Archive for the ‘Church Planting’ category

Cultivating Gospel Mission :: PLNTD + New England Conference

May 29, 2012

PLNTD announced today its second regional conference of the year – Cultivating Gospel Mission, scheduled to take place on September 20-22, 2012 in Portland, Maine. Main session speakers will be Scotty Smith and Caesar Kalinowski, with breakout sessions with Jared Wilson. This week only, you can register for 50% off regular ticket price for just $29 (discount ends Friday night). If you live in the New England or Canada area, be sure to check this training event out.

Here’s a blurb from the conference website:

We live in a day where it is commonplace to hear the words “gospel-centered” and “missionally-driven”. The danger, however, is to use those phrases in ways that diminish their meaning to that of a cliché. At the 2012 New England Training Event, PLNTD partners with the Gospel Alliance to focus on why those phrases are grounded in God and His purposes for the church.

Every church planter and pastor should lead their people to live gospel-centered lives on mission as those who have been sent by God. What does that kind of life look like? How does articulate this kind of vision to people in their community? These are the kinds of questions we hope to address as we gather together on September 20-22.

This training event is open to anyone who would like to be instructed and encouraged to cultivate gospel mission, including pastors, church planters, aspiring ministry leaders, leadership teams, and the like.

Unlike the typical conference format, the goal of this training event is interaction, integration and application of teaching and instruction. Our desire is that you leave equipped with practical instruction, edified through meaningful fellowship, and encouraged by Christ-centered passion for greater kingdom advance.

Join us as we press into the call to be oriented around the mission of church and saturated in the message of the gospel!

New PLNTD Audio: Jared Wilson

May 17, 2012

In the beginning of April, PLNTD held its first regional training event focused on “Cultivating Gospel Community” in sunny Southwest Florida. We were privileged to have Steve Timmis and Jared Wilson share God’s Word with us during the weekend. These brothers served us incredibly well by speaking plainly about the power of the gospel while graciously exhorting us to faithful perseverance in building gospel community.

Jared opened and closed the training event with exposition from Isaiah 6, and he also shared in a breakout session about creating a gospel culture using his experience at Middletown Springs Community Church. I commend these MP3s for you to download and be encouraged.

Jared Wilson via PLNTD

1.  Gospel Exultation (Isaiah 6:1-8)
2.  Gospel Expansion (Isaiah 6:9-13)
3.  Creating a Gospel Culture (breakout)

New with RRI: METHODS (May/June 2012)

May 1, 2012

If you have been following my blog for the past six months, you may recall the Roots Reading Initiative which I started for the PLNTD Network. Here’s a brief explanation:

The Roots Reading Initiative, focuses on providing church planters targeted self-feeding opportunities through an informal structure and accountability. The goal of this initiative is for church planters to “deepen their roots” in their understanding of God, the church, gospel, mission, and the world. In doing so, we believe the RRI will be an effective way of keeping church planters “grounded” and growing as leaders, missionaries, and churchmen.

The five areas we believe ministry leaders need to continually cultivate are (1) man, (2) message, (3) mission, (4) marriage, and (5) methods. Through RRI, we tackle one of these areas every two months with books targeted to develop leaders for those purposes. So far, here’s what we have covered:

Nov/Dec 2011 :: MISSION

November: What Is the Mission of the Church? by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert
December: Everyday Church by Steve Timmis and Tim Chester

Jan/Feb 2012 :: MESSAGE

January: Gospel by J.D. Greear
February: Gospel Wakefulness by Jared Wilson

Mar/Apr 2012 :: MARRIAGE

March: The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller
April: What Did You Expect? by Paul Tripp

Starting this week, we are now taking up the area of methods, and here are the books we are working through:

May/June 2012: METHODS

May: The Trellis and the Vine by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne
June: Sticky Teams by Larry Osborne

For each book, a reading schedule is provided for those who participate through our network.  Additionally, discussion questions are provided each week which, when the book is completed, are compiled in a downloadable format for a book-length study guide that can be used to disciple others or train leaders in your context.  To take advantage of learning in community and accessing additional resources through RRI, you need to join PLNTD’s relational communities and jump into the “Training” community online. Now’s a great time join us if you haven’t already!  Leaders cannot afford to have shallow roots and no shade for their people.

