Training and Coaching Missional Leaders

Monthly archive

September 2016

Church Planting: Getting Started

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Starting a new church can feel like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute if you’re not following the right steps. If you are new to planting, you have a ton of questions. It’s normal. Above all else, affirm your calling. Let others speak into your life. Listen to them. Don’t plant unless you are being disobedient to God to do otherwise. You’ve likely never attempted something more challenging (and exciting) than planting a new church! You face an uphill struggle unless God is in it and calling you. Pursuing the recommended “next steps” and suggested list of resources below may itself seem somewhat overwhelming. Take one step at a time. From the high level, your key action points are (1) weigh the costs by educating yourself and understanding as fully as possible the cost to your family, (2) affirm your calling by making absolutely sure you have no option other than moving forward with a plant, (3) affirm your gifting by completing assessment, (4) get some solid upfront “boot camp” training, (5) discover your philosophy of ministry and approach, (6) choose affiliations / partners, (7) pursue resources and partners, (8) affirm spousal support, (9) constantly learn from peers, and (10) get a coach-mentor.

Here are the key components that are shown proven to increase your prospect of successful church planting and growing a new church that will have a long-term impact in the community God calls you to. Most of these are statistically shown to increase the survivability and effectiveness of a church plant. In your journey, consider the following resources:

1) Seek the Lord for guidance regularly and prayerfully in all the key decisions

of your church planting adventure: regarding God’s call to plant, where, with whom, funding, strategy, the how to plant, etc. Realize your dependence upon Him—ultimately He must build His church through you and your team (Matt 16:18)! Prayer prepares and trains the heart, soul and mind and transforms us into servants He can use. You cannot give away what you don’t have so be sure you are walking with Christ regularly.

2) Seek confirmation from other mature Christian leaders. We hear from God in community. Prov. 11:14—“Where no counsel is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Take advantage of the wisdom God has placed around you. Don’t make final commitments until you have connected with:

1) the senior pastor where you currently serve (or have recently); and 2) evangelical pastors and church leaders who currently serve in the target community to which you feel God calling. Solicit their input and affirmation. You need their blessing!

3) Get informed.

a. Read as much about church planting as you can. There is a growing body of literature on church planting now readily available on Amazon. Look for principle-based, non-model specific resources that will focus you on making disciples through a relational process. Beware of overly pragmatic, out-come based books that seems to be saying, “If it works, do it” — and measure success by weekend service attendance. For those getting started, I recommend:

Planting Missional Churches by Ed Stetzer and Daniel Im (2nd Ed)

Planting Growing Churches for the 21st Century by Aubrey Malphurs

Church Planter: The Man, the Message, the Mission by Darrin Patrick

First Steps for Planting a Missional Church by Gary Rohrmayer

Launch: Starting a New Church form Scratch by Nelson Searcy;

The Kingdom Quest: Preparing to Church Plant in the Post-Christian West by Tom Johnston & Mike Chong Perkinson

The Y-B-H (Yes, But How) Handbook of Church Planting by Roger McNamara & Ken Davis

Kingdom First: Starting Churches that Shape Movements by Jeff Christopherson; and

Viral Churches by Ed Stetzer.

This would be a good starter library and then you can build from there. Contact me for a more comprehensive bibliography of recommended resources.

b. Visit church planting websites. I recommend:

NewChurches.com,

www.churchmultiplication.net,

www.churchplantingsupersite.com and

www.namb.net/church-planting/ among many others now available.

c. Connect with other planters. Talk to as many successful planters as possible. Connecting with successful planters will build your faith and connecting even with those who have not succeeded will build your wisdom. Learn from both kinds. Don’t become too enamored with what successful planters are doing and adopt their model. You’ll need to build your own

wineskin, find out what God is doing in your own city and what approach will be best for your target community. As you interview unsuccessful planters, expect to hear pain and difficulty—but don’t let fear overwhelm you; learn

from their mistakes. Consider getting into a coaching network or learning cohort with other planters.

4) Pre-Assessment. If you feel called to plant, please don’t just run out and seek to immediately try it at home! First, complete one or more online-pre-assessments on church planting to discern if God has “wired” you for planting and your best “fit.” A solid and recent online assessment tool is the Church Planter Candidate Assessment (CPCA) produced by LifeWay Research with 11 evangelical denominations; you can find it find it at: www.churchplanter.lifeway.com. Another excellent online tool is the Church Planter Profiles assessment.

5) Spousal Support. Church planting will likely take a greater toll on your spouse and kids than you. Make sure your spouse is 100% behind the effort and that you bring them along in the decision making and journey.

