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Raafat founded Arab4Jesus and conducts two annual conferences for women and a major Bible conference in Bethlehem for about participants from many Palestinian Christian churches. Arab4Jesus also has evangelistic outreaches and visits orphanages where they distribute food and clothing donations to the children.

Raafat, an Egyptian, from a non-practicing Coptic family was presented the Gospel by a converted Muslim. When warned by secret police to stop witnessing all over Cairo, he fled to Vienna and cried out to Jesus for help. Susanne Susi , his wife, a native Austrian from a non-attending Catholic family, had a desire for God. She attended an Operation Mobilization Bible study where she met Raafat.

She also started some groups on the internet to bring together all the Christian homeschoolers from all over Austria for mutual support. Susi home schools four of her seven children. He also helped with a revised translation of the Japanese language Bible. After being involved in Celebrate Recovery groups in their local church, Mitsu and Karen now lead CR groups in other contexts and are seeing many lives healed.

The Nakamuras support the JCCC clubs on various college and university campuses with evangelistic outreaches, directing converts to the local evangelical churches. Yearly donations have been made to purchase shoes and socks for the Mossy Foot victims in Ethiopia. The disease is caused by tiny particles of volcanic glass from the volcanic soil penetrating the skin of the feet causing fluid to collect causing swelling, physical pain, putrefaction, and resulting social stigma.

The project provides medical treatment, education, vocational training, and both social counseling and spiritual support to individuals and their families who are afflicted with this Podoconiosis. The Mossy Foot Project is a faith-based Christian organization that works to raise the level of awareness about Podoconiosis in the Western world and works toward its prevention, treatment, and eradication among those who are at risk in the Wolaitta zone in southern Ethiopia.

They have been a registered NGO in Ethiopia since , and they are a licensed c 3 organization in the US since Mossy Foot Project takes a holistic approach to addressing this disease by providing care for the whole person. Along with sharing physical care and education to reduce the symptoms of the disease, they also provide vocational training to assist families to establish a means for livelihood, and offer recovering patients micro-loans so they can start businesses to support themselves.

In addition, they offer the message of hope offered by Jesus Christ and the transforming power that can result from following Him. They shipped 26, pairs of shoes, donated by Samaritans Feet, Int. They have taken the Gospel to the most remote villages in both the Andean Mountains and in the Amazon jungle areas.

Working within these 7 language groups, they have helped countless native pastors and church leaders plant close to 1, native churches among those tribes. Joshua, an Inca from Ayacucho, was called by God in to preach the Gospel among the Quechua and other indigenous groups of Peru. She has been certified as a Medical Assistant in Phoenix. Their ministry is a family affair with their three daughters serving as translators for the visiting mission groups from supporting churches and agencies.

He and his wife Layni serve in the mission field in Southeast Asia under the ministry supervision of Pioneer Bible Translators. Their financial support is provided through Allegro Solutions. They have translated several chapters of Genesis and Luke and Psalm 1 into Ibwe which have been approved by their Bible translation consultant.

They also produced the Jesus Film in Ibwe. Earlier in , they produced drafts of the books of Ruth and Jonah which will be checked by their consultant in The Soderbergs also translated the script for a second evangelistic film which will hopefully be recorded in The Soderbergs produced these oral Bible stories in the Ibwe language because most of the Ibwe are oral learners i.

In , the Soderbergs will try to train Ibwe speakers to start home fellowships using these oral Bible stories in Ibwe. They operate two schools for national youth. Sixth through eighth grade girls attend Proximos Pasos school. Pray for Terri and Katelyn and their healing from yeast infection that seriously affects their ministry. Pray also for their safety traveling in and around in Guatemala. Will currently serves as the minister of the Methlick Parish in Methlick, Scotland.

Will grew up at CCC, participated in the youth and high school groups, and served on several short term CCC mission trips. The Rev. Will Stalder is ordained by the Church of Scotland. Also for Courtney who is expecting their 3rd in Ty and Carolyn spent nine years of serving in churches in the U. They moved to Belgium in to join the OM Belgium team as staff to help provide leadership to support Belgian churches and plant new churches. The Stewarts have lived in Flanders, just outside Brussels, for the last four years, integrating into the community and learning the Flemish language.

Jaxon and Ellia attend a local Flemish-speaking school where they are in 3rd and 6th grades. The Stewarts attend a small Flemish speaking church which meets in a house. They are building a new hall in adjoining garages to double the capacity to 50 attendees. Ty helps lead worship while Carolyn is involved with a women's prayer group, and the kids sometimes help with setting up the technical equipment. He works with musicians and pastors to help them more effectively serve their churches. Carolyn is the Outreach team leader and oversees vision-casting, training, placement and administration of the team.

She also works directly with local ministry partners. This works out as meeting the Belgians and other immigrants and expatriates — where they are. There are many unreached peoples in Belgium who need the Gospel but who will not enter an existing church. Pray that God will empower the OM leadership, and the Stewarts, to implement this vision and establish these vibrant, worshipping communities throughout Belgium.

Their son, Elliot, is playing professional basketball in Taiwan. Their daughter Teri lives in Texas with her husband, Billy. CPM has exploded in several restricted-access countries throughout Asia. Alex envisions joining his sports ministry together with this CPM movement. He met with one of the sports leaders in Manila who is working with an organization that published a basketball-themed booklet for discipleship and church planting.

It is being published and distributed to church leaders. The Tans agree that this booklet will be very effective used in conjunction with the CPM strategy and discipleship. Alex is excited to run this project in conjunction with other sports training ministries. Please pray for this initiative that God will use the contents of the booklet to confirm new believers in the faith; eventually establishing new churches as a result.