PLNTD South Florida Conference – Register & Reserve

February 24, 2012

I’ve enjoyed trekking through South Florida the past couple of weeks (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Ft. Myers, etc.), meeting with pastors and church planters about the upcoming training event, “Cultivating Gospel Community.”

Evangelical shorthand would call it a conference, but we are intending it to be an event with practical help and relevant application to ministry and mission in the local church.  Our hope is that men and women passionate about the gospel, making disciples, and building authentic community will be compelled to come (not just pastors or church planters).

I realize that some (many?) are coming from outside South Florida, and we are glad you are coming! This week, we are giving a heads up for those of you coming from outside the area and looking to book hotel rooms for the weekend of our conference.  This is the peak week of our peak season (spring break, spring training (Red Sox), snowbirds galore, etc.), which means the available rooms will go really fast.

The going rate for hotel rooms right now is $199/night. That’s crazy, I know. But we have worked out a deal to get them for nearly half that price, just $109/night. To take advantage of this rate and reserve your room, follow the instructions on this online newsletter.  If you have not registered already, be sure to do so.

I hope to welcome many of you to sunny South Florida for a great weekend of rejoicing in the gospel and renewing our lives in the mission of the church!

 

Spiritual Gifts and the Promise of Christ

February 15, 2012

Repetition and redundancy can be a good thing, especially when we recognize the importance of remembering.

With all the controversies and debates about spiritual gifts, we need the discipline of remembering, and remembering in particular what Paul repeated over and over again their overarching purpose, namely to edify and build the church.  Look at these excerpts from 1 Corinthians 14, a chapter dedicated to the proper use of spiritual gifts:

“the one who prophesies speak to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation” (v. 3)

“the one who prophesies builds up the church” (v. 4)

“the one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up” (v. 5)

“so with yourselves since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church” (v. 12)

“you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up” (v. 17)

“I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue” (v. 19)

“let all things be done for building up” (v. 26)

“you can call prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged” (v. 31)

What’s the obvious common concern of Paul?  It is that believers might excel in the exercise of their spiritual gifts for building up the church.  He could not be more redundant in this chapter (eight times referring to building up or encouraging others).

And this is not the only place Paul talks about believers building the church.  Consider Ephesians 4.

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ. . . . from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every join with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. – Ephesians 4:11-12, 16

Who builds up the church? All of the saints when they are working full-time in ministry. How do they build up the church? When each member of the body is equipped to grow and work properly. How do they work properly? When they are exercising their spiritual gifts for the common good, the unity of the church, and the mutual care for one another (see 1 Cor. 12).

Now, can you think of any other prominent place in the Bible where “build” is used?  Ah yes, the great promise of Jesus Christ, upon the confession of Peter that He is the Messiah.  Jesus said:

“I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” – Matthew 16:18

The great encouragement we have as believers is that Jesus is the one who is going to do all this.  Jesus is going to build His church.  His promise is as sure as the grave is empty.  But as we believe this promise, how is Jesus going to do this?

I argue that the materials Jesus uses to build His church are the spirit-gifted, spirit-empowered, spirit-filled members of His body.  Don’t disconnect the promise of Matt. 16:18 from the purpose of spiritual gifts in 1 Cor. 14.  When all the spiritual gifts are present and working properly, Christ is present, and He is presently building His church through His people in the power of His Spirit!

We might be tempted to plant and build churches in the power of the flesh, with human ingenuity and fanciful machinations, but the Scriptural blueprint is simple.  Jesus builds by His Spirit through His people for His glory.

Therefore, I conclude:

1.  A church committed to planting and building churches must make equipping saints who are working properly in their spiritual gifting.  We cannot accept substitutes building materials.  The house will crumble if it is not built on Christ and by Christ.

2. Christ is the head of the church, and His promise to build the church should flow through all the members of the body.  A member working effectually to build the church is evidence that they are rightly connected to the head, to Christ.  On the contrary, members not building the church through their gifts leave to question whether the promise of Christ has any tangible difference in their lives now.

