Thursday, August 13, 2009

Church planting goal set by denominational committee.

A commitment "to cultivate the networks and infrastructure to support 250 new church starts by 2015" has been announced by the Church of the Brethren's New Church Advisory Committee and Congregational Life Ministries executive director Jonathan Shively. The committee and Congregational Life Ministries have the role of providing denominational support to the church planting work initiated by districts in the Church of the Brethren.

"God is doing a new thing through the Church of the Brethren," said the committee in a statement at its webpage "A movement of emerging mission points and church planting is gaining momentum. Passion is rising. Vision is expanding. Commitment is deepening. Networks are developing. People are acting."

The new commitment includes five priorities for the work of the New Church Advisory Committee: prayer, assessment of potential church planters, training for participants in the new church movement, coaching for church planters, and cultivating of resources.

"Prayer is the first priority," said the committee. "Not one single mission or new church will begin without a strong and wide community of prayer." A yearlong denomination-wide prayer emphasis has been announced to undergird the new goal for church planting. The prayer emphasis began in May and will continue through May 2010. Go to for a list of month-by-month suggestions for prayer and a prayer card that may be printed in English or Spanish.

In comments on the need to assess potential planters and the training and coaching that will be provided for church planters, the committee emphasized that "while all ministry gifts are welcome in the church, there are particular qualities, traits, and skills that make it more likely that a church planter will thrive in the challenges of new church development." The committee plans to have an assessment process for new church planters in place beginning in 2010, and has a goal to make sure every church planter has the support and expertise of a trained coach.

Future training opportunities in church planting may include webinars and a variety of workshops and seminars, as well as the biannual conference for the new church movement. The next such conference is scheduled for May 20-22, 2010, on the theme, "Plant Generously, Reap Bountifully" (1 Corinthians 3:6). The event will be held at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind. For more information contact

Source: 8/13/2009 Newsline

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