6) Formal Assessment. After completing a free (or inexpensive online pre-assessment), attend a 2-3 day formal assessment with your spouse (if applicable). Most church planting organizations now require some form of formal assessment, which include behavioral interviews and a final written evaluation. The process will refine your vision, affirm your calling, and help you better understand your strengths and weaknesses as you begin the church journey. It will show reveal growth areas that need further development and what kind of ministry would be the best fit for you. Consider assessment via groups like Multiply (recommended) or Stadia’s Church Planting Assessment Center. Or email me for an updated list. Most of these groups charge a fee and want you to come with your spouse.

7) Begin to recruit your prayer support network and develop a clear, sustainable strategy for communicating with them. Identify family and friends who will commit to intercede for you. You desperately need an intercessory team! Church planting is spiritual warfare. Don’t underestimate your utter dependence on the Lord.

8) Seek out upfront and ongoing training from church planting veterans.

a. Consider attending a national church planters’ conference like Exponential

b. Attend a more focused “boot camp” intensive training event. Fantastic training offered by a number of evangelical church 4

planting groups is available if you search it out. The best will walk you through an in-depth development of a pathway for starting a new church. As with selecting books, be discerning. A few offering solid training: the EFCA, Acts 29 Network, Global Church Advancement, Converge Intl., The Church Multiplication Training Center (CMTC), and BMM’s School of Church Planting (for unaffiliated Baptists & where Ken Davis co-teaches), etc.

c. Work through a church planting manual or resource tool that walks you through the development and implementation of the planting process. These self-guided tools are helpful in developing your own contextualized strategy plan for your future plant. Two good ones: Robert Logan’s The Church Planter’s Toolkit and Logan and Neil Cole’s Beyond Church Planting. Both come with CD’s to listen to as you work through an accompanying self-study notebook. Both are available from www.churchsmart.com. You may also want to check online tutorials on church planting such as those at NewChurches.com. Contact me for other online training options.

d. Consider being mentored by a veteran church planter in a year-long internship before starting your own work. Contact me for possible men and sites.

e. Consider enrolling in an evangelical seminary offering a church planting concentration for comprehensive biblical, theological and practical training to be an effective 21st century church planter. This would particularly be beneficial for those aspiring to be career (“catalytic”) church planters and/or trainer/coaches for church planters. Baptist Bible Seminary, where I teach/coach, offers one of the best Master of Divinity in Church Planting programs in the nation, balancing classroom instruction with on-the-job training and internships. We also now offer a 36 credit-hour Master of Arts in Church Planting & Renewal degree, available totally online or on campus. For information on both of these degrees and planting course offered, check out our website here.

9) Nail down your philosophy of ministry, approach and model. Before getting too far ahead of yourself, get clarity on your personal philosophy of ministry, model and church planting approach. Make a list of 5 questions that will shape your scorecard and strategy (e.g. Who are we trying to reach? What kind of believer are we trying to produce? How will we measure success? etc.) Be aware and deliberate on who and what shapes your values, strategy and approach. Write out your mission, vision and core values for the proposed new church. Get clarity on your philosophy of ministry.

10) Develop a financial and fund (friend) raising plan. Build a solid financial foundation for your plant. You’ll need either a parenting church or partner

churches! Connect with a fellowship of churches or planting network that can support your planting vision.

11) Affiliation. Don’t do it alone. Again find partners. Find at least one “home base” (e.g. a local sending and/or parenting church, an association of churches, a planting network, a sound evangelical denomination, etc.) that will sponsor you and from whom you will seek counsel, fellowship and be accountable. Don’t be a lone ranger!

12) Find a coach/mentor and begin meeting with him at least monthly and ideally on a weekly basis. Have a least one person who is speaking substantively into your life (other than your spouse) and with whom you are transparent. Don’t plant if you are unwilling to do this. Get a coach who has been there and can be your trusted consultant and friend. There are numerous evangelical coaching orgs assisting church planters. Most charge a fee but it is worth it. Some veterans may agree not to charge you. Bottom line: be accountable and teachable!

13) Recruit committed launch team members who compliment your gifts, strengths and weaknesses—and buy into your mission, vision and core values. Look for teammates with a track record in making disciples who will work with you to begin making disciples in the community to which God has called you. Be sure you all on the same page (have agenda harmony)!