3. Pastors, if we believe the promise of Christ and the purpose of the gifts, we must view ourselves as equippers, not merely ministers.  Paul says it is the saints who do the work of ministry.  It is we who do the equipping.  You are in real danger in thinking that the building of the church depends upon you if the practical outworking of the church lies squarely in your hands.  The building of the church lies squarely in Jesus‘ hands, in His feet, in all of His members supernaturally gifted by His Spirit.  Your leadership is important to the body, but that importance will be seen in how well others’ gifts flourish and are found fruitful, not merely the members appreciating the fruitfulness of your gifts.

So let the repetition and redundancy of Paul sink in.  Everything we do should be for building up the church, and with that universal aim, we rejoice in an indefatigable promise.  Jesus will build His church.  Jesus is building His church.  May the gifts He’s supplied reveal His greatness and redound to His glory.

Early Bird Registration for PLNTD South Florida Conference

February 11, 2012

» Get all the info on PLNTD Conference website
» Register Now for just $39 (ends 2/14)

Cultivating Gospel Communities | PLNTD Conference

January 16, 2012

Get all the info here.

Register this week for a special opening week rate of just $29.

We are only making this rate available to the first 100 who register. I would love for you to this training opportunity on how to cultivate gospel communities on mission from Steve Timmis and Jared Wilson, along with local practitioners. More to come . . .

The Outworking of the Gospel [Roots Reading Initiative]

January 4, 2012

Last week, we finished the first installment [Nov/Dec 2011] of the Roots Reading Initiative focused on the mission of the church.  In this installment, we read What Is the Mission of the Church? by Greg Gilbert and Kevin DeYoung (November) and Everyday Church by Steve Timmis and Tim Chester. With each week, discussion questions are made available in the PLNTD Training community, and as each book concludes, we are making a PDF study guide for the entire book that can be used for personal application and training leaders in your own context.

Installment two [Jan/Feb 2012] of RRI begins this week, and the focus is the outworking of the gospel.  The goal is to deepen roots in the nature and implications of the gospel individually and corporately.  The two books that we are focusing on are Gospel: Recover the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary by J.D. Greear (January) and Gospel Wakefulness by Jared Wilson (February).

For those interested in the self-feeding initiative of this installment of RRI, here is the reading schedule for the next two months:

Gospel: Recover the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary
January 1-7                         (1-68)
January 8-14                      (69-144)
January 15-21                    (145-90)
January 22-28                   (191-256)

Gospel Wakefulness
January 29-February 4    (1-58)
February 5-11                     (59-112)
February 12-18                  (113-68)
February 19-25                  (169-218)

If you know a church leader or planter  who could be helped/edified by an informal regiment for personal growth and development, please pass this on. Our desire at PLNTD is to facilitate meaningful and accessible ways of teaching and training those leading the mission in the local church.

PLNTD December e-Newsletter

December 1, 2011

Just as a heads up, the PLNTD December e-Newsletter is out. You can subscribe to the PLNTD newsletter on the PLNTD website.  If you know someone who may be interested in what we’re doing, spread the word by liking it on Facebook or plugging it on Twitter or Google+.

This afternoon, I leave for Nashville, TN where I will be spending the weekend with the great guys leading The Journey Church.  I will spending all day Saturday with their elders and preaching Sunday in their services at Mt. Juliet, Lebanon, and Hartsville.  I appreciate your prayers as I travel and seek to be useful for the encouragement and edification of the folks on mission at The Journey.

PLNTD 2.0

November 14, 2011


As I shared last month
, I have transitioned to working full-time with PLNTD.  This means, among other things, that you will be hearing a lot more about the work we are doing as a church planting network here on my blog.  For the past month, I have been working with our team to refresh everything we are doing, and today it goes live.  I’m calling it PLNTD 2.0.

Just so that you would know, we are currently in the middle of a two-year, multi-phase launch of the network. PLNTD 1.0 focused primarily on resourcing and relational community of the network build.  While continuing to strengthen these components, we are working to add two additional components to the build out, namely church-based residency centers and regional networks.  I’m encouraged where we are right now and look forward to completing the launch of the network and moving forward with the vision to create an environment through which church planters and reproducing churches can flourish in the Great Commission.

