I listened to a conference session by Ed Stetzer called "Kingdom-Focused Church Planting." While he covered a lot of information, I was especially challenged by this statement:
"Too many church planters plant churches in their heads and not in their communities - then you're a cultural mismatch because you're not focused on the message of reconciliation, but you're focused on a messenger that God has sent to a different context."
He went on to say that "the biggest problem in church planting is not focusing on the message of reconciliation, but instead focusing on the model of the church."
How true this is. How many people try to start churches, or make their church 'better' by copying or implementing something they read in a book or hear at a seminar, or see at another church. Now, there is nothing wrong with learning from others, using methods that we think will work in our own context. The problem is when we think that just because it worked somewhere else, then if we follow the steps, if we get the formula right, then we too will experience the same results.
We are not called to follow the methods of other churches in other contexts. We are called to bring the message of reconciliation through Jesus Christ to the context in which God as put us.