Book Review: Global Church Planting: Biblical Principles and Best Practices for Multiplication

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In the last years there has been much attention to church planting resulting in innumerable books, blogs, networks and workshops. With only a few exceptions, these modern resources have separated church planting from missionary work. Craig Ott and Gene Wilson, through Baker Academic, have written Global Church Planting: Biblical Principles and Best Practices for Multiplication. Like the Bible, these two experienced cross-cultural church planters and academics do not separate church planting from missionary work. In doing so, they provide what will likely become a standard resource for the next generation of missionary church planters.

At 464 pages, Global Church Planting is broad in scope. Each of the four sections reads like its own book. Within each of those sections are not only chapters full of suggested methodologies, numerous case studies (including a study of Horizon’s work in Japan), and graphics explaining various views on planting churches, but also and extensive works section for further study if desired.

In the first section, entitled “Biblical Foundations,” Ott and Wilson bring ecclesiology and missiology together to show the planting of churches is God’s instrument to complete His mission to seek and save that which is lost. From that view they explain to readers, “Two aspects of the Great Commission as formulated in Matthew 28:18-20 entail church planting: the command to baptize and the command to teach obedience to all Christ commanded. These are virtually impossible to fulfill outside of planting churches.”

The second section is called, “Strategic Considerations” and is where Ott and Wilson make the point, “Reproduction must be intentional if the local church is to accomplish the full purpose to which it has been called and created.” This section may be the most challenging for those whose default plan and experience is the traditional pastoral church planting methods. The authors use Biblical precedent that church planting should not be focused on the one plant, but multiplying churches through a region. Biblical and recent experiential examples of  the apostolic methods of Paul are used as example of the best methods to reach the majority world of unreached peoples.

“Developmental Phases” is the third section of Global Church Planting in which Ott and Wilson take eight chapters to comprehensively explain the phases of a church plant. They provide much needed insight into the need for spiritual gifts and their place in planting of cross-cultural churches. They provide a concise discussion of the need to understand the intended church planting focus group before the work begins and how to implement it into the missionary team. It is also in this section where Ott and Wilson help define when a church planter or team is finished and should move on to another work. Because missionaries tend to stay too long in a work, the one chapter alone on knowing how and when to release a work is worth the $29.99 ($16.19 on Amazon’s Kindle).

The final section of Global Church Planting is called, “Critical Factors” and is focused on issues like the personal life of cross-cultural church planters, team development and short-term teams in mission. Ott and Wilson begin the section saying nearly three-quarters of missionary attrition is preventable. They then say, “Most church-planting books fail to address the personal dimensions of church planting, but our observation is that planters are just as likely to fall short because of personal inadequacies or an inability to work on a team as they are because of flawed strategy.” The section continues with discussions on spiritual and practical competencies related to church planters.

In Global Church Planting, Ott and Wilson borrowed heavily from the classic works of Rolland Allen and John Nevius from early last century, yet this book is not a ripoff or warmed over version of those tried and true textbooks of old. Instead they provide a modern text to help modern churches reach the final peoples with a Biblical view of church planting based on indigenous leadership.

Because of the scope, this volume will be valuable for church planting teams, church planting coaches, mission pastors and mentors. It will also be informative to those involved with short-term missions and all who would like to see a more rapid and effective spread of Bible based and Spirit led churches that are capable of reproducing Bible based and Spirit led churches. Because Global Church Planting is as much about ecclesiology as missiology and methodology, its best use may be as a church planting textbook, even for domestic planters, to compliment traditional pastoral and theological track studies. For those going to plant in an individual or team setting cross-culturally, it will be a great complement to Calvary Church Planting Network’s Church Planting Manual.

Book Review: “Community: Taking Your Small Group Off Life Support”

Pastor Jay Fulton in New Jersey wrote this insightful review about Brad House’s book, Community, which focuses on the importance and structure of small groups.