14) Recruit someone who is knowledgeable of legal matters. Consult with him when applying for an EIN, articles of incorporation, state tax exemption certificate, federal non-profit status, setting up a bank account, obtaining liability and property insurance, adopting a children’s and youth risk management policy, etc

15) Get Free Resources. NewChurches.com has a ton of free resources including launch plan checklists, demographic reports, and equipment lists. Take advantage of them. Also check out PlanterApps for a comprehensive list of free (or inexpensive) online services / resources. And don’t miss the huge number of resources listed topically at www.churchplantingsupersite.com ; they also list equipment failed planters are willing to give away to new planters.

16) Get an Online Launch Management Plan. This free online tool will help you develop and manage your launch plan. Church planting is hard. There’s a lot to do. PlanterPlan.com will help you start a new church by keeping track of all the details so you do the right things at the right time. And so you can focus on people, ensuring everything you do contributes to unleashing God’s blessing on your church plant.

17) Be sure you are settled in your core theological convictions and ready to teach and preach the whole counsel of God with passion and competence. Church planters must be especially conversant with ecclesiology and know what a NT church is—and what her biblical-assigned mission is. I recommend you read Mark Driscoll’s fine book, Vintage Church and then balance it off with Mark Dever’s Nine Marks of a Healthy Church. Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert’s What is the Mission of the Church? is excellent. Ed Stetzer’s Breaking the Missional Code is helpful to show you how your church can/must become a missionary in its community. As you consider your overall basic church design, be sure you can clearly distinguish church forms from church functions (biblically prescribed purposes).

18) Be Christ-centered and Gospel-focused in your personal life and planting ministry. Model commitment to the glory/supremacy of God, to the ultimate exaltation of Christ, and to clear exposition of the Gospel. Be sure to first preach the Gospel to yourself on a regular basis before you preach it to others! There are a lot of good resources on being Gospel centered available today. I like the current emphasis but wish writers would emphasize the second coming work of Christ as much as His cross (first coming) work! For a God-centered approach to ministry, read John Piper’s Let the Nations Be Glad. His first chapter alone—on mission flowing out of our worship—is worth the price of the book.

For further assistance or help with questions, contact Ken Davis at: kdavis@ClarksSummitU.edu. You can also call me at 570-585-9269 or 570-466-4824.

The Church Planter’s Call

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Church planting is a highly specialized form of ministry. There is a huge difference between pastoring a church and planting a church. The focus of the pastor tends to be inward upon feeding the sheep and ministering to those who are already in the fold. The focus of the church planter tends to be outward on reaching those who are not believers and who are not yet in the fold. God equips each man with different skills, abilities, gifts, burdens and vision for the future. They each have their own calling.

Confusion Concerning the Planter’s call – Some people wonder if there is such a thing as a “call” to ministry. If there is, how do you recognize it? Is it based on feelings, experiences, circumstance, personal desires or some type of inner peace?

We know from Scripture that God intervenes in people’s lives and directs them to do special things. God called Abraham to leave his father’s house and to journey into a land he did not know (Genesis 12:1; Hebrews 11:8). He called Moses to leave his sheep and go into Egypt to deliver his people (Exodus 3:4-10). He called to Samuel in the middle of the night and appointed him to be his spokesman to the nation of Israel (I Samuel 3:4-10). The Apostle Paul spoke of being called to be an apostle (Romans 1:1). So, there is biblical precedent for being “called” to a particular ministry.

Clarifying the Planter’s Call – Romans 8:28 speaks of being “called according to his (God’s) purpose.” The Apostle Paul serves as the clearest illustration that God does call some men to be church planters. When Paul was saved on the road to Damascus in Acts 9, God told Ananias, “He is a chosen vessel unto me to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.” God already had a ministry in mind for him. It took several years for that “call” to become crystallized, but it was unmistakable when it came. The Holy Spirit made the “call” plain in Acts 13:2 when he said, “Separate me Barnabas and Saul (Paul) for the work whereunto I have CALLED them.” Later, Paul spoke of being “called” to preach the gospel to the heathen (Galatians 1:13-16).

The Conditions of the Planter’s Call – The call to be a church planter comes from God. It is not something you conjure up on your own. Sometimes it comes as a surprise to the person receiving it. It will often be accompanied by a deep burden and passion for lost people and for the unchurched. It may include a desire to carry the gospel to a particular location, area or people. Paul and Barnabas had a passion to reach the people (especially Gentiles and Jews) in Cypress and Asia Minor.

Sometimes the “call” is accompanied by a holy discontent that can’t be satisfied with your current level of service. You’ll find yourself wanting a fuller, deeper or different type of ministry. Be careful, however, that you are not just being negative or critical. Spend much time in prayer and Bible study as you seek to clarify God’s will for your life. If God has called you to the ministry of church planting, he will make it clear to you.

