One of my goals over the next 6 months is to work with a task force to fully develop a process for church planters and churches to engage in multiplication within the Forest Lakes District of the EFCA. My progress in that goal will be evident in a growing website dedicated to district multiplication. This week I've added the following information regarding the process for planters desiring to engage in the district. Please feel free to participate by providing feedback. You can read the entire section on the website here.
THE FOUR-STEP PLANTING PROCESS
1. Application and Assessment: This phase includes a preliminary application, the completion of several assessment tools, an interview with a pre-assessment team, and final recommendations from the team regarding your calling and the training conditions necessary for final assessment.
2. Training: The training phase will look different for every prospective planter based upon the recommendations of the pre-assessment team. For some, the training phase could include a residency or internship, for others the reading of books and attending a boot-camp, yet for others it could include specific training in bi-vocational or rural planting methods.
3. Final Assessment: Once the training phase is completed the prospective planter will go through a final assessment process including several surveys and an interview with an assessment team. This phase will provide a final confirmation for the planter candidate, indicating that the training process has been completed and that the specific vision for planting is sound and a good reflection of the leader's gifts and calling.
4. Planting and Coaching: Once the candidate receives final approval he will become an official planter within the EFCA and begin the transition phase into planting. In the first 2-3 years of planting each planter will work with an oversight team and coach in order to provide the support, encouragement, and accountability necessary for successful planting.
Friday, August 30, 2013
Thursday, August 29, 2013
I'm not sure how I missed this post back in January when it was originally posted, but this is a really helpful article on how to better engage with non-believers through preaching. The four steps are listed below and the entire article is here.
- Acknowledge and welcome the non-believers in attendance.
- Assume the non-believers in attendance need help in approaching the Bible.
- Challenge non-believers to engage the Bible by acknowledging the oddity of Christian belief and practice.
- Use cultural commonalities to point out worldview inconsistencies.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
One of the steps very early in the life of a church plant involves developing a logo. I found this post by Lawrance Chan very interesting when it comes to what your colors communicate about your "brand". Some good food for thought as you make this important decision early in the life of your church plant.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
In this article Darryl Dash gives us six challenges of church planting as a follow-up to his previous post on the six blessings of church planting. Both helpful for present and prospective church planters.
Monday, August 26, 2013
Steve Timmis, the Director of the Acts 29 Network in Western Europe, reminds us in this video of the root initiative that leads us to plant churches.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Today I worked on stripping down our district planting website to the bare bones and began the rebuilding process. I am looking forward to this site growing to become front door resource for people interested in planting within the district and churches learning how better to participate in the cause of church multiplication. Stay tuned for ongoing updates at www.wemultiplychurches.org.
Monday, August 19, 2013
If you're a Christian you've likely experienced a feeling of urgency for the cause of global mission and a sense of apathy in your own life when it comes to being a light of the Gospel in your work, home, and neighborhood. Though we should be passionate for God's global work, we need to also recognize the significant need that is right before us. Now more than ever, we need to adapt a missionary mentality if we have any hopes of making an influence in our present culture. In his book SoulTsunami Leonard Sweet writes:
Only two countries have more non-believers than the US: India and China. The US is the third largest mission field in the world. Unfortunately, our efforts at evangelizing the unchurched have all the pace of a southern summer. Few believers have relationships, much less friendships with non-believers.
Friday, August 16, 2013
If we are faithful in mission as Christians, we are forced to wrestle with what it means to be in the world and yet also distinctly Christian. Our tendency is to live in dualism,"This is my church life and this is my work life." In contrast to this, the Gospel of Jesus should saturate every aspect of how we view and interact with others in our places of work and life in general. Here are some thoughts from Mason King at The Village blog:
The Christian lives under a tension of duality, looking to participate in and benefit from secular culture while simultaneously being called to live according to God’s ways. The common inclination is to keep the two separate.... The believer’s call is to realize that God is at work in culture through common grace, using all things to carry forth His purposes. This changes the triumphant desire to redeem and restore culture through our own efforts to a gospel-centered response to grace. It sends the Christian into the culture to live, as Timothy Keller puts it, “with Christian distinctiveness,” intentionally walking out the implications of the gospel in each arena or role in life.For the whole article click here.
A call to excellence alone would fall short—many people are excellent at what they do but are driven by motives other than the glory of God. Some Christians pursue success in God’s Name and for His glory but trample the tenets of the gospel in their pursuit instead of displaying thoughtful and articulate application of the gospel to their work. The Christian strives to contribute excellence to the culture through a life marked by Christian distinctiveness. This changes the way we interact with our waiter, our co-workers, our boss and our spouse. It changes the motives of our heart from self-centered indulging or protecting actions to God-focused response and praise.
Walking out the implications of the gospel in your daily life takes thoughtful consideration of how the gospel applies to your work, talents, neighborhood and home. Believing lawyers, teachers, artists, nurses and parents exhibit Christian distinctiveness differently due to the inherent nature of their vocation.... Thoughtfulness of action and speech are the fruits of a heart changed by the grace of God in Christ. This heart sees no divide between a secular and sacred world but sees God’s creation that He is working to redeem. This empowers the imagination of a believer to see God’s design for their work and to strive toward its intended beauty in society. When this is the lens of the heart’s vision, we see opportunities to align our lives to God’s ways at every turn. Our behavior shines like the light it is in the dark world around it.