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Newsletter — August 2019

Thinking Outside The Box

Dale Spaulding, Director, Passion for PlantingOne common characteristic we see in church planters is an ability to think creatively and find new ways to serve their communities and reach lost people. They think outside the box to forge their own unique pathways in pursuit of the vision God’s given them.

Thirty years ago, new churches in the United States could attract a crowd by putting out signs and advertising their sermon series. That’s because a generation ago the Church was where people looked to for answers in dark times. It was where couples would find support for their marriages and morality for their kids. The local church was a harbor of hope for the community.

That’s just not the case in many regions of the country anymore. This weekend more people will go to yoga and brunch on Sunday than will attend a local church. I don’t write this to discourage you, but to remind all of us what we already know. We need to be creative in how we reach our culture with the gospel.

That’s why this month’s newsletter offers ideas and tools to help you think outside the box so you can pursue your mission to give every man, woman, and child of your community repeated opportunities to hear, see, experience (and respond) to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

-Dale Spaulding, Director

August 2019 – Contents

  • Training Everyday Missionaries 
  • Thinking Inside The Walls
  • Foundations: Virtual Training Experience
  • Outreach Ideas

Training Everyday Missionaries

Finding a great venue, advertising with eye-catching signs, and designing a slick website isn’t going to attract people to church like those tools have in the past. If we’re going to be successful in making disciples in this increasingly post-Christian culture, we’re going to need develop new methods for engaging our communities. 

One effective way to do this is to train our people to share their faith story. Whether you’re a church planter or a leader of an established church, be faithful with the people God’s placed under your leadership by training them to be missionaries where they live, work, and play. Coach them on how to craft and share what God has done in their lives.

Learn how to craft your story and help others do the same by checking out these resources from CRU: Your Story Is God’s Story and Your Personal Testimony video. 

Thinking Inside The Walls

We sometimes think of church plants as the research and development (R&D) arm of the Church. They’re always on the front lines coming up with creative ways to share the gospel with people far from God. In order to reach people that have yet to be reached, the church will need more of this type of R&D thinking. Thinking like this is what led Gateway Church in Texas to plant a campus in a nearby prison. Read about Gateway’s New Campus to learn how this expression of the local church is leading captives to freedom through Christ.

If you’re interested in learning more about how your church can impact nearby prisons with the gospel, check out the resources provided by Community Christian Church at Community Freedom


At Passion for Planting we’re thinking outside the box to offer our church planting training to planters through a new training experience called Foundations. It’s a one-day virtual training experience designed to introduce the foundational strategies, practices, and principles of church planting. Through 15 fast-paced learning sessions, Foundations will equip future planters with practical knowledge, tools and resources for their church planting journey. 

Foundations is happening on Thursday, September 26th. Registration is $29, but that will increase to $49 starting September 1st. To learn more about Foundations (and to register), click HERE.

Outreach Ideas

As a teen, Dietrich Bonhoeffer began questioning how his church was pursuing its mission. The German Church in the 1920’s and 30’s seemed more like a country club than a gospel mission outpost to him. This led him to write Santorum Comminio (Communion of Saints), his doctoral dissertation. In this work, he described the church as the visible body of Christ represented by the universal body of believers. In his own words, “Christ existing as church-community” adding that “the church is the presence of Christ in the same way that Christ is the presence of God.”

Years later while imprisoned by the Nazis, he wrote, “The Church is the Church only when it exists for others…not dominating, but helping and serving. It must tell men of every calling what it means to live for Christ, to exist for others.” Think about that for a second. Does your community know your church exists for others – for them? If they don’t, show them that you do by reaching out to them with the love of Jesus. 

Your church can exist for your community. Encourage your church to be the church in, for, and with their neighbors this fall. Check out our church Outreach Ideas list for ideas on how your church can do this. Then develop a comprehensive Outreach Strategy using our template to help you dream about the impact your church can make in your community as you work together as the hands and feet of Jesus. 

Photos from Diana Parkhouse, Austin Distel, Kyryll Ushakov, and Anna Earl from Unsplash.