Also, pray for the coordination of the partners joining this effort; that it develops into a national strategy involving other churches in all regions of the Far East and beyond. Their vision and interests are similar, which makes it a good connection for the future outreach, deployment of long term workers and the sending of short-term teams for training and equipping of leaders there.

They served 10 years in Salzburg, and 11 years in Vienna. In addition to their work in Austria, the Lord opened the doors for more ministry in countries around Europe, east and west and then to Egypt, Israel, and Kuwait. Discipleship is a key passion for the Tiners. Some of these indigenous pastors and leaders are working with unreached people groups while others work in limited access regions, facing persecution and opposition.

They not only teach the Bible but also how to train others to teach the material in the culture. They have been able to see sixteen generations of trained trainers result from their work with ITI. The Tiners are excited about the 2 ITI schools in Austria, which are training Muslim background believers who have fled to Austria as refugees. This refugee ministry has a tremendous potential to reach thousands of displaced and disenchanted Muslims in Europe and beyond. Their book on marriage has been translated into Arabic and is a great resource.

Steve enjoys his opportunity to teach various Bible study groups in the local churches. Pray for clear understanding for these believers as they take what they learn to teach others. For the past 27 years he has participated almost annually in the 4C's outreach to Micronesia, teaching both Moody and Morning Star Institute classes. His ministry with Morning Star Messengers entails the continuation of this effort with as many as seven trips each year to teach and disciple pastors and church leaders in the Congregational churches in Micronesia, in Hawaii, and in the seven States where Micronesian churches have been established on the US mainland.

This effort includes preparing curricula for each class, preparing and correcting tests, and maintaining attendance and grade records leading ultimately to a graduation certificate after 30 courses are completed. This also entails recruiting other pastors to teach the Morning Star Institute classes, setting up dates for classes, selecting curriculum and insuring that tests have been prepared. Record keeping for all the classes is an important part of his duties. Max is very thankful for the work of David Greek CCC member who records all the grades on the computer.

Vimal and Louise live in a village near Karlsruhe, Germany. They minister to refugees from over 40 different nationalities who have come to Germany to apply for asylum status. In over 1 million refugees entered Germany; They also provide spiritual help for those interested in the Gospel.

They have been thankful to the Lord for his help and support. Vimal, a refugee of the civil war in Sri Lanka, escaped with family to India where the Lord met him. He went to England to pursue his theological training and there he met Louise. The Lord led them in to a ministry with refugees in Germany. In , they moved to the USA for doctoral studies completing a doctoral thesis on A Biblical Model for Refugee Ministry, addressing the Biblical subject of refugees and aliens in Scripture.

In the 80s Larry was missions pastor in Dallas and sent missionaries around the world, including Mexico. Since the 90s Larry has been helping churches go global, organizing more than 50 regional and national leadership conferences and teaching hundreds of Perspectives classes. Larry and Kathy moved to the state of Morelos, Mexico with WEC International in September of to help Mexican churches go global some are the same churches planted by missionaries the Walkers recruited in the 80s.

Larry trains Mexican missionaries to go to the least reached and most difficult places and trains churches to send them. She also teaches Mexican missionaries and others to use art as a means of supporting themselves. Eric and Anne, born and raised in Belgium; grew up in solid Christian families and have been leaders of ministry from their teenage years.

Belgium is one of the least evangelized lands in all of Europe. Many towns have no evangelical church. After a traditional church-planting effort, and 10 years in BEM leadership in French speaking Belgium, Eric is doing church-planting in brand new ways. After 5 years of experimenting and developing an alternative church model in their local town of Gembloux, they launched a daughter church plant 40 minutes away. In September , Eric transferred the leadership of the new Christian Community of Hannut to a new pastor-developer.

Eric applied the same approach among bikers developing a bikers Community, and in a retirement home with an Elderly people fellowship. The New Testament is relatively quiet on the subject of church reproduction and for good reason. Just like childbearing, reproduction should be natural. For churches new to the parenting process, there are a number of questions that should be addressed before committing to parenting. Is the new church flowing from a God-given vision to reduce the unreached population? Is the church ready for or needing the changes that partnering entails?

Consider for a moment your image of a church. Is it stained glass windows topped by a towering white steeple keeping watch over a town square? For many, this image is the epitome of what a church looks like. In a growing number of North American communities, such images of church are fading from memory or never existed. At the same time, the population in most urban areas is growing two or three times faster than the growth rate of Protestant churches. In Canada, that number increases to nearly , for every SBC church. At the time of printing, Mississippi has the best church-to-population ratio with one SBC church for every 1, people.

These bridges carry ministries that meet needs and take the 1. Seven Steps for Planting Churches gospel to new people. They energize Christians to go out and make new disciples. And they look for places that need new churches to meet more needs. Together with state Southern Baptist conventions, NAMB has made church planting a major priority so that Southern Baptists now lead all denominations in new church starts.

And He can use us as well as other evangelical Christians to do it. Many new churches meet in homes, schools, coffeehouses, or even shopping centers. But their presence cannot be underestimated, especially when millions of spiritually embattled people are seeking an eternal peace and hope found only in a personal relationship with Jesus.

Seven Steps for Planting Churches Even with all the resources, support, and strategies, Harris admits that the degree that this church planting movement impacts North America and Canada is contingent solely on the willingness of followers of Christ to step out in obedience to a clear biblical mandate. This short book is designed to help you through each step of the church reproduction process. Although most will find reading this book sequentially to be most beneficial, it has been designed to allow you, the reader, to jump to the step that is most relevant for you at the moment.

