campi. You are not going to convince me that guys like that are paid 20 grand a year unless I see the paychecks.


Paul Owen, I would only quibble with "handsome" men. :o)

Wm Marshall wrote:

"I do have an honest question. If we have a larger number of Calvinistic pastors graduating from our seminaries, and if you do not support them going into Churches which are not Calvinistic and they should not plant Churches with NAMB, how can they serve in the SBC? "

I am not Peter but I do have an idea that is sort of dated. But how about the mission field? Not as glamorous I know. Not sure the YRR guys would be up for the hardship involved.

peter lumpkins

Dr. Owen,

Only recently were some in SBC blogs posting about whether it's OK for Christian men to refer to our wives as "hot". A profound ethical inquiry indeed. How much our lost culture needs to know an answer to such a deep, thoughtful question...


Peter, hot is mild to the way Driscoll publically talks about his wife. In his famous SOS sermon he brags about oogling her and talks about specific parts of her anatomy that he likes. Of course we have an SBC Vice President who has posted that he thanks God for the ministry of Mark Driscoll with his misogyny and pornovision.


"Something many won't know about NAMB, planting, and your CP dollars -- CP dollars, via NAMB, are being used to prop up *existing* churches if those churches have been successfully taken control of by Calvinists because, as far as they're concerned, that church now IS a plant! "

Trapper, that is happening here a lot. I know of 3 where YRR were sent to pastor and there is NO WAY any of them can sustain the pastor. One of them is pastored by a well known SBTS prof's son. No way is that church supporting him. One of the 3 also has quite a few older folks who have sustained it for years with a part time bi voc pastor. The new YRR one talks about sex all the time and they are disgusted. I am of the impression if there was no subsidy, they would close or go back to a bi voc pastor. 2 of them are in low income areas that used to be solidly middle class and are now multicultural areas. One of them is inner city and has seminary students driving in. All are Calvinist. One of them was taken over by a now new President of one of our seminaries and what little part time staff they had were fired.

It never dawned on me they might be considered church plants.


"You will get help from the unlikeliest of sources. We had people bless and help us along the way who were not, or barely, Christian. You just have to get used to that irony."

I can attest to that myself. Very true.

Scott Shaver

Aren't there some things obvious for the express purpose of not being spoken in public?

Jared Moore

Peter, if you or Mary are going to talk about my article, at least represent it accurately. I didn't boast in zero baptisms. I boasted in the ministry our church did carry out. I said several times that I'm never satisfied with our number of baptisms, regardless how many we baptize. As long as unbelievers exist on Earth, we have work to do. Please represent me accurately.


There's no doubt that Ed Stetzer has been SBC's primary link to Acts 29. While at NAMB, he was on the Acts 29 board of directors and has been a frequent speaker at their Boot Camps and other "resurgence" venues. He would be considered a prominent player in the reformed movement, but remains elusive on his exact theological leaning. In 2007, he told Baptist Press that he joined the Acts 29 board after speaking at their conferences, establishing a friendship with Driscoll and also procuring “NAMB upline approval.” In that article, Stetzer noted that "few other Southern Baptists have this opportunity, and I would rather choose to risk and influence than to pass up being a positive force among the guys at Acts 29.” http://www.bpnews.net/bpfirstperson.asp?id=25221

So much for a "positive" influence on Acts 29. Young, restless and reformed SBC pastors who idolize potty-mouth Driscoll and Stetzer have disrupted several traditional works in the convention as reported on this blog and elsewhere.

I Wonder

I wonder if the failure might be attributed to the fact that the pastor spent more time in other places than the one he was planting a church in. I have noticed that so many of the guys I know who are planting churches spend week in and out traveling all over to either speek at or attend a conference. Couple that with the fact that most of them are just preaching whatever new series they bought from Driscol, Piper, Stanley,Grochel........
I can not figure out how that is planting a church.

peter lumpkins

Hi Jared,

Please note I mentioned your article from memory and noted that in my comment--"[Jared] appeared to be boasting--or, at least unconcerned--if I recall correctly, that he baptized no one in an entire year?" If I didn't characterize your article correctly, I beg pardon.

On the other hand, your article that Mary linked above is hardly clear that you intended to portray that you're never satisfied with your number of baptisms, regardless how many you baptize. The entire article stands as a rebuke to "arrogant" people who judge your ministry at a distance.

In addition, Jared, I find it interesting you claim you're never satisfied with your number of baptisms, regardless how many you baptize, but then state to me your article "boasted in the ministry [y]our church did carry out." Excuse me? If you're never satisfied, then how can you boast in what you carried out? Furthermore, in the article,you make it clear that any genuine work done is done by God alone--"We cannot produce genuine repentance, faith, and baptisms; it’s a work of the Spirit alone"; but then turn right around here and suggest you "boasted in the ministry [y]our church did carry out" in the article.

