Right up front we want to confess our belief that the planting of new, culturally diverse, missional communities is the best way forward for the church that views itself in a missional context. The challenging context in which we live in the West requires that we adopt a fully missional stance. While some established churches can be revitalized, success seems to be rare from our experience and perspective. We believe that the strategic focus must now shift from revitalization to mission, i.e. from a focus on the “insiders” to the “outsiders”; and in so doing we believe the church will rediscover its true nature and purpose. Perhaps an established church can plant a missional congregation within its broader church structures. Others might sponsor and support the planting of new congregations on their doorstep to reach those not interested in the conventional church. But it does seem to us that the real hope lies with those courageous leaders who will foster the development of alternative, experimental, new communites of faith.
If Frost and Hirsch are right, where does that leave many of us who are currently trying to revitalize established churches?