The Appendixes have been designed to provide often-requested resources. At the end of some chapters, starting points and resources for that step are provided. Note: Throughout the rest of this resource as well as in future resources, the sponsoring church, parenting church, or partnering church will be referred to as the partnering church. The vision and goals of all three aforementioned types of churches as well as others that may be used but not mentioned here are often one in the same although they may be referenced differently. This implies no difference on our part in the philosophy, challenges, or regard given to a sponsoring church, parenting church, or partnering church now nor at any time.

We are simply streamlining terminology for the sake of clarity in our communication. Notes 1. OnMission magazine, March-April, During the Jesus Movement, the story is told of a small but growing Baptist church that was on fire for the Lord. One of the newer members of the church used his artistic talents to paint a mural behind the frequently used baptistery. When he pulled up to the church, the parking lot that was once filled with cars and motorcycles was now filled with weeds.

A paltry collection of vehicles in the lot gave hint that a church was still there. Once inside, a handful of people occupied the once crowded auditorium. The most telling sign was the mural over the baptistery. This book is designed to help you lead your congregation to catch the vision for multiplication through church planting as a partnering church. In fact, our English word ethnic comes from the Greek word ethne meaning people. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen Matt. The number of people groups, when tabulated, are astonishing and are projected to change the demographics of America. More than 85 million people in the United States make up people groups other than Anglo. By , approximately 47 percent of the United States population is projected to be non-Anglo.

Ed Stetzer helps church leaders comprehend this biblical concept with the illustration of a waffle. If viewed horizontally and at eye level, the waffle appears to be flat. However, when one turns the waffle to its side, the surface projections of the waffle become apparent. Many church members and leaders view their communities like the horizontal waffle. They do not see the projections of society that make up the varied cultural and social groups.

Although the top of the waffle may contain many people, it is unlikely that one church can reach both the surface and the subcultures of a community. The Great Commission demands that we go into the cultures nations. Often, the best way to accomplish this task is through church planting. Many have viewed this commission to be concentric circles.

However, the best rendering of this passage is simultaneous mission work. The early church accomplished this commission through church planting. And the marching orders given to the original gathering of disciples are still in effect today. The original impetus for becoming a partnering church may come from one of many directions. There have been situations where a church planter came to me in need of a partner. At other times, I have gone to churches as a church planting missionary and asked the pastor to pray about becoming a partnering church.

Often, they are unexpected. Many times we feel they are undeserved. The church leader whose eyes are open to the needs of his community will be receptive to reaching people groups that are going unreached by his and other churches. Vision will seldom come to those whose eyes are upon themselves and not upon the fields of souls. A vision from God is also not dependent upon the resources that are already in place. Only disobedience—such as impatience—can hinder His plan. Seven Steps for Planting Churches The vision for the new work sometimes originates with the planter.

Most church planters look for a place they want to go to and where they are invited. The vision sometimes starts in the mind of the church planter strategist or director of missions. I have worked with churches where the vision came to the pastor of the partnering church.

Another time, the vision arose from an associational strategy planning process. What is important is that the church plant itself flows out of a clear vision from God.

Partners in Planting

Impediments to Vision The potential impediments to vision are as varied as a list of sins. That said, some of the common impediments to vision are listed. Vision Hijacking: This term has been used to describe the process whereby members who join a new church following the launch impose their plan and ideas upon the church, thus, hijacking the original vision. Take a moment and contemplate the implications of an airline hijacking.

The negative consequences are similar when a vision from a source other than God is superimposed upon a new work. Not only does the new work not arrive at its God-ordained destination, the spiritual vitality of the members is jeopardized, and resources are wasted. Vision hijacking is most likely to occur when the original vision is unclear. Apathy and Neglect: The vision for partnering a new congregation can be clouded by apathy and neglect.

These two sins often creep in so slowly that they go unnoticed. However, Curtis was on vacation. After Curtis returned, the broken mirror was mentioned a few more times, but since Curtis seldom used the church 8. Seven Steps for Planting Churches bathroom, he never actually saw the broken mirror.

By now, all the men who used the bathroom had gotten used to the broken mirror. You may want to hurry and get it fixed before someone gets hurt. We may overlook people groups in places such as apartment complexes, retirement centers, new subdivisions and communities that our church does not or cannot reach. Most ominous is the very real possibility of overlooking the Great Commission. The Fear of Failure In a survey of church leaders in one state Baptist convention, the fear of failure was the most often voiced reason for not starting new work.

No leader wants to invest time and resources into a project that fails. Many leaders have heard the statistic that states two-thirds of all church starts fail. However, in the state I served as a church planting missionary, four out of five succeeded. The key to success is planning. And the partnering church makes the difference.

If the partnering church provides more than mere partnership in name only, this fear can generally be averted. As author Bill Tinsley says, those who never fail in church planting are the ones who never attempt to start churches. Both Genesis and Matthew remind us that not everything we dig, seed, or sow will be successful. The Cost of Partnership Another concern raised by potential partnering churches is the cost of partnering. Few parents would dream of basing their decision to have children upon the potential cost.

According to the U. Despite the cost, people 9. Seven Steps for Planting Churches continue to have children. Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Investing in the kingdom will please the King. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Unless clearly stated otherwise, the mission falls under the umbrella of the mother church. If the mission meets in the facilities of the mother church, generally little needs to be done as long as the church abides by the policies of the mother church. If meeting in another facility, questions of insurance, child protection, tax-exempt status, and finances will need to be clearly dealt with.

