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May 08, 2008



The purpose should be in the DNA. Cancer has a purpose (to eat and grow) but we don't agree with it's purpose because we're the host. If you were to ask a nonChrist-follower what the church's purpose is...well he may call us a cancer. If our DNA is good Kingdom stuff then shouldn't we want to reproduce like a cancer? Eating up a broken world and spreading Kingdom?

The 3 steps you've listed sound alot like Global Family Rescue strategy! Go GFR!!!

Dave Ferguson

Kathy, I think I made his quote sound like he was not PRO reproducing. He definitely is! It was just a warning. I made an edit to the post so that it better represents what he was saying. Dave


So Dave, how did that make you feel? :)


sounds like an incredible conversation! thanks for jotting some notes down and sharing them..

aside: I don't think that was a photo of your meeting with him - guess you're not into getting a photo with people you meet? :)

luke chase

what about tokyo? the biggest city in the world; surely it has to make the list of important cities. so, who is supposed to go to find these church planters in these contexts? good missions teams are all about planting churches and as quickly as possible getting the nationals to run it. thus, finding the church planter in that particular context. but if someone doesn't go then the opportunity to find these church planters isn't there. it takes time, years even to find these people. especially when you're talking of cities with millions and millions of people. in my opinion this is definitely the new challenge for the 'american' church. to go to the cities of the world and plant churches, but it seems like new territory; so much needs to be learned so we know how to do it best. the need is overwhelming; something we usually want to ignore because it makes us uncomfortable; but we've got to face it and trust God wants to work in these cities. these are his children.

Jeff Pessina

Dave, the next time we meet or talk I'm bringing questions and a note pad!

I’m not sure I understand the common preoccupation with large “key” cities. I’m just not sure I get the argument for why this is deemed significantly more important than targeting, say, cities of 500,000 or less; or little towns and villages for that matter? Divine direction, to me, is tough to package safely into a strategy that says, “Target the big cities.” The “because” part of that strategy is what I’d like to hear; is there a rock solid argument for this, accompanied by compelling evidence that would sell me?

Things don’t always work as we think. Recently we’ve had some lively discussions about how to successfully reach the less fortunate areas, where millions of people live in conditions that are terrible, or entirely inhumane. Who wants to build churches in such liability centers? Indeed, how can we? The needs are overwhelming. One theory I’ve heard often is… target the city centers where (in Philippine culture anyway) most of the money is. And then, with an established and capable congregation, take the power of that capability (spelled money) and reach the less fortunate. It sounds fine, but the problem is I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it actually WORK. What seems to me is that this “capable” church tends to move on and do what it knows how to do… create more “capable” churches (spelled, reproducing-after-its-own-kind). That may sound mean, but I’m not knocking those churches… it’s the theory I’m hitting. (And I’ve got some of my own theories).

So (and at the risk of being found ignorant of the obvious) what’s the compelling argument for making large key international cities our higher aim?



I think Keller would say that we need to plant church in big international cities "because" of these cities influence the culture of our world. He used to talk about, "there goes the city, there goes the culture."

I am surprise that he didn't see Hollywood as a strategic city for the Gospel.

The Church Bartender


I hope you're find almond lattes these days. I saw Tim Keller at the Q Conference in NYC a few weeks ago and that dude is crazy smart and on the money. Is it weird that I got a Tim Keller tatoo later that night?



Wow. How giving to go in and instead of needing to run the show, standing beside the natives of the land as they pastor their people.

How long does this process of finding, building relationships and starting actual 'services' start? Is this finding something that is working and supporting it?

Stephen Murray

I think Tim is on the money. We want your help, wisdom and guidance - but let us do it ourselves. I'm one of those possible church planters, based in Cape Town, South Africa, that was 'found' by Redeemer. I think there will be much value in our partnership with folks like Tim but at the end of the day Cape Town is not New York and for foreigners it can sometimes take a really long time to figure that out.


awesome you got to hang out with keller. i love the cancer remark...


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