Penetrating a Gospel Resistant Culture

When our demographic study of the Lowry area indicated a strong resistance to traditional church planting methods, we asked Gospel Saturation Missionary Kenny Moore to help us understand the Celtic model of Evangelism.

Here are some vital principles:

A Few of the Essential Core Values For A Celtic Model
1. Must get to know and understand the context—the demographics; psychographics and ekklegraphics of an identifiable community like Lowry
2. Must be incarnational
a. Planters must live, work, play, serve, worship, and educate children in the local (Lowry) community
b. We need to learn: to move a team in; begin to engage opinion leaders
3. Must not compartmentalize the gospel
a. We need to learn: to depend upon God; listen to the Spirit; trust the Spirit; receive the empowerment of the Spirit
4. Must not default from prayer to activity or default from simple to complicated
a. We have made church plants like Lowry harder than they need to be
b. We need to learn: to let God do the heavy lifting and that if what we are doing seems complicated, exhausting, stressful, family damaging, etc., it is not Sprit led
5. Must not be in a hurry to “be” the church gathered, but rather establish the DNA that the church scattered is more the body of Christ than the church gathered
a. Do not make “church” the center of the Christian life, but rather Christ as center
b. Need to learn: to move at the Spirit’s pace and receive the Spirit’s empowerment
6. Must reverse our strategy
a. Conventional wisdom: to first gather a crowd, begin to disciple converts/build core group, and then engage in community transformation
b. We need to learn: to first engage in community transformation, disciple converts/build a core group and then gather a crowd
7. Must approach target community in more of a post-modern way instead of a hyper-modern way
a. Celts were more right brained than left brained
b. We need to learn: to embrace a more random, intuitive, holistic, synthesizing, and subjective manner instead of a logical, sequential, rational, analytical and objective mode of church planting
8. Must jettison western evangelical ethos for a Celtic ethos
a. Western evangelical ethos: “A place to BELIEVE, BELONG, BECOME”
b. Celtic ethos: “Belonging comes before believing”


About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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