I seem to have had a lot of people comment to me personally about my "rant" about church planting and I thought I'd just tell people that if you want to know more about the new Cardiff Vineyard, the holding page now actually has content.
Although, and I don't know whether I should mention this, even though it does lend weight to my argument about local awareness being key in church planting, if you're meeting in the Millennium Stadium, it would be helpful to have a picture of the Stadium rather than the Wales Millennium Centre next to it, as the two are actually different buildings in different parts of town. Still, easy mistake to make.
Also I do think I should go on record and say I'm not bothered by the fact that it's Vineyard. I have a lot of time for Vineyard. I met some amazing friends in the first incarnation of Cardiff Vineyard. I heard Gordon Fee speak in Bournemouth, which I wouldn't have if I hadn't been in a Vineyard, and God used Vineyard to guide me to my current job. A couple of weeks ago I heard Debbie Wright, from Trent Vineyard no less, speak at Soul Survivor, and I was quite willing to listen to her, and found what she said humbling and challenging. So, it's not a Vineyard issue.
My previous post about this was actually more about the general culture of church planting found in the new streams of churchianity. And I think we have to question why we're doing this (note I said 'we' as in collectively, as in the wider Church, rather than individual churches). I don't buy into the idea that if you join an established local church you will necessarily "waste your time fighting the system" as my brother phrases it in one of his comments. Maybe, if that's the case, that says more about you, than about the church. Surely you can find one church you can work in? (It might take a while, I admit.) I do think there is some stuff here about ego and 'sacrifice' on the cheap. Sorry, it's just how I see it.
The problem is church planting is one of those sacred cows which you can't critique or question, like worship albums or speaking in tongues (or the way penal substitution is described). Hence, presumably, the name-calling in the only anonymous comment on my original post. Sure, yeah, Sanballat et al. I express reservations about another church opening up in Cardiff and that automatically lumps me in with the people who opposed the rebuilding of Jerusalem. At least it was a Biblical slur, is all I can say.
Now I don't know, obviously, who left that anonymous comment. I really hope it wasn't anyone to do with the new church plant. Because if anyone really thinks their new church is equivalent to the restoration of Israel, then there probably isn't enough sarcasm in the world to change their mind. And to be honest, if your dreams are that grandiose, and they don't come true, you are going to get really badly hurt. I don't want that, I really don't.
Trust me, I've been through the dissolution of a church plant. I know how painful it can be.