Posts

CCPN Roundtable, Githurai, Kenya

To facilitate as many bi-vocational mentors, pastors and planters, Calvary Church Planting Network Roundtables in the United States are a few hours in length. It’s not that way here in East Africa.

The recent CCPN Roundtable hosted at Calvary Chapel Githruai in Kenya took the tone of a retreat as several pastors came early from around the country and Tanzania to spend the night together in prayer and fellowship at the church building. By morning there were groups of church planters, mentors and lead pastors gathered around chai in prayer and fellowship long before the official first session. Old friendships were rekindled, new ones were made.

The first session was Who Should Plant a Church and I was honored to teach it. I wanted people to realize where they fit on the church planting team. My points were the Good Shepherd is building His church, His Spirit is calling out workers to join in, and all people in all churches have a place on the team.

My points were the Good Shepherd is building His church, His Spirit is calling out workers to join in, and all people in all churches have a place on the team.

Pastor Stephen Otieno Nyadenge from Calvary Chapel Lakeside represented the Calvary Chapel Association board of East Africa in the second session by giving an informational message on the affiliation process. Being a mentor of multiple church planters, Pastor Stephen was able to relate the practical side of being sent out and the steps someone goes through to become an affiliated pastor.

The third session was by the roundtable’s Githurai host, Pastor Murigi Kariuki. He titled the message, Nurturing a Church Planting Culture and addressed established churches as well as the new churches represented in the roundtable. His points were based on purposing to plant churches, training to plant churches and equipping those called to plant churches. Pastor Murigi suggested one benefit of the community of Calvary Chapel churches gathered together was to discuss the advantages exchanging interns so potential planters could spend time with other churches with specific agenda points to aid in their calling.

Pastor Steve Kaburia from Evangelical Community Church in Naivasha and in Mataara gave a heart felt and passioned plea in the fourth message and titled it, Following God’s Leading. His message was partially based on the testimony of how God had his team labor in the urban community of Naivasha, but was at the same time tilling soil in a nearby rural tea farming community. While the urban church was in its fledgling stages, it was used to plant the new church in Mataara. He laughed while explaining the first church plant did not seem mature enough to launch a plant, but God found it good to grow the second church to double the size of the first church plant. Appropriately, his object for mentors and planters was not to be locked into preconceived systems or patterns, but to be sensitive to God’s leading.

Pastor Evanson Gitu from Calvary Chapel Rongai is received as a mzee (honored elder) among the Calvary Chapel pastors for his years of service and gave the final teaching. After spending considerable time dealing with the Kenya Revenue Authority (similar to the I.R.S.) to understand the obligations of churches to the government, he gave an informative teaching titled, Give Unto Cesar. Many were surprised to learn of the taxes a church must pay and the penalties for ignoring the law. His exhortation was to protect the churches by honoring the words of Jesus.

His exhortation was to protect the churches by honoring the words of Jesus.

As the day ended, pastors, planters, mentors, visitors and missionaries continued to talk and pray. More worship songs were sung, more chai was drank and then more talk and more prayer. Pastor Stephen Otieno Nyadenge from Calvary Chapel Lakeside invited as many that would come to spend a couple days for the 2016 CCPN Roundtable beginning Monday, August 1.

Ed Compean is a church planting coach based in Nairobi with his wife Kelli, but soon to transition back to the States to serve as director with SSMF. You can read their blog or follow him on Twitter @Ed_Compean.

2014 CCPN Nairobi Roundtable

At the 2013 CCPN Nairobi Roundtable there was the sense of a great movement of God for new church plants throughout Kenya, East Africa and the whole African continent. We spoke of an initiative to encourage planting of 500 new churches in the next decade among the 54 countries, about 2,000 languages, 3,000 tribes and 1.2-billion individuals. This week we held the 2014 CCPN Roundtable themed on equipping and it was good to hear from church planters, mentors and church planting coaches that new churches are being established and progress is being made towards reaching the goal.

