#11 Matt Boswell on Starting a New Church (Really Fast)
Date: July 8th, 2018

Like Mark David Hall’s podcast (see last week), this was one of the earliest podcasts that I did but it was one that started to solidify my belief that we can learn a great deal from “non-academic scholars” — people who have to learn about the world while they are actually interacting with it.  I tend to be a “nuts and bolts” kind of person, wanting to know the step-by-step methods in which something is done and this interview covers an entire “construction project” of building a church from start to finish in a very compressed period of time.

This podcast basically “fell in my lap” as I was a congregant at Matt Boswell‘s church during the process of him getting booted from the pastorate of our church’s denomination.  It was very interesting to watch what went on in the congregation as a “sociologist,” as well as a person who attended regularly.  After being removed from the church, the vast majority of his congregation followed him and he and his staff (that also left) was challenged with the task of setting up a church within one week’s time.  Having studied all the regulations undergirding church-state relations in the United States, I thought that it would be impossible for him to obtain a worship site and re-gather the flock (of several hundred folks) all within seven days.  Amazingly, he and his support team did it.

This interview tells the tale of how that was accomplished and includes fun self-help hints for clergy related to things like what to do when you forget to have tithing plates or sacramental wine.  Normally, churches grow from a small gathering to a larger and established congregation over a long period of time, but the pace of this process was put on steroids for Boswell and company as they created Redemption Church (which still thrives some seven years later).  I had the opportunity to follow how this church developed over the years and we interviewed Pastor Matt and other folks over the years, which was really fun.  If you ever wanted to know what a member of the clergy does on days other than Sunday, it is worth taking a listen to all the episodes in the Redemption Church Series.  So many times we view religion from how it is manifested “on the stage” — be it from the pulpit on Sunday, in a Bible Study group, or in media presentations — but we rarely get to go “behind the scenes” to see what religious workers really do the rest of the week.  How do they prepare sermons, motivate congregants, solve conflict within the parish, etc.?

Original Podcast Link.


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