The Multi-Nucleated Church

By Sean Benesh

CityIn church planting circles we are more apt to look backwards rather than forward when talking about models, methods, forms, and expressions. Besides, it is this concept of reverse-engineering which is the topic of many books on church planting as leaders reflect on what worked, and worked wildly well. To propose a theoretical framework is taking the reverse approach, a forward trajectory at that. Also, to float out ideas, concepts, and a way of church planting not predicated on the luxury of reverse-engineering is counter-intuitive, yet normative in society as a whole. It is akin to an architect conceptualizing, drawing, and then creating a 3D model of what is yet to come. The architect takes into account the prevalent dynamics before the conceptualizing and building phase. Is this a new build? Reclaiming on old historic building in a downtown district? Context begins to determine the framework for what the architect has to work with.

This is what I aim to do with The Multi-Nucleated Church. Context begins to determine the framework for what the church planter has to work with. The subtitle clarifies my intentions as well: Towards a Theoretical Framework for Church Planting in High-Density Cities. It is my desire and motivation to push forward church planting in high-density cities and contexts.

For too long church planting literature and training has been primarily focused on starting churches in low-density parts of our cities predicated upon auto-based commuting patterns. However, the reality of the global city is that millions upon millions of people worldwide do not live that kind of lifestyle. Rather, life revolves around getting from Point A to Point B via on foot, bicycle, or public transportation. What would church planting then look like with those common transportation realities? Instead of basing strategies and methodologies on a car-based lifestyle, The Multi-Nucleated Church reduces the scale to walkable neighborhoods, districts, city centers, and central cities. The common denominator is truly high-density urban contexts. The Multi-Nucleated Church explores the theoretical framework of constructing an ecclesiology that finds its home in the multi-nucleated high-density mega-global city.This book is to move the conversation forward.

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Sean Benesh

Sean Benesh (DMin, Bakke Graduate University) lives in the Pacific Northwest and is the author of View From the Urban Loft: Developing a Theological Framework for Understanding the City (2011) and Metrospiritual: The Geography of Church Planting (2011). He is involved in urban ministry in the capacity of professor, researcher, consultant, Director of the Epoch Center for Urban Renewal, and church planter. He blogs regularly on various urban themes and topics at The Urban Loft.