For these reasons and others I'll be glad to list if I need to, Jared, your article was a bouncing ball of confusion. Hence, pardon us in love if we really didn't get your point then or now.

Jared Moore

Peter, that's the difference between you and me. I don't believe a Christian can just say whatever he/she wants as long as he/she says, "if I recall correctly." I think as a believer, you should try to accurately represent those you're talking about or not comment at all.

Also, for the record, my entire 7th point said, "7. Every pastor, church, and ministry needs to have a healthy dissatisfaction with their tangible results. I’ve served in ministries where we’ve baptized 40+ people in a year, and I’ve served in ministries where we’ve baptized no one in a year. I’m not satisfied with either! You and your church didn’t baptize enough people last year. As long as people are going to hell, we have work to do. Continue laboring in the gospel until all people know God and seek to make Him known! But, enjoy the fruit God produces, whether great or small!"

This is the 2nd time you're misrepresented me over this article. You said a similar statement around the time I wrote the article. I came here and corrected you then. Yet, here you go again making a similar inaccurate statement. I shouldn't have to keep correcting you, unless you know my article better than I do?


Jared, I posted the link so others can determine for themselves how boastful you are. The fact that you think you are in a position to label anyone a fool and rebuke them shows you carry a great deal of pride in what you are doing which is not showing any fruit. It's the opposite of humility to attack people because you are insecure in what you are doing.

peter lumpkins


Let me be clear: to suggest I somehow have a pattern of either misrepresenting what others write or that I do not practice accuracy in describing what others imply is far easier to state than to demonstrate, brother. And, I suggest if you think you can make your case to go for it.

As for me I'll allow the readers to make up their own mind as to whether I normally lack either accuracy or credibility when I make commentary or reviews of other people's work.

Yes, your 7th point is precisely as you quoted. Even so, it does nothing to offset the first 6 points which was nothing more than a rebuke against anyone who questioned a church who baptizes no one in an entire year. You call them "arrogant" people indicating they desired to impose unbiblical "legalism" upon you. You also caricature those who express concerns about baptisms as those who evidently believe "salvations and baptisms can be manufactured."

Furthermore, you never at all addressed the contradictory statements I listed above. The fact is, Jared, your piece is totally confusing. Why then should you be surprised when people don't "get" what you think is a clear point? It's confusing Jared. Plain and simple. Confusing. Thus, don't come back here complaining about our misrepresenting you when you are not writing clearly enough for people to get your point.


"wonder if the failure might be attributed to the fact that the pastor spent more time in other places than the one he was planting a church in. I have noticed that so many of the guys I know who are planting churches spend week in and out traveling all over to either speek at or attend a conference. "

I am hearing that one quite a bit. In fact, one of the small churches pastored by a YRR I mentioned above were concerned about the pastor's travel budget and going to conferences all the time. Makes it hard to build relationships.

Max wrote:

"establishing a friendship with Driscoll and also procuring “NAMB upline approval.”"

Huh? That sounds like MLM. You know what is funny about that? Over at SGMsurvivors blog they have often talked about PDI/SGM method was like Amway with "uplines".

peter lumpkins

BTW, Jared, I'm not going to spend the next 15+- comments with you over whether I did this or did that (which is a pattern you have in mind with comments when you show up on my site; and I will be glad to demonstrate that with other comments if you like). If you've got something else to say, be my guest. But it's clear to me while I have no desire of intentionally misrepresenting your post (rather it's because your post is fundamentally confusing--at least to me--that you think I'm misrepresenting it), I'm nonetheless not buying your defense of it--didn't then and don't now. It's a pitifully communicated piece. Just a fair heads-up so you won't think I'm going to continue this banter.

Nathan Brown

Peter, it is interesting you would ask Jared to make his case. You never make yours. You consistently write with leading insinuations. This blog is the Inquirerer of the SBC. I am waiting to read the headline Peter Lumpkins is pregnant with an Alien. But, I guess the blog would have to change editorial hands before I get to see that.

The post tied to this comment stream is evidence A. You have no idea what happen at the CP you based this post on. You say as much. But, that does not keep you from taking a shot--a rather strange shot.

So, let me play by your rules. I insinuate that you are a hateful man, who lives with a lot of bitterness towards the world.


Dr. Owen,

You just described an SBC-YRR church plant down the road from me, except the pastor is far from handsome! However, he thinks he is and is continually posting new photos of himself on the church website and his Twitter page. I would also add to your list that they all carry ESV bibles and their churches are, of course, controlled by a plurality of elders.