The main sessions were themed on equipping, with a side session to minister to and help equip church planter wives wand those that minister to them. I taught a very practical session titled “Equipping Mentors and Church Planters,” and Pastor Murigi Kariuki from Calvary Chapel Githurai presented a very thought provoking session titled, “Equipping the Next Generation.” 

Maybe the most hard hitting message was the final session from Pastor Stephen Otieno Nyandege from Calvary Chapel Lakeside in Kisumu. Using Acts 13:1-3 as his main text, Stephen spoke directly to senior pastors about continuing the equipping of church planters and their families after they have left to begin the work. He connected the importance of the work of the Holy Spirit and the authority of the sending church to identify and support the church planter and then examples of his being helped in the plant at Kisumu for years after he and his family began. Stephen included the need for mentor pastors to visit and actively take part in the new church, especially in helping the new pastors develop vision for their next steps. He then gave examples of how he and the church in Kisumu provides support to men and their families sent to establish churches in Kilgoris, Mbale and Kisii. 

During a chai break we took time for church planters to give three-minute testimonies regarding the work they are called to. There was applause to hear of God’s work of establishing churches in remote villages as well as plans to plant in urban centers. Several people from outside the Calvary Chapel Movement were surprised to hear of the fellowship and support mentors receive from their sending church.

From the eastern edge of this immense continent it is overwhelming to consider the vast stretches of unreached peoples. It can be discouraging to consider the inroads Islam and cults are making in this land. Yet the 2014 CCPN Nairobi Roundtable provided great encouragement and needed momentum. Since 2013 fledgling churches in Kisii, Mataara, and Kagame have come up. We’ve heard testimony of works in progress in places as diverse as Thika, Kilgoris and Mbale. Pastors stood up and were glad to say they believe God is calling them to send planters to numerous areas in 2015. Those numbers are still far from the 500 we spoke of in 2013, but we know great works are going on in Uganda, South Africa, DRC and South Sudan. I rejoice in significant progress and the benchmark the CCPN Roundtable provides to see this.

 

Ed Compean is a church planting coach based in Nairobi with his wife Kelli. You can read their blog or follow him on Twitter @Ed_Compean.

CCPN 2014

CCPN 2014

Reflections on a Church Plant Pt. 2

Ed Compean pastors Calvary Chapel Githurai, in Nairobi, Kenya. For more info, go to the church website at calvarygithurai.org. This is Part 2 of a 3-part blog series as Pastor Ed looks back on church planting. Make sure to read Part 1 here.

My original intent was to simply pass on a list of things I wish I had done better in this church plant. The list is far from exhaustive and though it is not in any particular order, I am noticing that it there are some rough groupings. The first post included, 1) unjam and unhook areas of ministry that are bogging down growth,  2) following up on delegation, and 3) purposely identify and disciple young leaders. In this second post I can see a slight theme based around the maturing of the church…

Endeavor to Pray More

We prayed. We prayed a lot. I wish I had wanted to pray more. Do not misunderstand, I have a deep passion for God, His glory among the nations and His church. I cherish times with God and love to be with Him for the purpose of interceding for what I already know He’ll do. It is only that I sometimes found myself busy with the tyranny of the urgent and actually thought I did not have time to pray. Looking back, I think if personally and corporately we doubled, or tripled, our time in focused prayer we would still have desired more time in the presence of the Lord. My point is not developing discipline, but cultivating a desire for more intimacy.

My point is not developing discipline, but cultivating a desire for more intimacy. 

Establish Systems

We launched with a group of about 20, of which the vast majority were unchurched. It was mostly bunch of new friends that were learning to be God followers and God worshippers. Unfortunately I discovered we could not grow without some basic systems in place, even before it would appear we needed them. It seemed God would bring the people only after we had structure in place rather than adding to His church and then waiting for us to catch up with systems. This gave me a deeper insight into God multiplying the disciples in Jerusalem after the apostles established deacons and systems to care for the widows (Acts 6:7) and encouraged me to establish structures and systems in anticipation of what I wanted God to do instead of waiting.

