About an hour ago, The Village Church in Dallas-Fort Worth announced that they plan to spin off five campuses into autonomous churches.
— The Village Church (@villagechurchtx) September 25, 2017
The plan includes:
- Transition our remaining campuses into autonomous churches
- Plant churches locally with the DFW Church Planting Network
- Plant churches with Acts 29
- Increase local and global missions involvement
According to the church, this plan has been part of the wishes of the elders for several years. The church leaders feel that now is the time to implement the plan. From the church website:
A few years ago, the elders shared their conviction that the Lord was leading us to transition our campuses into autonomous churches, beginning with the Denton campus, a conviction that had been developing for several years. There was not a specific timeline in place for the other campuses; instead, we would rely on the Holy Spirit and when it felt right to do so. We feel that the Lord has made the timing clear to us now and we plan to transition all the campuses within the next five years.
Establishing a timeline allows us to share it with the staff and the church at large so that we can all pray and plan together. We also believe that campus rolloffs will lead to better, more contextualized ministry for our campuses and our cities, and we want to get to that reality as soon as is sensible. It also gives an answer to succession, helping us to be proactive rather than reactive about it. And, of course, it is an outworking of our mission statement.
Will The Village Church Enable a Trend?
Mars Hill Church comes to mind as a church which went from one video pastor based church to a group of independent churches. Of course, that move happened because the mega church became unsustainable after the demise of Mark Driscoll’s work there. I have heard that Gateway Church may also move this direction. I hope the next wave of church evolution is away from a centralized mega church and to smaller, more intimate and accountable organizations.