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Newsletter September 2020

A Time of Transition

Dale Spaulding, Director, Passion for PlantingIt’s bittersweet to share with you today that this will be my last month serving as the Director of Passion for Planting. Starting in October, Patrick Bradley, our Project Management Lead, will begin serving as our Director of Operations managing the day-to-day operations of our ministry. 

God has been so good.  I’ve been so blessed.  Blessed by the country I love through serving 22 years in the U.S. Navy. Blessed with my 15 year career as an engineer with The Boeing Company.  And blessed even more when God called me into vocational ministry 8 years ago at age 55 to serve church planters. Now I’ll be entering a new season trusting God will pour out his blessings again.  Yes, God has been so good!

I have a dream of traveling across the country visiting the churches we’ve help start. So someday you just might see this old grey-haired fellow sitting with his amazing wife Nancy in the back corner of your church.

I recently had the opportunity to reflect on church planting during a podcast interview with Matt Dabbs, Curator of Wineskins.org.  I hope and pray you may be encouraged by this podcast.

I’m moving on, but the mission of Passion for Planting remains steadfast and focused. We exist to equip church leaders to start healthy multiplying churches. We will continue to develop tools and resources to help church planters make disciples and plant new communities of faith. We will continue to serve you on the front lines!

Let me personally thank you for the many encouraging notes we receive after publishing our monthly newsletter. We put it together each month to encourage you, challenge you and help you pursue your calling. 

God Bless you as you serve our Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart. Pray for me as I pray for you!

-Dale Spaulding, Director

August 2020 – Contents

  • Planting Amidst A Pandemic
  • Disciple Making Strategy Template
  • Why Be Portable
  • Foundations Training
  • Church Planter Boot Camp 

Planting Amidst A Pandemic

Just as God’s presence could never be contained inside the four walls of the temple, so God’s people were never meant to be contained within the four walls of a church building. Even if your church doesn’t own a building, COVID-19 has helped us see how strong (or weak) our churches have been at equipping God’s people to be the hands and feet of Jesus in their world. 

At Passion for Planting, we believe God can redeem this pandemic by helping churches think outside the box about how we pursue our mission as disciple makers. We see opportunities for training believers to be missionaries in their own neighborhoods and parents to be the primary spiritual influencers in their kids’ lives.  We see opportunities for churches to plant online churches and campuses. We see opportunities for churches to be stronger coming out of COVID-19 than they were going in. Do you see that, though?  

To help you see the opportunities that are knocking on our door, listen to this podcast entitled COVID-19 and the Future of Church Planting and Multisite from Daniel Im and NewChurches.com. In it Daniel and Josh Gagnon offer several insights and ideas on how churches can adapt their ministry model to continue making disciples now and for generations to come. 

Disciple Making Strategy Template

 One thing COVID-19 hasn’t changed is the mission of the church. It’s always been and will always be making disciples of all nations. We have that mandate from Jesus himself, so nothing will change that. However, our strategy for making disciples might need to change in order to adapt itself to a changing world. If people are spending more time at home online, the church should figure out how to reach people online. If more people are spending time outside walking their dogs, we should figure out ways to minister to people as they walk their dogs. 

Whatever your ministry model and local context, it would be helpful to focus your efforts around a strategy to make disciples who make disciples. That means you need to determine the best method for training people to hear God’s voice daily and follow His leading. What might that strategy look like in your church? We’ve developed a Disciple Making Strategy Template to help you answer that question. This free template will walk you through several key questions to help you determine your game plan for making disciples in your specific context and culture. 

Why Be Portable

We’ve learned many valuable lessons since COVID-19 multiplied into a worldwide pandemic. One thing we’ve learned is how dependent the church in the West had become on a Sunday morning worship gathering. Hopefully, through this season we’ve been reminded that the church is the people and not the building. 

One temptation church planters face after planting is acquiring a permanent facility. While having your own space isn’t a bad thing, we’ve seen that it can distract new churches from pursuing their mission of making disciples and starting new churches. Instead of focusing their time and money on people, the building begins to consume those resources. If you’re feeling that temptation to get your own permanent facility, make sure you count the cost before you do, and consider the benefits of portability, which Carey Nieuwhof highlights in his blog post  Why Portable Church Should Be A Permanent Part Of The Future Church

Foundations Training

If God is calling you to plant a church, don’t pursue that calling alone. Seek wise counsel at every stage of your journey, whether you’re still wrestling with your calling or in the throes of planting now. At every stage, a church planter must be growing as a leader that’s learning from others who have gone before them. 

That’s why we’re offering a ONE-DAY virtual training opportunity to help leaders like you beef up their ministry toolbox. It’s called Foundations. This training will introduce you to foundational practices and principles of church planting.  The next one will be streaming live on October 6th. For more information and to learn how you can join in on this webinar from the comfort of your home, visit: Foundations

Church Planter Boot Camp

It’s always helpful to have the right tools for the job. That’s why we focus on equipping church planters with tools, knowledge, ideas and resources that will help them turn their church planting vision into reality. Offering church planter practical tools is what makes boot camp training so beneficial. Research affirms this: read here about the correlation between training and the health of a new church.

The correlation exists because unlike traditional seminary training, specific church planting training (like our Passion for Planting Boot Camp), doesn’t just teach theory. We supply church planters with practical resources and strategies you’ll rely on as you cultivate communities of disciple makers.

By participating in our boot camp, you will not only receive practical training on disciple making, outreach, fundraising, assimilation, leadership reproduction, and legal issues; you’ll learn how to develop your own comprehensive Launch Strategy with the help of experienced church planters. Our next boot camp is scheduled November 9th-13th in the Washington, DC area. Reserve your spot today!

Photos by Providence Doucet, Julian Wan, and Franck V. from Unsplash.