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As a church planter I appreciate the wealth of resources that are available to me that encourage, provide insight, or reinforce some things I might already know.  One of those resources is the book “Community: Taking Your Small Groups Off Life Support” by Brad House.  In many ways this book has helped to shift how I think about community groups and the limits I placed on them.  Quite often churches view community groups as peripheral ministry and not as essential—after all, we disciple and fellowship sufficiently on Sundays, right?  Well this was how I viewed community groups too, but the early church knew nothing of such a notion!

The reality is that the concept of Community is central to our experience in Christ and essential for discipleship and effectively spreading the Gospel.  The description of the early church found in Acts 2:42-46 provides a sketch of community that is the basis (or should be) for all that we do as church planters and leaders: “And they continued steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers…all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need…continuing daily with one accord…breaking of bread from house to house, they ate food with gladness and simplicity of heart.”  Did you catch that?  The early church did “life together” on mission for God.  And the result is that God added to the church.  So why then is this kind of community lacking?

the concept of Community is central to our experience in Christ and essential for discipleship and effectively spreading the Gospel.

I won’t attempt to completely answer that question in this post, but House identifies at least once reason for this result, and that is our individualistic identities.  We tend to value individual accomplishment over group achievement.  But the church should demonstrate a collectivist view of life.  I don’t mean this in a political sense, being a populist.  But it’s how Dietrich Bonhoeffer summed up the notion: “Christian community means community through and in Jesus Christ.”  It is through Christ that we have been reconciled to God and to one another. It is in Christ that we are united together like a family who shares the bloodline of Jesus.  Basically, the witness of community is more powerful than an individual witness.  Loving your neighbor is much easier if you never have to deal with them.  Living in light of the Gospel is much harder in community where people sin against you” (House).

“Christian community means community through and in Jesus Christ.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Having provided a foundation on which to build, House begins to outline two additional major steps for building thriving community groups: [1] redefining community groups by applying the theological and philosophical convictions to the real experience of living life together, and [2] effecting change in those groups which takes prescriptive approach to transforming community groups.

While both of these final two sections provide a detailed perspective and approach to implementing and changing community groups, I will leave you with some quotes from the book that I found to be beneficial.  In the meantime, I recommend adding this book to your reading list in the new year!

 “I have heard many purposes for joining community groups, including but not limited to: belonging, making big church feel small, learning the Bible, pastoral care, fellowship, friends, closing the back door of the church, evangelism, and so on. Each of these purposes has merit and can be argued as essential to the church. I would suggest, however, that these “purposes” are in fact the product of community rather than its ultimate goal.”

“In the case of the church, our goal is to produce disciples of Jesus who worship him and exalt his name. If we aim at a product such as belonging as the purpose of community, we can achieve that goal without pointing to Jesus.” 

“When retaining people becomes our goal, we inadvertently communicate that our purpose is to grow the church rather than glorify God. We become more interested in building the church rather than advancing the kingdom. We lift up the church rather than the name of Jesus.”

“As we prepare to change the direction of community groups in our churches, we must take time to look at what God has called the church to be. Where we have missed the mark, we should follow the example of Josiah and lead our people in repentance.”

Book Review: Simple Church

I must confess, I am not as widely read as I would like to be. I prefer the axiom “Learners are Leaders” over “Readers are Leaders” because as a 31 yr old church planter with 3 daughters under the age of 4 1⁄2 much of my time is not spent sitting beside a serene stream soaking up the latest “How-To Church” book. I love Jesus. I love my family. I love my church. I love my community. These things tend to take much and most of my time and attention.

However, there are a handful of books that have been helpful in church planting. “Simple Church”, by Thom S. Rainer & Eric Geiger is one of them. We planted Coastline Calvary Chapel in Destin, FL in April of 2010; from 2010 until February 2013, I served as the Executive Pastor of Coastline CC in Gulf Breeze during the week and commuted to Destin to teach a small fellowship on the weekends (a 60min drive). As you can imagine the probability for complexity was high… & simplicity was a friend we longed to be introduced to; and God used “Simple Church” to help.