Emphasize the Baptism of the Holy Sprit

We began as a Bible teaching, Christ exalting and Spirit filled church, but to a visitor the church looked like a reformed and cessationist church. My fears of the excesses of much of Pentecostalism had quenched the Spirit of God and the pendulum had swung too far. Certainly that there is a healthy church in Githurai when there had not been one before is a testimony of the empowering of the Spirit. I wonder what could have happened corporately and among the individuals if we would have emphasized the empowering of the Spirit and allowed for Godly correction rather than quenching before the fact.

Exhibit God’s Faithfulness

Today it is common to hear testimonies as part of the normal worship service at Calvary Chapel Githurai, but I wish we had begun earlier. The testimonies, sometimes as sermon illustrations, have created a climate of expectation. God’s people expect God to save and they expect to be used in bringing people to Him.

God’s people expect God to save and they expect to be used in bringing people to Him.

Some of these challenges are much more complex than the space I am giving them. It is my desire that those involved with church planting will similarly reflect on some of the challenges they are facing.

Reflections on a Church Plant Pt. 1

Ed Compean pastors Calvary Chapel Githurai, in Nairobi, Kenya. For more info, go to the church website at calvarygithurai.org.

Last week was Calvary Chapel Githurai’s seventh anniversary of our launch service. It was also the Sunday I announced I was moving on and the role of lead pastor was being transitioned to Murigi Kariuki. In the days leading up to our final meeting on details and working through how to communicate this change to the saints in Githurai, I contemplated some of my challenges as a pastor. From that time of contemplation I gave Murigi a list that I plan to share in three parts. It was not a list of what he should do, because he will eventually have his own list of challenges. It was a list of my challenges and hopefully a list that will help him. They are not given in any particular order, and I could probably fill many more posts, but these are the points I considered important to pass on to Murigi and hope they help others.

Unjam and Unhook

Too many times in the the early days of the church, ministry would come to a stand still as people in a minor role of ministry oversight did not feel equipped and lacked ability to see the bigger picture of what God was doing in His local church. They only could see that they were doing chai ministry (think coffee ministry) and did not see their service as a point of hospitality and entry into the church. Looking back I wish I had begun a School of Ministry, or similar, to unify the leaders in vision and purpose. The first SoM (using a “Kenyanized” version of the SoM manual on this site) graduated only six students, but most of them ended up being key leaders in the next season of the church plant. All the graduates had a unified vision of the church and became agents of change and could be trusted to take ministry forward.

Follow up on Delegation

I have been told I’m an encourager and I can confidently say God has allowed me to stir up gifts (2 Tim 1:6) in the servants I’m honored to serve with. I’ve also been told I have a tendency to put people and ministry into action and then never follow up. Looking back, I wish I had spent more time not only developing people and ministry, but systematically following up so they would not grow weary of doing good.

Identify and Disciple Young Leaders

Calvary in Githurai has surely been used of God to develop leaders, but I wish I had particularly invested more, into faithful young men who would be able to teach others. Here in Kenya, more than 50% of the population are  considered youth, meaning post-circumcision, but pre-marriage (roughly 18 to 35-years), yet remain among the least reached and ministered to group. I identified too much with potential church planters and families, yet should have spent more time developing youth.

More points will come. My hope is that church planters, and those mentoring planters, will consider what they wish they would have done better. For Timothy types, who are called to stay and not move on to plant another work, I suggest considering how your list may be changed in 2014.

ReEngage Nairobi 2013 Pt. 2

a vision to reach Africa for Christ through the expansion of the Calvary Chapel movement by bruce zachary

During the recent Re:Engage intensive in Nairobi, Kenya I had the opportunity to meet with several leaders in the CC movement in Africa to discuss a vision for reaching the continent of Africa for Christ through the expansion of the CC movement. There is a great need to establish more healthy Bible teaching, Spirit-filled churches throughout Africa.