Confirmation of the Planter’s Call – While God calls people personally to be church planters, that call is seldom in isolation. Others will soon sense it as well. The church in Antioch recognized and confirmed God’s call for Barnabas and Paul to be church planters. The church may have actually been the ones who first recognized God’s call on two of their most faithful leaders. They did not rush into this conclusion, but spent

time in fasting and prayer to reach consensus and to confirm God’s call upon these men’s lives. If God is calling you to be a church planter, your home church and others should also be in agreement that this is indeed the case. If they have reservations about whether or not God has called you to this type of ministry, you need to take a step back and reexamine the situation. You (or they) may have misinterpreted God’s leading or the timing may not be right just now.

God often confirms a person’s call to be a church planter by calling the spouse as well. If God has truly called you to this type of ministry, he has called your wife as well. She too will sense God’s leading in this direction. You are a team, and you need to be in agreement if you are to move forward. In addition, if God is calling you to church planting, he will give you some of the traits and characteristics common to many church planters – things like a passion for the lost, being a visionary self-starter, a person of faith, and the ability to organize things and inspire people to follow your leadership. Being assessed as a prospective planter can confirm that the Lord of harvest has gifted and “wired” you to be a lead church planter.

Contact us for further information on going through an objective church planter assessment. This website also has information on the value of being assessed and where you can get it done.

6 Indicators That You May Be A Church Planter

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There are many places of service in the church. One category of ministry is pastoring. Then there are sub-categories, like children’s pastor, teaching pastor, etc. Not lesser ministries, just more targeted areas of service. One sub-category is church planter. Pastors who plant churches have a very specific calling with accompanying gifts. It is not a better calling, just different.

And it is important to understand that it is different, because nothing spells disaster like an NFL kicker lining up as a center (even I know that, and I don’t watch football). You can be a wonderful pastor, and not have the gifts of a church planter. I have asked people for whom who I have great respect and are gifted in ministry, “Do you plan to be a church planter?” And they have told me, “No, that’s not how I’m wired.” They are making a difference in the Kingdom, but they realize that they don’t have what it takes to plant a church.

It takes a wise and sensitive person to realize what God does not want them to do.

So how do you know if you are a church planter? I want to consider six things that are indicators you may be called to plant churches.

  1. Pattern of Ministry Initiation

If the first thing you want to start is a church, that’s not a good idea. That’s not a good way to test if you are, indeed, a “starter.”

Rather, there should be a pattern of ministry initiation, which may include starting Bible studies, compassion-based ministries, etc. Is there a consistent flow of “launch” in your ministry life? Starting other ministries can help you figure out if God wants you to plant a church.

Launching things is difficult but a great learning process. There is a Biblical principle that says those who are faithful with a little will be given more to steward. If you have never started a ministry, it is highly unlikely that God would ask you to plant a church.

  1. Pattern of Ministry Multiplication

Are you able to train others in an area of ministry and then let them go to lead that area? Or are you more likely to just do it yourself—so it can be done “right”? If how something is done is always more important to you than who is doing it, church planting will be a very difficult ministry path for you.

If you have a pattern of connecting people to ministry roles and then releasing them to grow into those roles, then you have a key characteristic that is essential in church planting.

  1. Personal Wiring

Ask yourself, “Am I wired to be a church planter?” There are characteristics church planters possess that are unique– even all pastors don’t have these traits. God has built church planters a little differently.

Now, this wiring can drive some people crazy, even in your church, because there is ingrained in you this constant desire or drive to start new things. Not only do you seem ADD, but you are also simultaneously calm with it. It is the beauty and the beast.

If God wants you to plant churches, He has wired you to function in accordance with your focus.

  1. Holy Dissatisfaction

I really want to be careful with this one. A person in ministry can feel dissatisfied for various reasons. Perhaps it is Monday morning, and no one is shaking your hand telling you how much they enjoyed the message. That can leave you flat and dissatisfied. It could be that you are just a dissatisfied person in general.

The fact that you’re angst ridden and don’t like the church you’re in is not necessarily a sign that God has called you to plant a church.

And so I want to be very careful to say that we are looking for a holy dissatisfaction, not a generic dissatisfaction.

I’ve had plenty of people sit across the desk and tell me they felt called to church planting because they were dissatisfied with where they were. Some were dissatisfied because the church wouldn’t give them an opportunity to preach. Well, it may be they didn’t give them the opportunity to preach because they had no gifts and skills in that area. But for them, that was a “sign.”

