In the same way that Jesus reached out to prostitutes and “sinners,” we find that when we go into inner cities and rough neighborhoods, reaching people can be much easier than it is for the white, middle-class church plants most planters are gravitating toward. Maybe their end goal is to reach people “like us,” so that we can have the next “big thing.” But the reality is, if we actually go after the marginalized, we’ll find them eager to hear the gospel.
Yes, planting in those inner-city areas is tough,but reaching the lost isn’t. I don’t think many planters are aware of these dynamics because they don’t leave their native social strata very often when they go to plant.
New Breed Church Planting is kind of like the front-line commando network for people who want to get their hands dirty, get a little scared and go full-on book of Acts. We embody team leadership—Strike Teams, we call them—and they are the key to first-century multiplication. Almost everything we do is rooted in Acts, so I guess you’d say we’re a church-planting network that utilizes first-century tactics—something we accidentally discovered in Europe when nothing we brought with us from America was working.
We learned church planting in a whole new way—doing church in public places, for example. We’re pretty unique in that way. You could say we’re the scary church-planting network, I suppose. We’re filled with a bunch of people who are completely grace driven, but we do hardcore things, like planting in the rainbow district, baptizing guys from the Mexican mafia next to members of the Aryan Brotherhood, and so forth. We do stuff that would scare other people, but things that deliver the best rewards, the greatest fruit and fulfillment.
We take a lot of risks and teach our guys that the only failure is the person who never takes a risk. We also say that we go where there’s need, not where there’s money.
Our leaders are a mix of seminary grads and ex-cons. It’s weird. Hard to explain, but there’s this balance of wisdom and leadership, mixed with street level grit.
Our plants also take root in multiplication. I planted four years ago in Long Beach, California, and have since moved on to train planters in San Diego. We just keep training up and sending out. We break off groups of about 20 to 30 and plant again. So, although we don’t have a church of 500 like others might have, we have five churches of around a hundred people going strong in different areas.
It’s hard to explain New Breed, to be honest. Even my wife doesn’t understand it—I’m not sure I completely do, either. All I know is that we’re attempting to get out of God’s way, replicate what the apostles did to overcome their first-century challenges and continue to take risks for the gospel.
Peyton Jones has spent the last 22 years in ministry, 11 of those planting churches in Europe and inner-city America. He is the author of Church Zero: Raising 1st Century Churches out of the Ashes of the 21st Century Church (David C Cook) and is the host of the Church Planter Podcast, and Hardcore Church Planting, both available through iTunes. For more information:
Original article released through Outreach Magazine by Peyton Jones