Society of Saint Spalding
A different take on church planting
There has never been a time in American history when there is more money, educated men and women, and technology available for church planting. We live in a sea of high risk, high impact, and large budget church planting. Personality tests, catchy mission statements, and the pursuit of a book deal have flooded the American Church. This ideal limits church planters to being very specific type A entrepreneurs. With all this manpower, energy, and financial commitment going into planting a church, we are seeing terrible success rates and burnt out pastors and laity.
The Saint Spalding Society is offering a different path than the "Critical Mass" model of modern day church planting. With current church planting having staggeringly poor statistical success rates, we have chosen to go back to a model of church planting used in 6th century England, 9th century Rus (modern day Ukraine and Russia), and 19th and 20th century America. It is called the "Parish" model. The Parish model is low risk, stable impact, and has little to no budget. This model is not flashy or showy. It does not have a book deal waiting for you. This model takes large commitments of ministry, serving in a local church for 10, 20, or even 30 years. The Churches planted will probably never get bigger than 75 people. This model requires the Church Planter to work a second job, probably for an extended period of time. This model has been time tested and carries with it the Christian conversion of England in the 6th century, the Russian conversion in the 9th century which is still seen in the Russian Orthodox Church today, as well as the Methodist, Anglican, and Catholic churches that still dot the Appalachian Mountains, the Ohio Valley, the Midwest, the Rockies, and the Western states of America.
How do we practically plant churches? First off, the Society of Saint Spalding is a part of the Anglican Church of North America and the International Diocese. In the Anglican tradition we believe that churches start churches. This has been the model since the Apostolic age. This means that planting is not a lone wolf expedition or a single guy/family sent off to plant a church on their own. The Society begins a work by going to mountain and rural towns to pray, teach morning and evening pray, and raise up a local community. We strive to prepare and cultivate the ground of these towns before official planting begins. Once a community and opportunity become apparent, we match up a local Anglican Church to take on the area as their mission. This allows for the area to have the full attention and care of an established church, and for the existing church to have ownership in the area the Society has been "plowing". At this point we begin looking to bring an intern into the team and pursue permanent clergy. God willing a new Anglican Church will be formed. Even after the plant is having regular services, they are supported and encouraged by the Society and the church that helped them begin. Our goal is long term and maintainable church planting.