Episode 26: Planting Churches in a Post-Christendom World – Interview with Daniel and Jeya So

There was a time when you could start a new church simply by walking into a new part of town, knocking on doors to let people know about the new church, and within a few weeks there would be a hundred people or so–especially if they already belonged to that denomination or tradition.  But church-planting is not that easy in a Post-Christendom world.

In this episode, I’m speaking with Daniel and Jeya So.  Dan and Jeya are both experienced church-planters and experienced coaches of church-planters. They will share about the challenges and the joys of starting new churches—or as they put it, “new worshiping communities”—in the 21st century.





  • Daniel and Jeya So are the pastors of Anchor City Church in San Diego. Daniel is also the Director of Cyclical San Diego, the Presbytery of San Diego’s church planting initiative. Jeya does assessing and coaching of church plant leaders with “1001 New Worshiping Communities,” national church planting initiative of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
  • The most formative book Jeya has read in recent years is Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis.
  • The two most formative books Daniel has read is The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard and From a Liminal Place: An Asian American Theology by Sang Hyun Lee.
  • Jeya and Daniel tell the story of how they started Anchor City Church.
  • The Cyclical church planting movement started in Los Angeles.
  • Cyclical is more about cultivating an environments in which new worshiping communities can grow and thrive than it is about starting new denominational churches.
  • Jeya explains the way she assesses new church planters.
  • Cyclical has a very open-handed ethos. The Presbytery of San Diego has made space for churches and leaders who are not Presbyterian.
  • Some new worshiping communities look very traditional. Others look very different.
  • Ebenezer Church is a local church in San Diego. One of their worship services involved a protest against a local slumlord.
  • Raul Palomino is the Director of Presbyterian Urban Ministry, which serves the urban poor and homeless in downtown San Diego. He recently started a worship service for San Diego’s homeless population.
  • A new church is far more nimble and responsive than most established churches.
  • Jeya shares about a person who told her he didn’t believe in starting new churches because San Diego already had enough churches.
  • In order to effectively start new churches and worshiping communities, larger church bodies need to be supportive and open-handed.
  • The purpose for starting new churches can’t be to save the denomination. It has to be for the sake of the kingdom of God.
  • “1001 New Worshiping Communities” set a goal five years ago to start 1001 new worshiping communities in ten years. They are now five years in and are more than halfway to reaching that goal.
  • Large churches must be willing to let go of and support leaders and staff who feel called to start new churches.
  • A lot of the qualities required for church planting can apply to church revitalization.
  • Dan and Jeya share the way their journey of church-planting has formed them spiritually.
  • You can find out more about Cyclical San Diego at www.cyclicalsd.org and @cyclicalsd on Twitter and Instagram.
  • You can find out more about Anchor City Church at www.anchorcity.org and @anchorcitysd on Twitter and Instagram.
  • You can connect with Daniel on Twiter at @headsparks. Jeya does a great job of hiding on social media!  🙂




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