Waiting for More Growth J. By planting a church within a church, congregations have become churches without borders. Casting the Vision The greatest help for casting your vision may come from those who have recently and successfully parented new churches. For example, consider the words of one partnering church pastor in an e-mail sent to the church planting missionary who encouraged him to lead out in partnering a new church. Thank the Lord, our church is doing better than ever with income since we started the mission.

The attendance is up, and we have gained several new members—as well as more baptisms than last year. And finances, wow! We can always use more, but we are really receiving above budget in recent months. Effective leaders weave the vision for the new work into their messages, their church programs, through the Sunday School and small-group ministries and other forms of church communication.

I once fished using the same lure and cast hour after hour. Pastor Jim Williams, who combines fishing for men with his passion for fishing for fish, showed me the importance of changing lures and approaches when fishing. The effective leader will discover and use appropriate times and methods to cast and communicate the vision for church planting. A list of local associations is provided under each state convention listing. The area church planting missionary www.

Additional congregations that may wish to partner in the new congregation. Additional Resources 1. Contact: CPGresources namb. Visit: www. James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Accessed February 3, It was written six months after their church had launched a new work in the same. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.

To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. In chapter one, I referenced the waffle. This second of the seven steps to partnering with a new church is akin to pinpointing the surface projections of the waffle that will be targeted by the church plant. Some churches will be responsible for identifying the area of the community in which the new church will be planted. Seven Steps for Planting Churches Identifying the ministry focus group is much more than targeting a particular people for a new church plant.

Identifying the ministry focus group is the process of developing a portrait of people who will reveal their spiritual aspirations, their real and felt needs, their values, their lifestyles and the way they look at their world. It is the skillful application what can best be described as cultural exegesis.

Aubrey Malphurs lists five things that church partners and planters can do in order to develop this community portrait. Build relationships with non-Christians. Listen to the culture. Read what community people are reading. Collect and interpret demographic and psychographic data. Develop and implement a community survey. Many planters will be tempted to skip the labor-intensive survey. Not only should the planter be strongly discouraged from sidestepping the survey process, he should be accountable that he will do it!

The partnering church should, when possible, play a supportive role by availing both people and resources to assist the planter in this survey process. Perhaps it would be better for the partner church to identify the focus group then find a planter that fits the people.

There is no easy way to accurately gather community information. Up-to-date demographics and psychographic profiles are beneficial, but the best way to understand the community into which the gospel seed is to be planted is to visit with as many people as possible.

A reasonable goal before the launch would be 10 percent of the homes in the ministry focus group visited. To ensure the usefulness of this information, several carefully chosen questions should be asked. Understanding the focus group can help prevent one of the greatest dangers a new church faces—that of alienating their target group by the use of inappropriate methods.

For some sponsoring congregations, helping the members understand that the new church will be using means and methods different from those employed by the sponsoring church is confusing. Why not do it the same way? Communicating the results of the survey—or better, having members help with the survey—will assist the sponsoring church members understand the missiological approach to church planting being used.

In a survey taken in preparation for a church start in Frazier Park, Calif. Secondly, the team discovered pockets of the community that were significantly more responsive to a church plant than others. During the survey, community members also provided helpful insights into the community. In another survey in Ventura, Calif. The same question, when asked in Frazier Park, resulted in a totally different result. There, the planter and the sponsor opted to include Baptist in the name of the new church. Surveys are also important to establishing the spiritual condition of the community.

People living in areas with a high number of opt outs will require a Seven Steps for Planting Churches different approach than those in areas of radically unchurched people. Included in his book are several approaches to reaching people within each faith stage. These were men and women who embraced a worldview and culture similar to that of the church planter. However, by the time Paul got to Athens, the ministry focus group had changed. His target group was then a pluralistic populace that embraced a totally different worldview to that of the predominantly Jewish focus group of Acts 2.

Both groups needed the gospel. Yet, the approach used to reach these groups differed radically. There, he first explored the city, studied its inhabitants, and because of this, he was able to draw a mental portrait of the people living in Athens. Because the apostle spent time learning the culture, when he finally engaged the Athenians in evangelistic conversation, he was able to speak the Word of Truth from an informed position of greater affinity.

Paul began with their area of expertise—even to the point of quoting some of their own poets see Acts In such communities, the newly informed believers can then be quickly grafted onto the new church. However, in most of the urban centers of America, Canada, and many cultural groups If a planter finds himself in Athens-like Canada, or one of the increasingly pluralistic urban centers of America, he may be frustrated in his attempts to launch a church through what has become the traditional method of preview services followed by a launch-large public service.

Demographics Two of the most common tools used to identify and understand the ministry focus group are demographic and psychographic studies. Be forewarned that these tools can mislead if used incorrectly. For example, one church planter in California was excited when the demographic study showed the average age of his ministry focus group was 34 years—the exact age he was targeting. However, it turned out that almost no-one years old lived in his focus area. The same fallacy of average can occur with other demographic statistics. The most commonly requested demographic study areas are ZIP codes.

However, these also result in a high fallacy of average. Many communities of 50, residents are covered by one ZIP code. Generally, the only way to receive useful information is to have firsthand knowledge of the area for which you are requesting demographic information. Use as an opportunity to promote vision casting. This is especially helpful if the partnering church is in close proximity to the new work ministry focus group. Cooperative Relationships 1. State Baptist convention church planting leaders 2.