There is a big difference between circumstances letting you down, and God sending you out. And while negative experiences can be part of God’s stirring the waters in your ministry life, it is good to have a mentor in your life who can offer discernment. “Yep, God is finished with you here, and you need to do something new to accomplish His mission,” or, “Dude, quit your whining, and get back in there for another round.”

  1. Family Commitment

God will not lead you to start a church if it means you have to leave your spouse and kids.

There needs to be a family commitment if you want to be engaging in your church planting. If you want to plant a church, but your wife says, “I’m not getting this from God,” sit down and talk with your family. Let them know your intentions.

It should be a cause of concern, however, if there is no affirmation of the gifting or calling within your household. My wife has some veto power in this area. If she senses that it isn’t the direction God is leading, I receive that. If God has not led us both in a direction, then neither of us will go in that direction. Church planters can get “drunk with vision” as they are filled with passion and enthusiasm.

If you are married to a godly spouse, God can and will use that person who knows you better than anyone else to red light or green light you

  1. Church Affirmation

If your church is remarkably hesitant about your church planting gifting and call, then you should be hesitant about your gifting and your call.

It can be a tricky situation if you’re going to plant a church out of the church. They may not be against you planting a church, they just aren’t cool with you starting a church one block over and siphoning off people. But part of the process is to see if you are in a church that recognizes you meet the qualifications in 1 Timothy 3:1-7.

It is also important for church planters to be able to build partnerships with sponsoring and sending churches. Along with this, a church planter assessment is in order. Church affirmation is biblical and can be one of your greatest indicators and components.

Other things to consider

Obviously, there are other factors that weigh into planting a church. Have you considered the location? Part of the nature of church planting is the idea that you are going to a certain place to plant. This isn’t about sowing seeds by throwing them into the air and hoping they find a good place to land. It is about digging in, preparing the soil, and planting a growing organism. You need a draw to a certain location, people group. There’s something about where you’re going that says to people, “This is something I want to consider being called to, and planting, and being a part of.”

Often times, we need someone to give us a straight answer. Charles Spurgeon would have young preachers tell him they felt called to plant churches. He would ask them about their vision, their plan. Then after hearing them he would either affirm it, or would tell the preacher, “Son, I just don’t see it.” And that would be it.

One of the things we need today is people to honestly affirm, or say, “I just don’t see it.” Hopefully these six indicators will help you discover if church planting is right for you.

Is there a certain indicator that most aspiring planters miss? What would you add to the list of indicators?

For those of you considering church planting, why not take a few minutes and take the Church Planter Candidate Assessment—one of our research tools to help you get an early indication if church planting is a right fit for you. The assessment is regularly $88, but you can take it for the discounted price of $29 if you are considering planting with one of our sponsor organizations.

This article is located at: http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/may/6-indicators-that-you-may-be-church-planter.html  — accessed 5-23-14

What Are We Looking For in a Church Planter?

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Vision-casting ability

  • Someone who can see beyond what is to what might be.
  • Sees resistance as an opportunity rather than a reason to stop.
  • Is able to communicate a clearly articulated vision of the new work.
  • Can not only communicate but can ask people to join them on mission.
  • Provides pathways for people to connect.
  • Makes the process seem simple, not easy.
  • Isn’t just a “dreamer”, but can develop a plan to bring the vision to reality.
  • Believes God will show up in power.

 

Self-starter and resilient

  • Is committed to excellence.
  • Knows how to get things done in a timely fashion.
  • Is willing to work hard.
  • Displays a high energy level and is healthy enough to sustain it.
  • Is flexible and adaptable.
  • Can manage their time and work without supervision.
  • Is growing in their understanding of who they are in Christ.
  • Can handle rejection and resistance without folding.
  • Knows that there will be challenges.
  • Is emotionally stable enough to handle the inevitable ups and downs.
  • Can handle loss, pain and struggle.
  • Is a hopeful and positive person.

 

Believes in the concept of team

  • Knows how to communicate the vision and get buy in from others.
  • Is comfortable with delegating.
  • Can get people to take the next step of discipleship no matter where they currently are.
  • Can help everyone understand the vision for this unique church.
  • Gains commitment from others to the shared vision, mission and values.
  • Can set benchmarks that can be achieved and create momentum.
  • Regularly celebrates the “wins” corporately.
  • Honors volunteers and staff.

Is committed to evangelism, compassion, mercy and justice

  • Is willing to engage the culture and share the Gospel.
  • Is a student of the culture and isn’t afraid to move in it.
  • Has a circle of un-churched friends they meet with regularly.
  • Is committed to equipping and training the church to engage the community.
  • Will tithe of their time to engage those who are far from God.
  • Breaks down barriers between churched and un-churched people.
  • Majors on grace.
  • Can handle the “messy” lives of those who are far from God.
  • Can communicate in a way that allows everyone to understand the Good News.
  • Can build trust in those who distrust organized religion and the church.

