Agora Church has gone nuclear. The story begins with one of our very creative leaders who wanted to reach out to some friends. Our standard Home Church format did not seem to fit. How can you call a single Christian believer with a group of not-yet-believer friends a Home Church?
I requested a brief written description of the ministry and received a brand new category of Agora Church outreach—the Nuclear Church. A Nuclear Church contains the “nucleus” of at least one Christian who wants to reach out to friends outside the faith. They begin meeting regularly around discussion, study and friendship. A Home Church may or may not result from a Nuclear Church. The key point is that people are loved in Jesus’ Name and are learning about Him.
Already one of our other members wants to use this template for an outreach to young adults. Agora fans in Texas and Florida are considering how they can get friends to “go nuclear” who might never be able to connect with church in any other way. One leader passionate about reaching friends may have started a small Kingdom avalanche.
This is what I like so much about new churches. I have been a passionate advocate of church planting since I came to faith in 1974. One of the first pastors I ever met was the late David Plaster who was starting a new church not far from my home in western Pennsylvania. My doctoral research focused on the dynamics of starting new churches. I have had some part in the starting of over one hundred new churches around the world.
Statistics reveal that new churches are almost ten times more effective at reaching people than established churches. One of the clear reasons for this is illustrated by Agora Church’s nuclear innovation. In many established churches, staff and leaders silently groan and roll their eyes every time a new ministry idea is proposed. I have seen it firsthand. The vast majority of established churches are static and not dynamic organizations.
Denominational experts claim that any denomination that is not starting a number of new churches equivalent to 3% of its total number of congregations every year will plateau and begin to decline. The reason is that new churches have creativity, life and innovation programmed into their DNA. Without new churches being brought into the denominational family, stagnation and staleness will result.
Nuclear Church may seem like a small innovation but it has big implications for the future of Christianity inAmericaand maybe the world. Jesus said, “Come to me” and not “Go to church” when He invited people to experience His love and salvation. He did tell the church to “Go. . .” but that was into the world, into people’s lives.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago that new churches are the hope of our nation. This is why.
Maybe it is time for you to “go nuclear’ as well—wherever you are.
If you need some help or encouragement, contact us here at Agora (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will help if we can. Nuclear is cool, trust me.