If you or your church is looking for a Great Commission cause to support, I encourage you to consider what we are doing and support our work.

Be sure to check out the network refresh and connect with us at the following places online:

PLNTD Website | Cobblestone | Twitter | Facebook | Google+

More to come.

Roots Reading Initiative (New from PLNTD)

October 24, 2011

I’m excited to share with you a new project from PLNTD called the Roots Reading Initiative. Over the past several months, we have been working on the creation of a whole new approach to leadership and networking in church planting through what we are calling the PLNTD ecosystem. We endeavor to create an environment through which church planters and churches flourish in the Great Commission.

The first new project, the Roots Reading Initiative, focuses on providing church planters targeted self-feeding opportunities through an informal structure and accountability. The goal of this initiative is for church planters to “deepen their roots” in their understanding of God, the church, gospel, mission, and the world. In doing so, we believe the RRI will be an effective way of keeping church planters “grounded” and growing as leaders, missionaries, and churchmen.

RRI will consist of bi-monthly installments of thematically-driven self-feeding. By embarking on this challenge with other church leaders, RRI will offer encouragement and accountability that we so often need to press on in growing ourselves in the midst of the daily grind. Each bi-monthly installment will have two books to read–one book for each month, along with discussion questions provided by those in the network.

The first installment of the RRI begins November 1, and the theme is “the mission of the church”.  Here’s the details for the first installment:

RRI Vol. 1 | Nov-Dec 2011 |
The Mission of the Church

November: The Mission of the Church by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert
Nov 6-12             [pages 1-66]
Nov 13-19           [pages 67-140]
Nov 20-26          [pages 141-222]
Nov 27-Dec 3    [pages 223-66]

December: Everyday Church by Steve Timmis and Tim Chester
Dec 4-10            [pages 1-40]
Dec 11-17           [pages 41-96]
Dec 18-24          [pages 97-152]
Dec 25-31          [pages 153-88]

For those who would like to help us get the word out on Twitter, the hashtag is #RRI.

More information will be made available in the Training Community of PLNTD, including when the discussions will take place and additional artwork that you can download for your own use.

» To get in on the Roots Reading Initiative (and the discussions and book study guides), you will need to join PLNTD on Cobblestone.  You can do here.  I hope this new resource will be helpful for church planters, pastors, and other ministry leaders seeking to grow in their leadership and stewardship of their calling.

And now for a personal update

October 6, 2011

2011 has been one of the most eventful years of my life.

As someone who likes to plan and prepare things, I thought I had a good beat on where the Lord was leading me at the beginning of the year.  And yet I can say that the majority of my days this year have been overturned by God’s sovereignty in ways that continually reminded me that He is in control of my life, not me.  I feel like I have been living in James 4:13-16 and Proverbs 16:1-9 for the past eight months.  Let me explain.

In December of last year, I met with my fellow elders for our elders retreat during which time I presented them the need for me to dedicate more time to developing the church planting network I started, called PLNTD.  After much discussion and prayer, my fellow elders affirmed that call and encouraged me in the transition to move full-time into directing the network as it continues to be developed and launched.  Also during this time, the door for ministry in Haiti was wide open, and I was dedicating a significant amount of time organizing mission work, creating systems to fund orphans, and forging partnerships for theological education of Haitian pastors.  At the beginning of the year, it was clear that God was abundantly blessing the work locally and elsewhere.

(more…)

Dever, Platt, and Mohler on Church Planting and the SBC

August 12, 2011

IX Marks hosted a panel discussion at the 2011 SBC Annual Meeting where Mark Dever sat down with David Platt and Albert Mohler to talk about the state of the SBC, church planting, and the Cooperative Program.  Check it.

HT: IX Marks Blog

Church Planter and His Identity in Christ

July 26, 2011

Here’s a continuation of the panel discussion from The Gospel Coalition where Tullian Tchividjian, Dave Harvey, and Mike McKinley talk about the church planter and his identity in Christ.  I really appreciate these guys addressing church planting from a gospel-centered, theologically-grounded perspective.

How does your understanding and appropriating the gospel impact your life as a church planter? That’s a huge question, and these brothers have provided some great answers.

HT: Crossway Blog