Church Planting. Gospel Leading.
We currently offer three different programs focused on developing Church Planters or Gospel Leaders. The Church Planter track is 2 years and requires a larger time commitment. The 1-year track is for Gospel Leaders of all kinds and is designed to work for men and women who want to grow as Learners, Servants, Missionaries, and Family. The Gospel Immersion 3-month track is a condensed version of the Gospel Leader program designed for any who desires to be trained and equipped but has a less flexible schedule (ex. graduated college students, parents, high school students, etc.).
The Church Planter program has been reverse engineered from the Acts29 application and assessment process. We began by asking the question of what an Acts29 approved church planter “looks like” and then worked backwards to create a training regimen that builds that type of planter. We drew heavily on the work of Darrin Patrick and his book, Church Planter, as well as the 10 characteristics and 60 associated micro-skills synthesized by Scott Thomas, president of Acts29. We also integrated theological, missional, and Gospel-centered content from Porterbrook and BILD in an effort to create an easily scalable program that can be replicated within the context of a local church.
(By Scott Thomas)
- Spiritual Vitality
- He gives evidence of a personal relationship with Jesus and a transformed life.
- He has a vibrant devotional life, prayer life and spiritual disciplines.
- He has a deep commitment to Biblical authority
- He shows evidence of the fruit of the Spirit and that the gospel is presently at work in his life.
- He gives evidence of a Spirit-filled, Spirit-led and Spirit-controlled life.
- He confesses the life of an Elder above reproach.
- Theological Clarity
- He possesses a clear understanding of the doctrines of faith.
- He has a right understanding of the centrality of the gospel
- He holds to a Reformed soteriology.
- He is committed to the local church as an expression of a gospel community on mission.
- He exercises grace toward those who hold to other views of theology.
- He holds to an ecclesiological model of Father-Son-Spirit to male elders to congregation.
- He demonstrates an ability to learn, grasp and communicate theological concepts.
- Clarity and Strength of Calling
- He communicates a compelling personal call to plant a church in this area at this time.
- His wife shares his calling to plant.
- He has demonstrated commitment and sacrifice in obeying the call to plant a church.
- He has a clear, compelling vision for the church plant that motivates others.
- He has been commended for ministry by my sending church.
- Strong Marriage and Family Life
- He exhibits a healthy marriage (loving, serving, mutual submission, kind, communicative, respectful
- He demonstrates integrity and stewardship in managing finances.
- His family members exhibit joy in serving the mission.
- He has shown commitment to raising and providing for his family in an exemplary way.
- He understands balance with family and ministry.
- He professes healthy sexual relationship and purity in his marriage
- Relationship Building
- He establishes and maintains healthy relationships.
- He takes the initiative to meet new people; he is friendly.
- He is a conversationalist, including listening skills.
- He is a team builder who equips others for effective ministry.
- He is empathetic and compassionate towards others.
- He displays patience and sincerity with others.
- Leadership Abilities
- He has a clear and reproducible system for leadership development.
- He has shown that he is able to accomplish tasks with limited resources.
- He has the ability to raise up men to become leaders in church, home, business and community
- He portrays resilience under opposition and setbacks.
- He is adaptable to meet needs, identify barriers and articulate vision
- He organizes teams of people to accomplish goals (using time, resources and personnel effectively).
- He demonstrates courage to lead others who are not easily following.
- Emotional Health / Stability
- He is able to identify his own strengths and weaknesses.
- He displays confidence without arrogance.
- He is able to accept constructive criticism and input from other
- He is willingly accountable to others in community.
- He exhibits flexibility and adaptability to changes and needs.
- He is a problem-solver.
- Missional Lifestyle
- He consistently and effectively shares his faith with others in a manner understood by the unchurched.
- He is committed and passionate to reach the unchurched throughout the entire city.
- He understands the cultural context of his proposed church plant (behaviors, attitudes, idols.
- He leads others in a missional lifestyle.
- He has meaningful relationships and rapport with unchurched people.
- He is a cultural fit to the area where the church will be planted.
- Disciple-Making Skills
- He has a clear and effective plan for discipleship.