Your point #4 "They have little appreciation for the wisdom of the past, or the traditions passed on to them by men of a more godly era" reminded me of a passage in 1 Kings 12. "King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime ... but Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him ..." The thing that always amazed me about that passage is that the young whippersnapper King and his court rejected Solomon's counselors ... the folks that advised the wisest man that ever lived! I look at some corners of the SBC landscape (particularly certain NAMB church plants) and see pastors and elders in their 20s-30s trying to do church without the benefit of wisdom. That strategy didn't turn out well for Rehoboam.

It's a crying shame that we are losing a generation of young Southern Baptists to the reformed movement with its strange cast of leaders/influencers. We need the energy of youth coupled with the wisdom of age ... the young guys to speed things up and the old guys to slow things down. But how are we to bring things back into balance with the widening theological gulf which separates us? God commands the blessing to be where there is unity ... and we are a long way from that! Agreeing to disagree, getting along to go along is not unity ... but I suspect that theme will emerge in Dr. Page's forthcoming report. Tough days ahead.

Paul Owen

That passage from 1 Kings is a great lesson! I'm an Episcopalian, but if I were a Baptist, I would be alarmed by the tendency of the YRR to avoid the word Baptist in the names of their congregations. It makes a statement that they have little respect for their Baptist heritage. Their identity is shaped more from the T4G platform than anything else. They aspire to emulate their celebrity heroes, which is why they are so addicted to attending the latest sychophantic conferences, wherein people stand around on platforms and pat each other on the back for being so "Reformed" and so trendy. These men do not drink deeply from the rich wells of historical theology, but rather they sip from the muddy puddles of today's shallow fads and cult leaders.

Scott Shaver

Is/Was Harry Potter a fad :)


Nobody has ever said that 'church planting' is easy, without hazards, and on and on. However, the 'church planting lemmings' have elevated themselves as 'the experts' 'the ones to follow' 'the missiologists of our time' 'have abandoned the regular SBC language' and created their own language, click, elitist circles of superior knowledge and 'know it all'. Reject the 'old ways'.....just because they're "old". Accept their new ways, methods, verbage and theology just because they said so and they're new. Frankly, some chilling parallels here with the children of Israel. The pathetic response of our(supposed) conservative leadership?.....well, at least they're trying. Are you kidding me?
Makes you wonder how many church plants the SBC "expert" started and is on-going after 5 years. Frankly, it's a dismal record....yet he has fooled many, draws $180,000+ from Lifeway as an 'adviser/expert' and continues this hoax to this day with little if any accountability or oversight. He also is allowed to bring his 'mini-idolizers' on board like Mica Frieze, who cut his baptisms in 1/2 and 'grew into a decline'....while all the time proclaiming the awesomeness of God.
I hope this 'fad' is burning itself OUT!!!!!!!!

Scott Shaver


In Pete's defense. He obviously stung you. Not so much with his "hatefulness" as his discernment IMO. His logic sounds like a far more viable option than the apple pie al mohler YRR crowd.

Those of us sitting in the back pews don't have to send money to any portion of the SBC we don't support. Bet you dollar to a doughnut those SBC affiliated local churches that want to present yearly or bi-yearly special gifts to the SBC entity receiving their imprimatur can get em there.

And to play by the "rules" you made up and attributed to Peter: I sense that you tend to be hyper-sensitive, hyper-calvinist whipper-snapper, unequipped to hurl at this point anything other than personal attacks.

What did happen to the church in question and how many others have disappeared with NAMB money. Curious pew sitters wanna know.


Reading this blog makes me all the more grateful for the YRR movement.

You all and this hilarious conversation in the thread merely shows why the YRR is necessary and why young SBC pastors arent attracted to your ilk.


It should be noted that the percentage rate of success is significantly higher for A29 church plants than NAMB plants over the last decade.

Thankfully, NAMB leaders have some humility and are learning from A29 and other successful church planting networks. While you all might hate it, the results are God's kingdom further advancing.

Basil Wrathbone

I noticed the other day that an older Southern Baptist church in town was re-named, taking Baptist out of the name and calling it a "community" church. This piqued my interest, so I went to the web and saw that this was being referred to as a "church re-plant." By calling it a replant, the SBC has created a clever scheme to receive funding from NAMB and to boost the church planting numbers they share with everyone. This information should be segregated from what is a true "church plant" so we know what is going on in the SBC. Also, I would like to note that church planting like Ed Stetzer attempted will never attract people because there is no sense of permanence. These guys go into these areas, start a Bible study, plant a church, and then treat it as something they can just up and leave whenever they want to leave. People sense that they are being manipulated and then flee these short-term entities. I tell you what I want to see, I want to see a pastor go into a community and invest himself into the lives of the people. This is the only way a church will succeed in God's eyes.

