LINC-Rochester (yes, its still moving) has three principles:
1. Community Involvement – this is care for the community we are seeking to evangelize in a simple way, what are the felt needs and can we address them.
2. Indigenous Leadership – the goal is to find, teach and place leaders from the community itself, the faster the better
3. Church multiplication – the goal is not just to plant a church but to plant multiple churches and to create churches that have planting in their DNA
Those principles are part of LINC-Houston that I witnessed and they don’t seem too far off from the apostolic church observed in Acts and Paul’s letters. The early church was renowned for taking care of the “widows & orphans”. The first fight in the church was over the distribution to the widows (Acts 6:1). Paul sends Titus around to appoint elders in each church (Titus 1:5) and just the amazing fact of the early church talks about church multiplication. That was the mission they were involved in. The first place they were called Christians, Antioch, set aside Paul and Barnabas to plant more (Acts 13:1-3). This is solid biblical ground.
I hope I’m not stepping too far out in saying that the group meeting for LINC is looking to encourage congregations to behave in such a manner themselves. It is an embarrassment that there is not an LC-MS congregation in the City of Rochester proper. Even stepping away from the denominational definition it is something of an embarrassment that a group of congregations around the city supposedly working together have only a marginal mission in the city (important but in the grand scheme marginal, it effectively does one of the three principles of LINC).
In putting together an organization and a budget the question ultimately is what level of support can be generated for such a mission? This is what I proposed.
In the Rochester circuits the last reported average attendance was just over 2800 people on any given week. (That is an attendance number and not a membership number which would be roughly 3-4x the attendance). The total combined budgets of those congregations is just under $5 Million per year. My initial proposals for funding the mission in Rochester were to aim for $10 per individual attendee. Over 5 years as hopefully we proved effective, I hoped to grow that to $25 per attendee. I also put into the budget the thought that congregations would start (in 2013) appropriating 0.5% of their budget to local mission. Again hopefully proving success along the way growing that congregational support for local mission to 2% of budget. Two separate streams. Individuals buying into the mission of the church in Samaria/Judea and Congregations doing the same.
Here is the question: do those assumptions seem pie in the sky? If you were trying to fund local mission work where would you start for funding assumptions? Do you agree or disagree that we should first look at ourselves (as opposed to an outside grant source)? This is a sincere bleg.