Over the next few weeks I’m planning a series of posts on some of the things we are thinking about as we move ahead with planting a church on Dublin’s Northside. It won’t be so much “here is what we are going to do,” as much as “here’s what we are wrestling with.”


Most people have ideas about what a successful church plant looks like. Or what it looks like when a church looks like it is actually going to “make it.” Since most church plants start in rented spaces on Saturday or Sunday nights, two key targets for churches are, 1) get your own place, and 2) begin holding your worship services on Sunday mornings.

For the past couple of years there have been numerous Sunday mornings where I have driven, cycled or walked through Clontarf. Some of those times I was on my way to a church service in town, other times I was simply observing. And while it might vary a bit based on the time of the year, common sights include:

  • Windsurfing on Dollymount Strand
  • People cycling and jogging
  • People walking along the Promenade or St. Anne’s Park
  • Drinking coffee and reading the newspaper at cafés
  • Sailing (as long as the tide is in)
  • Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) fields packed.

And the vast majority of these people look happy (Well, relatively. I mean, how happy can you look jogging?)

Obviously I’ve made these observations with the mindset of someone who plants churches. And my one big take-away is…well, let me ask you…how many of those people do you suppose are thinking,

“I sure wish a new church would start-up in our area so we’d have something to do on a Sunday morning?”

Or perhaps they’re thinking “if only there were a church around that had modern/better worship, relevant/better messages and great coffee, then there’s no way I’d be doing what I’m doing now.”

Yeah, I don’t think so either.

This is one of the questions we’ve been wrestling with since moving here. We have some ideas…some of which we are excited about and we feel fit well with who we are. But honestly more questions that ideas.

And that feels okay.