Quiz: Which text in the New Testament gives us the imperative to plant churches?
If you have an answer, share it in the comment section. In the meantime, keep reading!
Church Planting Model #1:
In 2001, my wife and I accepted the generous gift of free registrations and accommodations to a Church Planters Bootcamp in the denomination we were serving. We had actually already started a church a couple of months before the seminar, but our district leadership thought it would be helpful to us. It was. We learned a lot, and we used the things we learned for several years after that. When the workshop began, the leaders told us,
“We are not going to give you a mission statement or a mindset. You get to dream your own dream and develop your own vision. We simply want to give you the tools and methods you need to live your mission and see it become a reality.”
When we left that weekend event, we had …
- A carefully written mission statement (ours was “Reaching and Discipling Entire Families for Jesus Christ”).
- A calendar of ministry events for our first year of ministry (think Christmas, Easter, etc.).
- An outline of all the ministry departments and leaders for each position that we’d need to fill (think admin, worship, kids, youth, etc.).
- A budget of our first-year expenses, and a list of all the things we needed to buy to do ministry (think sound, furnishings, technology, etc.).
- A plan for raising support and encouraging our church members to tithe (think teaching, letter writing, solicitation, etc.).
- A clear set of goals for promoting the church and accommodating the growth we anticipated (think mailers, newspaper, website, letters, etc.).
In short, we spent the entire weekend focused on the methods, techniques and mechanisms by which we would “do” church for our first year. We were assigned a church planting coach (who was an incredible friend and blessing to us personally), and we were sent back home with prayer and encouragement to launch a great church. That first year, we met most of our goals, including growing our staff, securing a long-term rental facility, renting a church office, starting a worship ministry, a children’s ministry, a youth ministry, and a men’s and women’s ministry. At the end of the first year, our supervisor told us, “Your church plant is waaaaay beyond the norm in every way.” We were invited to attend the church planters seminar for the next two years to share our ideas and to coach other new church planters in the methodology we had learned.