Has a fully committed spouse (if married)

  • Church planting is a team effort and requires equal commitment on the part of husband and wife.
  • Understands how to separate home and work in a healthy way.
  • Knows how to create a team at home.
  • Can develop boundaries around the use of the home for church activities.
  • Understands that their family is their first mission field.

Values relationships

  • Is committed to “loving well”.
  • Non-judgmental of those in transition.
  • Wants to get to know people and develop honest relationships
  • Doesn’t view people as a means to accomplish a goal.
  • Knows that spending time with people IS the job.
  • Can move comfortably amongst a lot of different people groups and cultures.
  • Is compassionate and caring.

Is committed to planting a thriving, reproducing church

  • Understands the need for the church to become self-sustaining and reproducing.
  • Counts numbers because those numbers represent people Jesus loves.
  • Won’t let the church slip into maintenance mode.
  • Knows that stability is the enemy of vitality.
  • Believes that God wants the church to grow, thrive, and reproduce
  • Realizes that it isn’t just about more, but about helping people grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus.

Understands the Biblical concept of
“The Body of Christ” and the “Priesthood of all Believers”

  • Doesn’t try to meet all the ministry needs alone.
  • Is committed to helping people discover their gifts, and then use and develop those gifts.
  • Realizes they’re not good enough or smart enough to plant a church alone.
  • Will not project their gifts on others.
  • Is an encourager and will celebrate with others.
  • Can develop enough structure to prevent ministry burnout.
  • Will equip and then release others to do ministry (Ephesians 4)
  • Exercises discernment and discipline when necessary.

Engages the broader community

  • Gets to know the civic leaders, teachers, and business leaders in the community.
  • Purchases or finds relevant demographic data on the community.
  • Willing to do a community needs analysis to determine how best the church can engage the community.
  • Prioritizes people’s time and resources for maximum impact.
  • Adopting the way church is done to adapt to the needs in their community.
  • Is a gifted communicator and preacher/teacher.

Is a good fit for church planting in their chosen context

  • Is a good denominational fit.
  • Has the right spiritual gifts for church planting.
  • Handles their finances in a responsible way.
  • Fits the community they are targeting culturally.
  • Has the right temperament for church planting.
  • Has full-time vocational ministry experiences (usually 5 years or more)
  • Has shown fruit in previous ministry contexts.

Has excellent communication skills

  • Has experience preaching and teaching.
  • Is a lifelong learner and listens and studies other good communicators.
  • Can write and communicate in a clear and compelling way.
  • Preaches in a way that helps people take steps on their faith journey toward Christ.
  • Can plan and organize a preaching and teaching schedule based on the ability to listen to God and to study the congregation.

Has the ability to gather people

  • Has the ability to attract people to follow the vision that God has given them.
  • Is not intimidated by the prospect of meeting new people.
  • Can handle criticism without becoming overly defensive.
  • Has identified mentors or spiritual directors with whom they are able to share the struggles they are experiencing personally and in their ministry.
  • Is grace filled and able to relate to people much different than themselves.
  • Has an understanding of how to work with highly needy or highly controlling people without letting them pull focus away from the vision and mission.
  • Is energized by meeting the needs of people.
  • Can operate as a shepherd and provide care for people.

Is committed to see discipleship happen

  • Is committed to personally disciple a few key leaders.
  • Is personally involved in a small group.
  • Can develop a clear pathway of discipleship to move people from new believers to a deeper walk with Christ.
  • Is committed to developing, and living into, a personal spiritual development plan each year.
  • Is a student of the Bible and can teach or can delegate and equip those who can.
  • Can develop a way to move people into church membership.

Has a growing knowledge of church planting

  • Has read key recommended books in the area of church planting.
  • Is willing to take classes and attend seminars and workshops.
  • Has been a participant in group church planter training.
  • Is a part of a monthly cohort of church planters.
  • Understands the methodology of Project Jerusalem Church Planting and is committed to planting a self-sustaining church.
  • Is committed to numerical as well as spiritual growth.
  • Understands the difference between being a pastor in an established church and what is needed to be the pastor of a church plant.
  • Is committed to planting a daughter church in the first 3-5 years of their plant.
  • Supports the broader church planting movement within our PJ family network of churches.
  • Is coachable and teachable.