Presently, there are about fifty-five (55) countries in Africa, and there are Calvary Chapels in ten to fifteen (10-15) of the countries. Some countries are friendly to the gospel (essentially Christian), some are essentially neutral to the gospel, and unfortunately some are clearly hostile to the gospel (fundamental Islamic states). Another relevant dynamic on the continent is the displaced resident aliens. Essentially, people are displaced from their ancestral homeland as a result of famine, economic hardship, military turmoil, political tension, and religious persecution. The situation is reminiscent of the persecution of the church and the edict expelling Christians from Rome. God used the circumstances to draw people to Ephesus as a hub in Asia Minor where Paul could mentor them at the School of Tyrannus [Ac.19:9], and then send them out to support the churches of Asia Minor and ultimately return many to Rome once circumstances allowed [Rom.16].

Presently, there are about fifty-five (55) countries in Africa, and there are Calvary Chapels in ten to fifteen (10-15) of the countries.

In light of the present circumstances, how can we effectively expand the gospel and CC presence on the continent? Here is one proposed part of the solution:

1) Utilize the several existing healthy “larger” CC churches in Africa as training centers. These churches provide a model for “catching” the core values (philosophy of ministry and theology) of CC plus provide a location where prospective church planters can serve in internship program.

2) Establish intentional training through Schools of Ministry [SoM] and Church Planter Training classes, as well as Bible Colleges where feasible.

3) Share the vision to reach the nations of Africa [nation states, and people groups] through the African CC churches, the CCPN site, and calvarychapelafrica.com.

4) Send called men: those with a burden for areas without a CC presence including, but not limited to, men seeking to return to their ancestral homeland to plant. Encourage planting in cities of influence [e.g. Ephesus] while not limiting or discouraging those called to rural or remote areas.

5) Establish church plants with the DNA to establish their own SoM and church planting training classes as they mature. In essence, the church plants have the core value [DNA] to replicate. It would be most be beneficial to encourage missionaries who are mature in their faith, and very familiar with Calvary Chapel core values to support the church plants. Missionaries with these skills would be a great benefit to the core team and would likely be capable of assisting in leadership development including teaching curriculum such as SoM or church planting classes.

6) The new healthy church plants will thus become hubs in previously unreached countries and areas to expand the gospel and the influence of the CC movement throughout the continent of Africa. Keep the training biblical, relational, and Calvary-centric.

7) Therefore, leverage healthy CC churches in Africa as training and sending churches to expand the CC influence in Africa and help reach the continent for Christ.

ReEngage Nairobi 2013 Pt. 1

Re:Engage church planting conference Nairobi, Kenya October 18, 2013 by bruce zachary 

I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the the intensive in Nairobi, Kenya along with our host and East Africa core leader Ed Compean pastor of CC Githurai in Nairobi, and Demitri Nkiforos pastor of CC Cape Town and core leader for South Africa.

It was exactly one year since our first conference at Twin Peaks, California [Re:Engage 2012] when CCPN was birthed in earnest. In the last year, God has generated significant interest in church planting in the CC movement in the Untied States and globally. In the last year, over 450 CC Pastors and potential planters have registered with the CCPN, and many are presently being mentored as planters, and some have already have gone out to plant.

Pastors and prospective planters gathered from various areas in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Barundi, and some nomadic Masai people. The sessions focused on: who should plant a Calvary Chapel, what Calvary is (our unique philosophy of ministry and core values), and how to: mentoring – Jesus’ method of preparing church planters.

One of the pastors in attendance was Matt Pottenger. Matt, his wife Peggy and their two young daughters, came to Kenya as missionaries more than five-years ago. They are presently supporting pastor Stephen Otieno of CC Lakeside, a church at Lake Victoria in Kenya that was planted out of CC Githurai in Nairobi. Pastor Stephen read the Calvary Church Planting Manual [CP manual] as part of his post launch preparation and caught the vision for replicating CC churches on the continent of Africa. Matt is now training a group of 10 men at CC Lakeside using the CP manual.

Dave Zavala, the pastor of CC Nairobi, the director of the CC Bible college in Nairobi, and a CCA leader in East Africa, was also in attendance at the conference. Dave shared how he caught the vision to utilize the CP manual to implement a church planting component at the Bible college.

I was so blessed to meet pastors and prospective planters at the conference. There were so many that were excited, encouraged, and empowered to reach their continent for Christ and His gospel through the expansion of healthy Calvary Chapel church plants. So many of them expressed the great need for healthy Bible teaching churches in a land where “hyper-Pentecostalism,” prosperity preaching, legalism, and the cults are so entrenched. Nevertheless, what so many men expressed to me was their great joy regarding the relational aspect of the Calvary movement.

