Build a Trail, Plant a Church


Sitting on the verge or precipice before the release of the book Intrepid: Navigating the Intersection of Church Planting + Social Entrepreneurship has me feeling a little uneasy. Not because I don’t like what I’ve written nor even the direction of where I’m steering the conversation. Instead, I point out a distinct shift tied to the geography of mission.

In the book I intentionally focus a lot about where the shift in the frontier is shifting towards. You see, that’s why I focus on social entrepreneurship. It’s more of a response to mission than anything else. Meaning, because of the geographic implications of mission it therefore necessitates thinking about social entrepreneurship in light of church planting.

Cities are not static. Urban growth and urbanization not only continuously reshapes cities but it also significantly influences rural areas. When we speak about urbanization it’s not only that big cities are getting bigger, but medium and small cities are as well. In fact, in many case these smaller cities have a higher or faster rate of growth compared to large cities.

The focus for Intrepid as well as the Intrepid book is to think through where and how to plant churches in overlooked and off-the-radar communities. That could range from urban neighborhoods to rural communities. It is because of our focus on these kinds of communities which is why we bring into the equation social entrepreneurship and community development. We simply cannot think about “conventional” church planting where we’re launching trendy gatherings for the convinced. Instead, it’s about being a blessing in our communities and living out the gospel in practical and tangible ways.

So why am I apprehensive as the Intrepid book is nearing its release date? I don’t want any of the themes I’ve written about to get lost. I don’t people to overlook my emphasis on the geography of mission. At the same time I don’t want to under-deliver on writing about social entrepreneurship. The book is more of bringing to light these important conversation more than an exhaustive answer-all book on how-to’s.

In the end, I want people to think about bringing all of these pieces together. To plant churches and seeking the betterment of our communities. To plant churches and launch social enterprises and non-profits. That’s why this article is titled “Build a Trail, Plant a Church.” It’s a call to get out there in practical ways to meet needs by launching startups as part of the church planting process. Maybe that means starting a trail advocacy non-profit, a new cafe, a tech company designing apps, and so much more.

Build a trail, plant a church.