Is willing to be flexible

  • Can cope with the unknown.
  • Can cope with constant change and upheaval.
  • Can adapt their style and desires to the situation.
  • Is willing to shift priorities as situations change.
  • Will do whatever is necessary for maximum impact.
  • Won’t let the church settle into routines and ritual.
  • Can adapt leadership styles when working with volunteers and staff.

Is compatible with a Baptist Church heritage

  • Is committed to planting a Bible-centered Baptist church in doctrine and polity (though not necessarily with a Baptist name).
  • Understand the key distinctives that set Baptists apart historically.
  • Has read and agrees with our BBS Statement of Faith.
  • Understands and embraces some form of elder-led, deacon-served congregational polity.
  • Is willing to support the broader ministries of the emerging Project Jerusalem network of church.
  • Desires to be a part of a family of churches engaged in mission together.

Will work on agenda harmony

  • Can build a “launch team” and a “leadership team”.
  • Can develop a pathway for guests to connect with the church.
  • Can develop small groups or some other connectional ministry.
  • Will deal with conflict in a healthy way.
  • Knows how to lead in a way that people are willing to follow.
  • Can help a crowd become a church.

Is a person of great faith

  • Believes that the church is God’s first, best and only plan to reach the world with the life and hope of Jesus.
  • Is filled with hope and anticipation.
  • Is unwilling to develop a contingency plan just in case “this church planting thing doesn’t work out.”
  • Trusts that prayer is the first and most important thing they can engage in.
  • Believes with everything in them that God WILL show up in power.
  • Transformation is expected every time the people of God gather.
  • Is “all in”.

 

Contemporary Spiritual Warfare and Missiology

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Throughout church history, the people of God have recognized that they need a strategy for overcoming opposition from Satan and his army of fallen angels, generally called demons, or evil spirits. This is most commonly referred to as ―spiritual warfare.‖ Spiritual warfare is generally considered to be the Christian encounter with these evil supernatural powers.

The original spiritual conflict was between Satan and God. Conflict began in the Garden of Eden as recorded in Genesis 3 and will continue until the fulfillment of events predicted in Revelation 20. Christians recognize that on the level of the heavenlies, the war has already been won decisively by God through the death, resurrection, and exaltation of Christ (Colossians 2:15; I John 3:8). Yet, on earth the battles continues, as believers in Christ face fierce and certain attacks from the Evil One and his helpers. In God‘s sovereign plan, our daily cbattless are not for the purpose of determining who will win, but to demonstrate whether as God‘s people we will appropriate the victory already won for us by Christ.

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Multicultural Church Planting Models

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Church planting in North America in the twenty-first century will take place amid two massive demographic trends: first, the numerical and cultural dominance of large urban centers, and second, the diversifying and browning of the population. Evangelical Christians must face both of these realities, continuing urbanization and rapid ethnic diversification. Over 85% of Americans live in cities today. With both immigration and intermarriage increasing, our total ethnic population now numbers over 100 million.  The nation’s streets teem with over 500 ethnicgroups speaking more than 630 languages and dialects (Romo 1993, 44)). A recent Newsweek analysis states, “We are now living in an Age of Color in which the nuances of brown and yellow and red are as important … [as] the ancient divisions of black and white” (Meachum 2000, 39). Multiculturalism in America is now an established fact.

Consequently, in this century the United States will need a variety of multicultural interracial churches. Missiologist Charles Chaney observes, “America will not be won to Christ by establishing more churches like the majority of those we now have” (NAMB 1996, 6). In an increasingly multicultural and urban society at least four types of people do not fit into traditional homogenous churches: interracial couples and families; ethnic people who prefer speaking English; urbanites who “appreciate living, working and ministering in the midst of ethnic diversity” and Generation-Xers who often despise racial separatism (Ibid., 6-7). It will take new multicultural churches to reach these groups. In the past homogeneous churches have been seen as the most productive but in the present social milieu that is changing. Now residents of highly educated, high income, racially mixed communities are often attracted to interethnic heterogeneous churches. So are many second, third and fourth generation immigrants as well as those living in ethnically changing urban neighborhoods.

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IS THE HOUSE CHURCH A PATTERN FOR TODAY?

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The decline of the traditional church in the West has met with the reemergence of alternative ways of being the people of God. One of these is the phenomenal global growth of house churches—small groups of committed Christians meeting mostly in private residences and spawning new cells. House churches are part of a larger modern movement, a revival of interest in homerelated Christian groups. Researchers have identified five distinguishable types of Christian house groups on the contemporary scene: the traditional home Bible study, home fellowship groups, home cell groups, basesatellite units, and house churches.1 Without a doubt, house churches are the most controversial and have created the most interest and enthusiasm. While the house church movement is still small in most Western nations, it is likely to become a major player in the church of the future.