- He preaches with effectiveness.
- He is skilled in establishing and multiplying gospel communities (discipleship, missional small groups,
- learning teams, etc).
- He inspires others toward spiritual maturity.
- He models a lifestyle of following Jesus.
- Entrepreneurial Aptitude
- He has demonstrated past successes in starting new ventures
- He is an innovative and strategic visionary.
- He is highly energetic and enthused about starting a new work.
- He shows ability to enlist others in new ventures.
- He is a self-starter.
- He has a willingness to work intensely for an extended period of time.
Acts: Keys to the Establishment & Expansion of the First-Century Church
Determine the fundamental biblical principles regarding the mission of the Church and its role in missions and develop guidelines and strategies from these principles for local church involvement.
Pauline Epistles: Strategies for Establishing Churches
Determine the fundamental biblical principles for growing and strengthening (establishing) a church to maturity and developing a strategy for implementing the biblical forms and functions of a church necessary for making and keeping it strong.
The Essentials of Sound Doctrine
Build a contemporary didache—an Early Church manual to establish believers in the essentials of the Apostles’ teaching. This contemporary didache must be founded solidly upon the faith delivered by the Apostles; seasoned by the historical effort of the Church; and be eminently relevant to our present cultural situations.
Leaders and the Early Church
Brings leadership training back to the center of the local church in a way that will empower churches to participate in the expansion of the gospel with the same vision and effectiveness as the first church at Antioch.
Interpreting the Word I
Gain the skills and insight for identifying the author’s intention for writing, as it is expressed in the text he has written, as the determinant of meaning. Then, out of that meaning, determining the significance of the text for today.
Preaching, Teaching, and Worship in the Early Church
Develop the ability to preach and teach within the five sermonic forms of the Early Church: evangelistic, catechetical, expository, prophetic, and festal. These forms grow from the integration with sound hermeneutical principles rooted in author’s intention, literary design, the theology of each book and canonical section of the Scriptures, and related to the multi-level needs for teaching and establishing local churches in the Apostles’ teaching.
Habits of the Heart
Determine the necessity of every believer embracing sound doctrine in the habits that under gird life and ministry, coming to conviction regarding its role in the lifelong pursuit of purity and wisdom.
Covenants, Unity of Scripture and Biblical Worldview
Understand the basic message of the Scriptures and the major motifs of both testaments as a basis for developing a life view that is consistent with God’s plan and purposes.
Starting from the position that all life is for the Glory of God, this module looks at what it means to live a life for that glory. It will mean loving God and loving others, shaped by the cross and looking to the future glory that we will share with Jesus. Having laid this foundation the module then examines how this impacts daily issues such as decisions, friendship and possessions.
Reading God’s Story: Introducing Exposition And Biblical Theology
This module will help you get a handle on the basics of understanding and teaching from the text of the Bible itself and seeing how the Bible as a whole fits together.
Missional Community Life
It’s all about Mission… and this module shows you how.
Traditionally apologetics has been the attempt to show the Christian faith to be rational. However this makes the mistake of thinking that the rejection of Christianity stems from a rational argument. The Bible begs to differ. The problem is not rational, but the human heart. The heart needs something more than arguments to change it. What role then has apologetics? This module examines this question.
The gospel impacts every area of life. This module examines some specific areas and shows how the gospel engages them.
It’s all about Mission… and this module shows you how.
This module looks at the issue of the impact of God’s people upon the world, and the responsibility of God’s people for the world.
Bridging the gap between what we are and what we ought to be is one of God’s great interests, and it ought to be ours as well. We need to change. A shepherd’s role is to help others change. Therefore it is critical that we understand how change takes place in our own lives and in the lives of those around us.
2000 Years Of The Great Commission
This module looks at the history of the church over the past 2000 years. In this module you will look at key elements of church history including the early church, the Reformation, the Anabaptists and the modern missionary movement.
Keeping It Missional
It’s all about Mission. And this module looks at how everyday activities of the church can be kept all about mission.
This module helps you understand ‘culture’ and engage with it from a gospel perspective.