Rick Patrick


Thanks for reporting this news about Stetzer's former church plant. While no one rejoices over a failed church, at least we can be glad there is an information source for Southern Baptists to receive such relevant news, since typical religious media outlets ignore these stories.

I think we need to view this case as part of the larger picture of SBC church plants. IF INDEED we are over saturating our communities with more Reformed SBC church plants than our communities desire and are willing to support, then our missiological strategy is flawed. Whatever the ratio might be of Calvinist to Traditionalist churches among the established fellowships in our convention, it is unwise to exceed that level among church plants. We should plant theologically relevant churches.

peter lumpkins

Hi Nathan,

You appear confident I "never" make my case about the subjects I deem worthy of commentary. Wow! Over 1,200 posts in the last 6+ years and I never have made my case. Poor me.

You further state my site to be the "Inquirerer [sic] of the SBC." Why of course, Nathan. Thank you. Is this why so many of the YRR read this blog despite their hate for this blog?

What is more, you claim "The post tied to this comment stream is evidence A. You have no idea what happen at the CP you based this post on. You say as much. But, that does not keep you from taking a shot--a rather strange shot."

I'm afraid I don't get your point, Nathan. What does the Cooperative Program have to do with asking the questions I asked? My questions are not based on the CP. My questions are based upon the present non-existence of the Lake Ridge church. Unless, of course, you'd like to dispute my claim that the Lake Ridge church plant still exists. We're all ears here, Nathan.

While you are at it, see if you can find the other two church plants Lake Ridge church reportedly planted. Josh Malone says of the Lake Ridge church plant:

"They [i.e. Lake Ridge church] have already been a part of planting two other churches in Georgia and are comitted [sic] to being a church that plants churches." http://joshmalone.com/tag/lake-ridge-church/

Personally, I'd like to know the names of the two churches Lake Ridge planted and see if they are still in existence. Do you think you could find out for us and post the info here?

Finally, while you may "insinuate" all you like I am a "hateful man, who lives with a lot of bitterness towards the world," know you are not "playing by my rules" to borrow your image. I actually link to the sources from whence I infer my conclusions so others may judge whether I'm either misrepresenting the sources or have simply illegitimately drawn an incorrect deduction. On the other hand, what you've done here is make emotionally-driven insults you apparently imagine to be really powerful rebuttals to what I've written.

peter lumpkins

Well, hello Matt Svoboda!

I'm really surprised it took you so long to show up. It’s been almost a month. Last time you commented, you accused me of becoming “worse than liberals when discussing conservative politics.” You had managed to stay away for almost a year and a half. Back then you logged on to characterize my blog as a “good example” of those who disagree about Calvinism not being able to “get along.”

And, now you show up and what do you contribute as an opening salvo? Well, it’s all about my blog and me again. In short, we're the pits. Why you YRR types cannot address the ideas without making it personal is anybody’s guess. Don’t ya’ll know by now your practice of rapid-fire insults is not having a neutralizing effect upon this site?

And please be aware, I have no goal of attracting YRR to my “ilk.” None. Zero. I’m much to old for one thing to worry whether people are attracted to me or not. I write not to get a following; I write because I believe what I am writing is true.

Now as for your second comment, bravo Matt. Again, I say, Bravo! You actually make a real contribution to the thread since you state a claim about the subject of the post rather personally poke somebody (either me or another) in the eye. You claim:

“It should be noted that the percentage rate of success is significantly higher for A29 church plants than NAMB plants over the last decade”

Please don’t take this the wrong way, Matt, but do you have any evidence upon which you base your claim? Evidence which we could consider to verify your bold claim? I know of no objective studies which have dealt with A29 or other church planting networks and their success rate either individually or comparatively to church plants in the SBC. Understand: I’m not saying no objective studies exist; only that I don’t know of them. And, if they do exist, I’d give a year’s worth of Starbucks to get a hold of them.

What is more, we’ve got Lake Ridge church plant that didn’t make it, presumably along with 2 church plants Lake Ridge planted that also didn’t make it. Is this evidence for or against A29?  Well Lake Ridge was connected to both A29 and the SBC so perhaps they cancel each other out. Not sure how missiologists will handle that one when they finally do get around to studying church planting networks.

Anyways, Matt. If you get a chance, please leave the links and/or names of the objective studies which affirm your claim.


Andrew B

Peter, I think this post is very telling:

It should be noted that the percentage rate of success is significantly higher for A29 church plants than NAMB plants over the last decade.

I'm not so sure the words 'success' and 'decade' sit very comfortably. Unless of course you're young and under the illusion that 10 years actually is a long enough time to measure success.

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