Associational directors of missions 3. Contact your state or Canadian Baptist convention for available demographic resources. Logan, Robert E. See to for resources. Canada online resources: www. Seven Steps for Planting Churches 4. United States online resources www. Most communities in the United States and Canada will post demographic information on community web pages. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, , pp. These questions are closely related to those used by Rich Warren in his original community survey work.

For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. His job is loading the brown trucks—a grueling task that involves much lifting.

Now, in grade school I learned that 70 and 70 totaled , not Can it be that UPS understands the scriptural truth behind Ecclesiastes better than many church leaders? Two people working together can accomplish more than the total of what each does individually. So partnering is the effective leveraging of assets, abilities, and strengths.

More churches want to be involved but are not familiar with the processes for involvement. A survey of pastors and staff from 38 churches in California revealed that not one had received training in college, seminary, or through their continuing leadership development that would have prepared them to lead their individual congregations to birth a new work.

It should be noted that not every point will be relevant for every situation, so feel free to skim through those that are not pertinent to your situation. Multiple Church Planting Partners Engaging multiple partnering churches for a church plant is a task that should not be ignored. For starters, requesting partnerships is biblical. Paul, in his letter to the church at Rome, boldly asks the church to partner with him in starting a new work in Spain Rom. In an attempt to strengthen the work in Jerusalem, Paul drew up a strategy of multiple ministry partners.

On his missionary journeys, Paul sought out the best members of the church to join him in the missionary task of church planting. An obvious benefit of multiple church planting partners is that they can share the load. When our Lord said to His followers, Come, you who are weak and heavy laden—take my yoke upon you see Matt.

An example would be a church plant I worked with in the West. The primary partner provided housing and financial support for the church planter. Other partnering churches provided supplementary financial support, ongoing prayer support, help with visitation and evangelism, and a one-time welcome gift for the church planter and his family, which brings us to another benefit of multiple partnerships, an opportunity for entry level church planting involvement.

Seven Steps for Planting Churches Sixty percent of churches average fewer than adults in worship. A congregation of 25 to 50 could be considered robust in the context of many communities. For some of these smaller congregations, taking on the role as a primary partner of a new work would be intimidating at best, and a disaster at worst. For these congregations, becoming a copartner or partnering church can be a great entry point into Great Commission mission work. Clarifying the role these partners play will help ensure a positive experience for them and the new work and promote continued involvement as a partnering church.

Consider the following account. The director of missions DOM asked the pastor of a small, rural congregation to consider helping with a new language church being planted in a neighboring community. As the pastor was readying his torrent of excuses, the DOM explained that what he really needed was for a church to adopt the church planter and his family by providing food and cleaning supplies for their new apartment. He went on to share his dream of the planter and his wife walking into their new apartment and finding the pantry filled, refrigerator full and cleaning cabinets stocked.

Next time you have a church that is starting, we would like to do even more. Can God bring someone to Himself without any help from us at all? Without a doubt! The strength gained in teaming with other Christians also gives us endurance. Alone, our fear, lack of experience or desire to be comfortable might cause us to give up when things get tough, but the partnership of other Christians will help us press on. Seven Steps for Planting Churches Opportunity. Worldwide impact. Partnerships can take me beyond my normal sphere of influence.

Missionaries are the best example of this partnership. Isolation breeds discouragement, but a partnership forged to accomplish a worthy goal energizes and helps build momentum. After the Vietnam War, studies showed that prisoners held in complete isolation were more likely to break down under interrogation and give information to the enemy. But prisoners who could interact—even if only by tapping Morse code on the walls—held up to the rigors of captivity much better.

Just as interaction with allies strengthened prisoners of war, fellowship with other believers gives us strength for our mission. Christians partnering together can support each other with money, ideas, communication, materials, our time. In that effort, I once volunteered for a few days at a new mission church just outside of Atlanta. The building needed a lot of work and materials to ready it for the worship services scheduled to begin in a few weeks. But the financial partnership of a church in another Atlanta suburb and the time given by volunteers made the renovation possible.

God has created us as interdependent beings and we are more productive and effective when we band together Heb. Ebert concludes his thoughts on partnerships with this story. Our pastor drove this point home one Sunday not long ago when he handed each of us in the congregation a piece of string about 16 inches long. Seven Steps for Planting Churches Then he instructed some of us to tie our strings to the strings of those sitting to our right and left.

Others were instructed to tie their strings to those in the rows in front of them. After sorting out some tangled string, our congregation had joined to form a huge net spanning the entire worship center. The greater the number of partners, the more communication and planning must be done as there are more lines of communication to keep open. The fewer number of partners needed to effectively plant the church, the better. The primary reason to add more partners than necessary to effectively plant the church would be if part of the vision is to develop other churches into the Church Planting Process CPP.

Enlisting the Right Church Planter If your partnering strategy included finding a church planter, some on the search team may be tempted to call the first willing soul. Bad idea. A denominational leader in Canada once told me that any church planter with a Southern accent is a death sentence to success.

My personal experiences in Minnesota provided ample support, although not complete agreement, to his statement. Current Membership There may be someone in your church who God has burdened with an area in need of a church. When they mentioned the area they were burdened for they discovered the area they wanted to help was already targeted for a new church by the association. Seven Steps for Planting Churches As the church leadership begins to cast a vision of participating in a church planting movement do not be surprised to have laymen step forward.

