Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Training a New Generation of Planters

On July 13-15, 2009 Church Planting Canada (http://www.churchplantingcanada.ca/) presented a Church Planter Summit for church planters in Alberta and British Columbia. A summit (sometimes called a boot-camp) is training for those who are in the process of planting a church or are about to plant a church. Ideally it fits in soon after a planter has been assessed and has a vision in mind for where they would like to plant a church.

Gord Fleming (Director of Church Planting for the BC Conference of Mennonite Brethren) and Keith Shields (Lead Minister of LifeHouse Christian Church) were the primary facilitators and presenters to 20 planters representing 11 plants in various stages of development in Calgary, Edmonton, Chilliwack, Surrey, Langley, Sechelt, and Vancouver. These planters were from Mennonite Brethren, Evangelical Free, Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, Apostolic Churches of Pentecost, and Brethren fellowships.

Other presenters included Mark Anderson (Marineview Chapel), Jerry Conner (The Bridge Church), Cam Roxburgh (Southside Community Church, Forge Canada, Church Planting Canada), Bindu Sidhu (Lead Planter of The Life Centre in Abbotsford), Ray Woodard (National Advocate for Church Starting, Canadian National Baptist Convention) and John Caplin (John F Caplin Coaching and Consulting, Church Planting Canada).

This summit was designed to lead planters through a process whereby they walk away with a coachable strategy for planting their church. The planters came with their visions, their ideas, their models, the beginnings of core values and the summit helped them sharpen these into a coachable plan. Topics covered included “Counting the Cost,” “Core Values,” “Vision,” “Mission,” “Assembling a Prayer Team,” “Fund Raising,” “Transforming the Neighbourhood,” “Servant Leadership,” and “Guarding the Heart.” At the end, each planter made a presentation to the rest of the summit showing their strategy for planting a church in their target area.

God is raising up a new crop of labourers who are willing to plant churches and bring the Kingdom of God to our country. Many of these planters and potential planters will continue to educate themselves and prepare for planting churches. We too need to continually educate ourselves and pray that God might give us the abilities to reach this nation for Christ. This fall we have an opportunity to participate in a national event focussed solely on renovating our country with the Good News of the Kingdom of God. Plan now to take in Renov8, the national congress on church planting presented by Church Planting Canada. It will be held in Calgary on November 17-20, 2009 (http://www.thecongress.ca/). Pray to the Lord of the Harvest that we might see many new churches planted.

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