A study of church planting methods with an emphasis on spiritual preparation and skill development.
This course covers skills normally used when planting new congregations. The prerequisite for this course is Formation of Spiritual Disciples (PL103). Students will be strengthened spiritually during this course to enable them to apply the other skills needed for planting churches. Students will gain basic mastery of important issues and skills including: biblical patterns for establishing a congregation, when does a group of people become a church, different ways to start local churches, how to excite (motivate) church members to serve on a team, finding people to make a team, growing prayer partners, defining a target area, making contacts, persons of peace, creating and growing small groups, growing local leaders, and contextual issues for each community. This class will also talk about different ways to work in urban (city) communities, rural communities, and villages.
Starting new local churches is the most effective way of bringing people to know and follow Christ. Church planting is the most integrative of all the activities of a local church. The spiritual formation of a student is a key element in helping people actually establish new congregations. Church planting skills should be built on the foundation of a deep walk with Christ. This course could be taught over several years in conjunction with a local church or district plan for starting churches. Establishing a new congregation from nothing to a fully organized church requires a very broad range of abilities. Normally, this requires a team effort supported both by a coach and an existing local church. Only a few persons have been gifted with the abilities to do this solo, and it is notable that both Jesus and Paul used teams. Thus, most of the skills necessary focus around the building of various teams to support the efforts of establishing a new congregation. At the same time, there is a broad range of outcomes that apply and will be fulfilled in students’ lives as they practically engage in church planting.
Since establishing a new congregation normally takes between 1 year to 4 years, this course is not designed to always accomplish that task, but to introduce students to the wide range of issues and give them beginning practice in those skills. It may be possible for some institutions to partner with a local church or district to help the student over a period of years to establish a new congregation.
CP- 4 Ability to communicate the Gospel in biblical and relevant ways both in public and private settings.
CP-5 Ability to actively initiate and participate in church multiplication.
CP-8 Ability to determine direction and personnel to equip God’s people for works of service.
CP-9 Ability to organize, promote, and implement discipleship for all.
CP-10 Ability to lead and to discover, develop, and deploy leaders.
CH-2 Ability to love God and neighbor with all one’s heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to live out the experience of entire sanctification.
CX-3 Ability to analyze and describe community and congregational dynamics.
CX-9 Ability to explain and effectively use missiological and cross-cultural principles to communicate the gospel in relevant ways in different contexts.
CX-11 Ability to develop relationships within and across cultures with the purpose of communicating the gospel.
ACC-2 Explain and demonstrate how the Christian life of accountability is shown in relational integrity, leadership integrity, and financial integrity toward God, church leaders, within marriage, and in other relationships.
ADM-2 Explain and demonstrate how minister lead in love while balancing the demands of administration, leading with vision, following those in authority, and the shepherding concerns of the church.
ADM-5 Demonstrate how to teach and equip the members of the congregation with the knowledge and tools needed to fulfill the mission of the church using the resources of all levels, boards, and auxiliaries with good stewardship and reporting procedures.
CED-3 Demonstrate how to evaluate and prioritize church and community issues in light of social and environmental aspects in order of urgency. Actively collaborate with local officials, demonstrating an awareness of their roles, and seek to bring appropriate solutions that make the church a positive asset in bringing remedy or relief.
CED-4 Demonstrate active collaboration with local officials, demonstrating an awareness of their roles, and seek to bring appropriate solutions that make the church a positive asset in bringing remedy or relief.
DIS-4 Use the reading of God’s Word to foster one’s spiritual growth for personal devotions.
DIS-5 Explain the essential concepts of discipleship: what is a disciple, how to be a disciple, why would a person become a disciple, and how to make more disciples
DIS-15 Recognize the importance of discipling children and youth and develop a plan for this in the local church.
EVA-1 Demonstrate Christlikeness by bearing witness to salvation in Christ to a non-believer.
EVA-2 Demonstrate passion and urgency for reaching the lost by developing contact points and relationships among the unsaved in the community. Develop holistic approaches that consider the physical and emotional needs within the community.
EVA-3 Explain how to create church outreach models that give room for interaction with not-yet-believers. Build an inventory of felt needs in the community and discover ways the church can be a part of fulfilling those felt needs. Demonstrate how to communicate evangelistically and to be engaged with and equip others in personal and congregational evangelism.
EVA-4 Demonstrate at least 5 culturally and age appropriate patterns for presenting salvation to non-believers in their community. Demonstrate how to tell the stories and theology of the Bible to non-believers using language that is easy to understand and appropriate to all ages.
EVA-5 Demonstrate intentionally building and modeling strong and honest relationships with non-believers; praying for the not yet saved and teaching others to do the same; bringing grace into others’ lives through helping to meet felt needs and being an example of righteous living. Explain how to present Christ’s claims on a person.
ICO-2 Identify various tangible ways the church can connect with the community and demonstrate involvement in the community.
LEA-2 Demonstrate the role of the team in leadership development and how to develop trust between the team members using personal integrity. Explain how to show each person in a team how important they are to the team.
LEA-4 Explain how the biblical description of the body of Christ relates to teams; how a Wesleyan perspective of spiritual gifts and the fruit of the Spirit impact the function of a team, the role of VMOST (Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics) for a team, impact of social media, and historical examples of teams.