In the Second Great Awakening the Methodists grew in the South by percent utilizing circuit riding clergymen. That is great growth. During the same period, Baptists grew by percent through the ministries of laymen serving as farmer-preachers. Besides calling out laymen from your church God may also burden one of the church staff members to lead a daughter congregation. The booklet Discovery Tools is an invaluable resource in helping potential church planting leaders discover their church planting potential. Information on obtaining this free resource is included at the end of this step.

Associations and State Baptist Conventions: Over the years, some of the best planters I have worked with were referred by associational directors of missions. After the local church, the local association is a great place to look for church planters. State conventions and many local associations have personnel assigned church planting responsibilities.

The people are aware of individual church planters seeking partnership and ministry opportunities. A list of state Baptist conventions is included at the end of this book. Churches can visit www. Each seminary has a Nehemiah Project director who oversees the identification, recruitment, development, and deployment of church planting interns in North America.

These interns usually qualify for Nehemiah Project funding when appointed to an approved Nehemiah church plant location. Campus directors also maintain information on many students who feel called to church planting but do not fulfill all the requirements of the Nehemiah program. Several colleges and non-Southern Baptist seminaries are also involved in the Nehemiah Partnership. These students have taken church planting courses developed by NAMB.

Many of these students have participated in the Church Planter Assessment process. Is the Planter a Match? In a church in Kansas City, the planting team and community were a classic mismatch, and the church plant never got off the ground. In retrospect, a change in location of only a few of miles and the planting team and community would have been a much greater match. Appendix 9 is a tool to assist in determining the compatibility of a church planter, core group, leadership team and the ministry focus, which is the community. All too often churches are planted with classic mismatches between the church planting team and the community.

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The objective is not necessarily to have a perfect match. It is to avoid so many areas of difference that the new church is stillborn. One potential outcome of the MCN is for churches to partner together in planting new churches. The MCN process presents an enjoyable, easy to follow plan that encourages the natural development of partnerships through relationships that already exist among the churches.

Additional information about MCN is included in Step 5. Do not be surprised if other churches in your local association are also looking for opportunities to help in a church planting effort. Just like the church potluck, it is amazing what can happen when everyone brings a little something to the table. Clarifying the Roles Understanding the Roles of the Parties Involved: The best way to ensure a great experience for the church planter and the partnering church is to have a written covenant stating the responsibilities and expectations of each party.

First, Build the Relationship. After the church has determined with whom God would have them partner, the partnering church and the church planter need to cultivate relationships. Depending on the church planting timeline many things Seven Steps for Planting Churches can be done to strengthen the relationship.

Some church planters know their deployment locations six months or more prior to relocation. In such a case, the planter may be able to visit the partnership church on several occasions prior to deployment. One church planter appointed to a New England state utilized a missions team from one of his partnering churches to complete a week of critical survey work several months prior to he and his wife arriving on the field. The planter worked with the partnering church during that week and developed close relationships with them during the weeklong experience.

Another useful tool in developing a close relationship between partner and church planter is the Internet. Next, spell out the roles and expectations. The Church Planter Needs to Know. The length of the partnership. Church planting is exactly that, planting. No seed immediately springs forth and bears fruit. In many North American locations, the church planter will not have credibility in the community until he has been there at least a year.

Northerners and Westerners all take pride in their cold or heat. To plant their lives in a community, the church planter needs to have the sense of stability multiple year partnerships provide. However, there must be a phasing out of support to help the young church develop into a healthy self-supporting body.

The faithfulness of the prayer support. A church planter arrived unannounced and late to a partnering church for Wednesday night prayer. He sat in the back of the auditorium only to find no mention in the weekly prayer list or in the prayers themselves concerning his family or the church plant. Disappointment is an understatement. Specific and fervent prayer is the most important contribution the partnering church can make.

The planter must know that his partnership churches are interceding in his behalf.

Starting New Churches

The level of missions team support. If the church plant is near the partnering church, frequent support of musicians, workers, and other needed personnel might be appropriate. Many plants in new work areas rely on partnerships with Seven Steps for Planting Churches churches hundreds of miles away. The church planter needs to be able to plan his strategy knowing that the partnership church will provide a certain amount of missions team support.

He cannot adequately plan Backyard Bible Clubs, Sports Camps, Servanthood Evangelism activities, survey work, or the myriad of other labor intensive activities unless he has a dependable labor pool. The plant and the partnering church will be blessed by the mission trips. The amount of financial commitment. But, as stated earlier, that is not enough to reach North America.

Dealing with legal formalities and improving yourself

The church planter plans his strategy bathed in prayer expecting great things from God while operating within a financial reality. The Partnering Church Needs to Know. The church planter is a person of doctrinal integrity. Church planters who receive Cooperative Program support have an ethical responsibility to operate within the doctrinal parameters affirmed by the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Additional issues need to be discussed. The church planter is a person of moral integrity. After approval and appointment the church planter intern is expected to maintain that reputation! Developing the Covenant There are many ways to approach the development of a partnering covenant. One is to simply copy what others have done. The appeal to this approach is that it takes only a few minutes and it does not require much, if any, personal contact between the partnering church and the church planter.

Such documents can be filed away, only to see the light of day when a problem arises and a finger needs to be pointed. In the past 15 years, I have seen several partnering church agreements where the form had been photocopied so many times that it was almost illegible and correction fluid had been used to change the names. Seven Steps for Planting Churches Another approach is the fill-in-the-blank form that allows some personalization and contextualization.

Such a form is included in Appendix 2 and additional samples are available through www. Again, this type of form is appealing due to its simplicity and uniformity. Unlike the correction fluid approach, the fill-in-the-blank approach to developing a covenant generally requires someone from both groups to work to develop a working document.

