An Analysis and Strategy for Church Planting in the Context of a Mormon Culture
Fuller Theological Seminary, Doctor of Ministry Program
There is a unique cultural pocket that encompasses Utah and parts of Idaho, Arizona, Wyoming and Colorado. This area can trace its history back to the days when Brigham Young led a large band of Mormon immigrants from Nauvoo, Illinois to the Salt Lake Basin to settle a new frontier. This band quickly expanded into the surrounding communities and states. The descendants remain in the area make Mormons the dominant cultural group.
New Hope Community Fellowship is a church plant in southeast Idaho which covers the northern regions of this Mormon culture. New Hope, at four years old, has an attendance of around 100 with plans to plant more churches in Mormon communities in conjunction with the Northwest Conservative Baptist Association. The purpose of this paper is to explore the unique challenges and to propose a strategy for planting a church in a Mormon culture that can act as a resource for other church planters.
The paper is divided into three sections. The first section provides an analysis of a Mormon culture, an evaluation of the distinct characteristics and challenges of a Mormon culture, and an evaluation of the Mormon mind-set.
The second section provides a theological foundation for ministry to Mormons. This section also provides an overview of approaches and churches that have been successful in reaching a Mormon culture.
The third section provides a summary of the stages and resources for church planting and applies them to New Hope's specific context. From this a vision and strategy will be proposed that is suited to Idaho Falls. [from the author]