LEA-5 Demonstrate the ability to conceive and articulate purpose, mission, and vision, and to develop strategic plans in a local church.
LEA-7 Explain the benefits of mentoring from a biblical and theological perspective, the goals and purpose, the selection process for mentoring (prayer, issues such as gender and age); and the difference between formal and informal mentoring. Explain the role of evaluating and accountability in the mentoring relationship and the difference between a friend and a mentor.
LEA-8 Demonstrate how to identify tasks as opportunities for team development. Develop and articulate a strategy for team creation, team endurance, and team termination.
PRA-1 Model the prayers of Christ and His relationship to the Father through a strong passion for a life of prayer shown by devoting time to prayer and keeping a prayer journal, including a list of lost people for whom God has made them responsible.
SMG-3 Explain potential conflicts that threaten a healthy small group and church and how to deal with these potential conflicts in a family or small group. (Such as: becoming too self-focused, gossip, exclusiveness, lack of clearly defined start and end dates, loss of purpose, power struggles between groups, thinking that just talking makes the group important, disconnected from the mission of the congregation).
Allen, Roland. The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church: And the Causes That Hinder It. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 1997.
Garrison, David. Church Planting Movements: How God Is Redeeming a Lost World. WIGTake Resources LLC, 2004.
Ott, Craig, and Gene Wilson. Global Church Planting: Biblical Principles and Best Practices for Multiplication. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2011.
White, David. Your Church Can Multiply. Philippine Challenge, Inc., 2000. http://missionarytraining.org/main/chmult.htm
- The local school’s attendance policy should be placed here.
- Bible Reading and Prayer Journal: Students should read through the Bible as designated in the Master Plan for Bible Reading in the Course of Study. For this course, students will read Deuteronomy 27 – Joshua 24 and Luke 10 – 20. The focus of the Scripture reading and prayer time for this course is on students’ response to God’s call to love others. Sometime during each week, in response to what God is peaking to them about, students should determine one tangible way to express love to others. This may be a family member, a neighbor, friend, co-worker, or stranger. Students will then write at the close of the week at least one paragraph of 200 words reporting their experience and what God taught them through this experience.
(Outcomes CH-2, ACC-1, DIS-4, PRA-1)
- Local Community Project: Teams of two students will research a community by gathering stories and histories from community members. These stories will include at least (as a minimum) two businesses, and two homes and one local official of some type. Students will also observe the community and make notes about the type of community it is, what features or characteristics it has, what the majority culture is and what minority cultures are present, what places of worship are present, what the spiritual atmosphere seems to be, if there is any evidence of need for a new church. A written or oral report will be given to the class. If oral, half (½) of the report will be delivered by each of the team members and the report must be at least 20 minutes long. If written, each student will take responsibility for a different section of the report, the report must be at least 8 pages double spaced, or a total of 2000 words if hand written.
(Outcomes CP-4, CP-10, CH-2, CX-3, CX-11, CED-3, CED-4, EVA-5, ICO-2)
- Local Church Project: Using the same team of two people as before, and based on the community research done, plan to help motivate your local church to start a new church in that community. Make specific plans, who would you talk to? What activities would you promote? How would you help them see the burden for the lost in that area? What potentials would you emphasize? How would you gather a prayer team to help you? The project can be given orally or in writing. A written or oral report will be given to the class. If oral, half (½) of the report will be delivered by each of the team members and the report must be at least 10 minutes long. If written, each student will take responsibility for a different section of the report, the report must be at least 4 pages double-spaced, or a total of 1000 words if hand written.
(Outcomes CP-4, CP-5, CP-8, CP-9, CP-10, CX-3, CX-9, ADM-2, ADM-5, CED-3, DIS-15, EVA-1, EVA-2, EVA-5, LEA-5)
- Small Group Practice: Teams of 4 to 5 students will be gathered for in-class practice of recruiting and implementing various types of teams. These teams will stay together for the duration of the course. If some students are from the same local church, they should be placed on the same teams as much as possible. This is a participation grade and the teacher or an assistant will make notes on the overall participation of each student.
(Outcomes CP-8, CP-9, CP-10, CX-9, DIS-5, DIS-15, EVA-3, LEA-2, LEA-8, SMG-3)
- Section Tests: The teacher will present a test over the previous section’s materials before each new section. These tests will review the main points covered and be include a wide range of quizzing styles.
(Outcomes CX-3, CX-9, DIS-5, EVA-3, EVA-4, LEA-4, LEA-7, SMG-3)
- While not counted for grading, extensive prayer will be emphasized in each session. At least 10 to 15 minutes of prayer can be devoted to prayer, over the whole time the module / class is being offered, including each of the students being prayed for specifically that God will make them successful in helping start new churches.
Community Project 35%
Local Church Project 20%
Small Group Practice 15%
Section Tests 20%
45-59% (Passable for the certificate level and toward the requirements for being ordained in the Church of the Nazarene)
If a student marks a final grade lower than 45% he or she must take the course again for credit at the diploma level
- Introduction to Church Planting
- Framework for starting a new Church from an existing local church
- Styles of Church Planting
- Motivating the Local Church
- The need for Prayer teams and coaches in Church Planting
- Teams for outreach and establishing a new congregation.
- Where do we plant? Defining a target area.
- Matching the team to the area
- Making Contacts in the Target Area
- Overcoming Obstacles and Spiritual Strongholds