So many of them expressed the great need for healthy Bible teaching churches in a land where “hyper-Pentecostalism,” prosperity preaching, legalism, and the cults are so entrenched.

Africans in general are far more relational than their counterparts in the west. Time is often perceived as a river that seems to flow forever – a never ceasing supply. So, time is invested into relationships more than task per se. The Calvary movement has emphasized the relational aspect of our network – it is a distinctive. The men at the conference were encouraged on so many levels, but especially by the enhanced relational nature of the mentoring process that CCPN seeks to develop during training as well as post-launch coaching.

The men at the conference were encouraged on so many levels, but especially by the enhanced relational nature of the mentoring process that CCPN seeks to develop during training as well as post-launch coaching.

So, we praise God for the work that He is doing in our movement, and through CCPN, and look forward to expanding His kingdom together.

ReEngage 2013: Nairobi recap

We’ve had a very successful run of ReEngage intensives so far (and still have 1 left) in 2013! So far, ReEngage intensives have happened in 5 U.S. states, 4 countries, on 4 continents! The whole world needs to see and hear what God is doing through the faithful teaching of God’s Word! Here’s a recap of ReEngage Nairobi from Pastor Ed Compean…

—————————

In God’s sovereignty Calvary Chapel was birthed in one of the most privileged American suburban settings in a time of great cultural change. By the power of God’s Spirit that privilege was leveraged to spread God’s word through the planting of Calvary Chapel churches that then planted healthy Calvary Chapel churches far from those origins. While having the honor to host the Calvary Church Planting Network ReEngage 13 Conference in Nairobi, I considered how God is continuing to spread that influence in diverse places. At this conference I could see great honor and reverence for the early work of the Spirit in the movement, but I could also see the future of Calvary Chapel is beginning to look much different.

At ReEngage Nairobi we were asked questions that were likely never considered in the Southern California settings of our founders. A young Masai church planter working among a group of pastoralists began the question and answer session by asking, “If we follow the shepherds with their cows and only meet under a tree, is that still a Calvary Chapel?” It was not long ago that meeting in school cafeterias, the use of electric guitars in worship, and pastors wearing jeans raised legitimate questions for churches in the suburbs of our origins. The questions being raised for the next generation of churches are just as legitimate and is evidence of God spreading the influence of Jesus through the Calvary Chapel Movement for another generation.

“If we follow the shepherds with their cows and only meet under a tree, is that still a Calvary Chapel?”

As God continues to use our movement among some of the least reached and hardest to reach peoples, these and others will be real questions for church planters and mentors to work through. Some of the questions will be challenging our methodologies like working through our idea of verse by verse Bible teaching among peoples that do not have a Bible translated into their mother tongue. Other situations reveal the depth of sin like when one pastor asked, “What can we do when someone comes into the church with multiple wives?” He continued to ask if baptizing a polygamist is permissible.

A few generations ago God used the Calvary Chapel Movement, and others, to draw drugged and burned out hippies to Himself in what some have called a beautiful and unique work of the Spirit. There is still much work to be done, but it is my belief that God is again doing a grand supernatural move of His Spirit in reaching the final peoples very far from that original work. As I consider the churches and, Lord willing, future churches of our movement here in Africa, I praise Him that He is again using our movement in a mighty way. There was a day when barefooted hippies and surfers forced people back to the Book of Acts to define church. It is exciting to again go to the Bible to consider what the next generation of Calvary Chapel churches will look like among tribal peoples, urban slum dwellers, pastoralists and in dense African cities.

—————————

We wanted to give you a visual of our latest ReEngage intensive that happened in Nairobi, Kenya on October 18. Pastors Ed Compean (Calvary Chapel Githurai) and Bruze Zachary (Calvary Nexus) led the intensive. The turn out was great and God moved in a powerful way as they sought to train up more church planters and equip mentors. Here’s a look at our Kenya intensive…