My experience with such forms is that they usually look like a team of lawyers developed them, and they fail to effectively communicate the spirit and heart of the covenant. Such forms may be useful in more traditional church planting partnerships where cross-cultural and philosophical differences are minimal. Due to the shortcomings of the first two approaches, some have begun to use what the Partnering Covenant Template found in Appendix 2. By asking the new work team and the partnering church leadership to answer a series of questions, using a scale of 1 to 5, it is possible to ascertain the areas of agreement and those of potential conflict.

This has shown itself to be especially useful in language church starts where linguistic and cultural barriers to communication can become an issue. After the partnering church and the church planter review the results of the completed templates, a covenant can be developed that reflects the actual issues that the partnering covenant needs to address. Another advantage is that the time spent developing the covenant promotes the partnering relationship between the church and mission leaders during the early phase of development.

As with each approach, this one has some liabilities. The primary disadvantage to this process is that it takes more time and creative effort than the previous approaches. An originally unforeseen liability to using the template approach is that it can manifest differences in philosophy or ideology that might not have otherwise arisen. A case in point was a partnering situation that was stillborn following a philosophical disagreement between the partnering church pastor and the church planter on the role of the pastor.

In reality, it was likely for the good that these two did not enter into a partnership. In spite of such liabilities, the time spent on covenant development will usually be time well spent. See Step 5 for more details. State Convention Church Planting Department and local association director of missions. See www. Seminary Nehemiah Project directors www. To help build good fences for relationships, two resources are included in Appendix 2. The first is designed to help develop a contextualized partnering church covenant between planter and partners.

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The second is a more traditional covenant template. Now on www. ChurchPlanting Village. Partnering Church icon. Church Planting and Evangelism Today, winter , p. The first time my wife and I were invited to participate in a pounding, my first thought was this was some severe form of church discipline. I soon discovered that poundings were traditional means of ministry among members and community members that dated back to the days when members would help one another by sharing a pound of butter, a pound of bacon, a pound of salt, et cetera with those in need. These thoughts were originally published in OnMission magazine, March-April, Earle E.

Research at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary bears out what most of us have known for years: The greatest need church planters perceive is the one for resources! Would you subject yourself and your family to the same challenges the planter will face? When was the last time your faith was tested to the degree the church planter is subjecting himself?

Could you live on the package being committed to the church planter—especially in light of the day and age in which we live? Would you or your staff be willing to devote the time, effort, and sacrifice you are asking of the church planter and his family? Moving beyond the planter and his family, consider the people strategy being proposed to start the new church. Would a reasonably competent church planter be able to succeed with the plan being set forth? Or does the strategy depend disproportionately upon the miraculous? Have the resources needed for a successful start been identified?

Once identified, have these resourced been committed? Seven Steps for Planting Churches Like the other steps, this one has a solid biblical basis. In Philippians Paul commends the church at Philippi for its partnership in ministry of giving of resources. So, ask yourself, are the resources being planned for this new work being given cheerfully?

The church that best embodies committing resources was the church at Antioch. At Antioch, patterns were established concerning the reaching of Gentiles with the gospel and the commissioning and sending of church planting missionaries, Paul and Barnabas. Imagine how unselfish it was to release these two men to start other churches. Merrill C. Tenney says that the church at Antioch was the home of great Christian preaching and compassion for the poor, and the headquarters of evangelistic missions.

From this city the missionary fire spread across the Roman Empire. The partnering church should not hesitate to request the planter to provide an accounting of the resources received. In the book Partners with God: Bible Truths About Giving, the authors write: Paul knew the success and provisions for his mission efforts came from God. However, he also knew that God used the church at Seven Steps for Planting Churches Philippi to share in his ministry through their grace-giving.

This kind of giving is not a requirement but rather an expression of concern for the lost. The Philippian church stands as a glowing example to our churches today in the area of mission giving. The challenge to reach the lost is still before us. Churches today need to step forward to discover and commit resources as part of their biblical missionary and stewardship responsibilities.

Three of them are negative and focus on what distracts or even alienates some potential contributors.

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The last two are positive and aid in knowing what attracts potential givers. Outside contributors may be willing to help in other areas such as facilities where ministry takes place, Bibles, sound equipment, and lighting. While they may give once or even twice, intelligent people resent this kind of approach and will not give long-term to ministries that use this tactic. For many, the appeal to need is comparable to investing in businesses that are in the red.

Most people like to hear good news, not constant negative reports that conclude with a strong appeal based on present needs. The key to giving is a dynamic vision. Consequently, in the early stages of starting a church, visionary church planters must spend a significant amount of time cultivating and communicating a dynamic vision.

The last point listed is critical. Church planters need to think big and cast big visions because they have a big God who wants to accomplish big things through them. Most knowledgeable givers understand this and want to give to ministries that desire to have a significant impact for the Savior. As the partnering church leader, you may have to help the planter communicate the vision. Seven Steps for Planting Churches Similarly, if the vision is from God, it should be communicated with passion and clarity. Steps to Discovering Resources Partner churches need to play a key role in providing resources for their new congregations.

Ed Stetzer notes that the needs of the new church will be directly related to the methodology needed to impact the ministry focus group. That is why committing resources before clarifying the vision and identifying the ministry focus group is ill advised. It should also be understood that resources include more than just financial assistance. Providing names of persons who could help financially or through their contacts with materials and equipment, personal and volunteers; and directed and specific prayer support are all ways the partnering church can help.