In North America, until recently, the concept of “house churches” was relegated to the back burner in the church world. Homebased churches were seen as a twothirds world phenomenon, as one of the major ways the Lord of harvest was expanding his Church in other parts of the globe, particularly in restricted access nations.2 They were viewed as legitimate vehicles of protest in communist and Muslim lands in reaction to political repression and the persecution of totalitarian regimes.3 In the United States and Canada, housechurches were more often identified with the counterculture rejection of the institutional church, as exemplified by the Jesus People movements in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Home church proponents were painted as “disgruntled” Christians who pulled out of established churches, their groups seen as quickly becoming ingrown. Since the 1990s, the ascendant mode of conservative American faith has been the megachurch. But now religious researchers are observing a new trend: a growing number of North American Christians are abandoning traditional congregations for a burgeoning movement becoming known in evangelical circles as “simple church.”

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Ferguson: How Should the Church Respond?

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What happened last August (2014) in Ferguson, Missouri, when a white police officer shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown may never be known with any certainty. What is certain, however, is that the events on that summer evening and their aftermath have exposed a profound divide between black and white Americans. The assumption—and the hope of many after Barack Obama’s election to the office of president—that Americans were living in a “post–racial America”— has now been dashed.

The long–awaited November grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson was further seen by most African–Americans and quite a few whites as a great injustice and a failure of the American legal system. The grand jury failure to indict in the soon–to–follow Staten Island, New York, case where another white policeman seemed to choke to death Eric Garner only confirmed to many African–Americans the sad and lingering plight of black men in our “racist” nation. These events reminded many of the not–too–distant 2012 shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin by Hispanic security officer George Zimmerman in Florida. And these events have left many in the nation feeling angry, saddened, and hopeless.

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Designing Worship for Multiethnic Churches

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North America is populated by a wondrous variety of people, nearly all of whom are immigrants. And in recent decades more and diverse kinds of immigrants have arrived on our shores. The notion that America is a melting pot for all the world‘s ethnic groups has been revealed to be a myth. A better analogy is to see our nation as a giant salad bowl or stew pot in which each cultural component retains its own integrity and identity, yet contributes to the overall national flavor.

Immigration and rising birth rates have brought tremendous change to American society. America‘s total ethnic population now numbers over 100 million.1 The nation‘s streets teem with over 500 ethnic groups speaking more than 630 languages and dialects (Romo 1993, 44). Multiculturalism in America is now an established fact.2 Over the next fifty years, the white population is projected to decrease by 30 percent, while other ethnic groups will increase 92 percent. By the year 2056 ethnic ―people of color‖ will collectively be in a majority in our land No one ethnic group will be in a majority; whites will be the largest minority in a nation of minorities. By mid-century the number of blacks will have increased by 69%, Native Americans by 79%, Asians by 195% and Hispanics (of numerous nationalities) will increase in population by 199% (U.S. Bureau of Census Web site—www.census.gov). By 2050, 21% of Americans will be claiming mixed ancestry, according to some projections (Kasindorf and El Nasser 2001). We are a nation that is ―browning.

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The Missiological Purpose of Romans

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Why did Paul write his epistle to the Romans? What was the Apostle’s original purpose? New Testament scholars have intensely debated this question in recent years. So much so that some have even despaired of ever identifying a single convincing reason or set of purposes for Romans. Traditionally, Paul’s epistle to Rome has been considered a theological masterpiece, a “compendium of Christian doctrine” (Luther and Melanchton). The view that Romans is to be understood as an exposition and summary of Paul’s fundamental theology has been common in the history of interpretation. It is the premise of this paper that Paul’s basic intent was more missiological than theological, that even the doctrinal teachings of Romans carry a missionary thrust.

It is true that Romans gives a more comprehensive treatment of doctrinal themes than any of Paul’s other letters. In logical and somewhat chronological order, the inspired Apostle lays out a number of great doctrines of the Christian faith: man’s sinful depravity, the gospel of God, justification by faith, righteousness with God, sanctification, predestination, glorification, and so on. But it does not follow that Romans is thus designed and primarily intended to be a teaching summary of Paul’s timeless theology. Thomas Schreiner demonstrates convincingly, I believe, that in Romans a number of “central Pauline teachings are missing or only spoken of in a glacing way” (1998, 15-16; see also Leon Morris 1995, 8). Thus Romans is not to be seen as merely an abstract theological treatise.

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