Another resource is the new church plant itself. Core members, regardless of economic status, should be committed to the tithe and beyond. In a traditional church plant, a core group of 20 families would provide the full support needed for one full-time staff, or a part-time staff and rent.

Notice anything missing to this point? That is why Step 1 is foundational. These, in turn, become keys to securing the resources needed and the courage to take the bold steps of faith required of a sending-partnering church. The MCN is designed for church leaders who are committed to kingdom impact through church multi Seven Steps for Planting Churches plication.

The MCN involves meeting with other kingdom-minded leaders regularly for the task of prayer, accountability, and developing environments for church planting. There is a kit of materials available through your local association or NAMB to help. A tool designed to help members discover their kingdom calling. The flagship event for calling out the called is the Discovering Church Planting event. Help your members understand their spiritual gifts— including church planting.

This self-administered assessment is an ideal tool for identifying church members with an aptitude for church planting. A one-day seminar designed to equip those who will be mentoring church planters. Ideal for pastors and staff who will also serve in this capacity. Sometimes held in conjunction with Basic Training for Church Planters. CPV is a premier resource for churches and their partners. The CPV Web site is a comprehensive tool. The site also includes more than resources for the church planter and partnering church, including sample constitutions and bylaws, sermons, and how-to manuals.

This training covers 15 areas essential to the successful launch of any new church, including prayer, vision, values, evangelism, leadership development, and legal issues. Through prayer and the guidance of the Holy Spirit partner churches will pledge their support and undergird the planting of new churches. Some churches will use their Missions Development Council. The three key components in this work are: 1 determining the specific resources needed, 2 discovering the resources available, and 3 committing and managing the resources.

Determining the Resources Needed Church Planting Proposal: Work with the church planter to prepare an effective church planting proposal that presents the specific need to start a new church in a particular area. Produce a video showing the community, the focus group s Seven Steps for Planting Churches and the potential for the new church. If the potential donors know what group is being targeted, what strategy will be employed, what specific activities are being planned and what the anticipated results are, they will become more excited about this project.

Preliminary Budget: Prepare a budget for the first 12 to 18 months of the project. See sample in Appendix 6. The Lord Himself is our ultimate resource for church planting. Claim His promises for provision and blessings for your new church. Prayer teams and prayer networks can be used in this effort.

The Core Group. The core group members should provide as much of the financial resources as they can. Their commitment to the vision and their giving will set the pace for the growth and health of the new church. Partner Church es. This church should provide financial resources through their budget and perhaps through special offerings and designated gifts. They should help to enlist other partnering churches and interested individuals.

Sometimes churches and individuals are more open to giving once they have been involved in the project as volunteers. Denominational Support: Local associations and state conventions often have resources and other assistance available for church planting projects. NAMB has a variety of resources including training and equipping materials and strategies as well as financial resources in partnership with state Baptist conventions and associations.

Usually, denominational financial support is set up on a phase-down schedule. As the new church grows the outside support should be less. It is important to remember that the goal is for the new church to be self-supporting and not become dependent on outside resources.

The new church will be more likely to partner new churches itself once it no longer needs outside resources. The author was a tentmaker for many years—working in health care while serving as a church planter. This career allowed for acceptance by the community and adequate resources to support my family while planting a church. Other Resources: Financial resources may be available from special mission funds and various foundations. The partner church will also exercise good Christian stewardship by managing the resources with the new church and its leaders.

Good partnership covenant agreements will help to ensure good reporting and accountability. From the very beginning the new church should use wise financial management policies and teach Christian stewardship. Partnership Covenant Agreements: Early in the process before the planter hits the field , development of the partnering covenant is critical and should clearly outline the expectations and responsibilities for the partner churches and the new church. This should include all of the promised resources and their source. On occasion, those involved in providing denominational support are also parties in these agreements.

The challenge of local and global missions, including Southern Baptist mission offerings, should be presented. Financial and administrative issues should be clarified in the mission covenant, and the Seven Steps for Planting Churches assistance from the partner or association given as needed as the new church establishes financial and bookkeeping procedures as well as procedures for receipts and other legal and insurance issues.

These and other materials can be found at www. See Merrill C. Daniel R. Sanchez, Ebbie C. Smith, and Curtis E. Thomasson, p. People care about what they have helped birth, nurture, develop, implement, and participate in the results. We care about that which we have a personal investment in and ownership.

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It is about putting feet to our faith and provision to our promises. In Romans , we read how Paul prepared the church in Rome for mission mobilization. The term mobilization has taken on a new meaning. Seven Steps for Planting Churches for a whole new generation of Americans following the events of September 11, For those residing in the United States, nearly everyone can attest to having been impacted by friends or family members who have been mobilized —meaning they have been called up to fulfill a military service obligation.

It is at this point that some congregations experience action amnesia. Action amnesia is the term I use when churches or individuals renege on previous commitments. Mobilization is where the rubber meets the road. In many of these cases, a church pastor or leader suggested the church would be able to provide a resource. The planter takes the suggestion at face value, and is disappointed when he discovers that the promised resources were never budgeted approved or requisitioned.

A similar exhortation is found in James Just as it is important to ensure good communication with the church planter, it is critical during this step to communicate with the membership, Missions Committee, and others involved in the church planting partnership. These events should be planned and coordinated with all of the partnering churches, and can be a great means of developing ownership among the membership. Most members are familiar with the picture post card size prayer commitment cards used by international missionaries. Enlist members of the partner congregation to pray for the new church each week during its services.

This may be an opportunity to create a new small group in the partnering church. Many planters and planting team leaders are exhausted just before the launch.