As Rainer & Geiger would put it (pg 67-68), “A simple church is designed around a straightforward and strategic process that moves people through the stages of spiritual growth. The leadership and the church are clear about the process (clarity) and are committed to executing it. The process flows logically (movement) and is implemented in each area of the church (alignment). The church abandons everything that is not in the process (focus).”

CLARITY –> MOVEMENT –> ALIGNMENT –> FOCUS

Purpose/process –> People/process –> Prioritized Program –> Prioritized Planning

As a homebuilder begins a design, it starts with CLARITY of the project, then he must set up sequential steps so the project flows smoothly (MOVEMENT), he then strategically places resources and contractors around the design process (ALIGNMENT); finally he stays FOCUSED on the project until it’s accomplished.

Coastline Calvary Chapel exists to GLORIFY God by making disciples who LOVE, CONNECT, & live on MISSION. Our values, purpose, process, program, plan, mission, & vision are defined in this statement.

We have CLARITY that the church is to GLORIFY God. The leadership seeks to MOVE the church through a process of discipleship as we gather in a large group on Sunday to LOVE & worship God; as we gather in small groups to CONNECT together, & as we scatter throughout the community we seek to live on MISSION with Christ in the world. All that we do stays ALIGNED with this process and helps us stay FOCUSED on the Great Commandment and Great Commission. Our process is just as important as our purpose because the process helps it all fit together.

It’s not the Bible, there’s only one book that God inspired, but “Simple Church” has been a helpful resource. I hope & pray it can be helpful to you and the church of JESUS that He has called you to plant and pastor.

Neil Spencer

Book Review: Church Planters Wife

The Church Planting Wife by Christine Hoover

I began reading The Church Planting Wife during our first month in Portland. Christine Hoover gives inspirational and encouraging insight from her first-hand experience in church planting. For any church planting wife, this book is a must read! After finishing, I was surprised to learn that Christine and her husband had planted their church in 2008. This was only more evidence that Christine was truly inspired and led by the Holy Spirit as she wrote this book.

The chapters are all based on the heart: the heart of the church planting wife, the dependent heart, the helping heart, the faithful heart, etc. She initially discusses the heart of the church planting wife. She talks about how important the heart is and the importance of guarding the heart. She says, “God allowed the difficulty of church planting to sift me, to bring the issues of my heart to the surface.” If there is anything that will sift and test our hearts, it’s church planting. Instead of focusing the following chapters on actions- being faithful, dependent, peaceful, encouraged- she focuses on the state of the heart. I love that she does this because it is a simple reminder that it is not our actions that we are trying to change- it is our heart. Because from the heart stems all our actions and choices. If our hearts are in tune with the Lord, our actions are sure to follow.

I will have to admit, I opened the book expecting direction and lists on how to be a good church planting wife. I am a do-er. I love to make lists and check things off. Just give me direction and I will get it done. Christine did quite the opposite. She applied basic Christian principles to church planting. While it was not what I wanted, it was certainly what I needed.

In the chapter the Dependent Heart, Christine talks about the importance to depend on the Lord, especially when it comes to the growth and success of the church. Often we equate hard work with success. We come up with a formula for church planting and think, “if we do enough outreach and have the best worship combined with solid Bible teaching, our church will grow.” When that equation fails, our dreams are shattered. Christine reminds us that there is no guarantee that our work will reap harvest because it is only the work of the Holy Spirit that can save people. While we are to be dependent on God, we must remember he doesn’t depend on us or need us to get the job done. Our mindset should simply be to work for the Lord and trust Him to reap at the proper time-whether that be through us or through someone else.

One of my favorite chapters was the Helping Heart. Christine talks about the ministry of the church planting wife to her husband. It can be tempting when beginning a church plant to take on every role that needs to be filled. If they need a children’s ministry, just do it. If they need refreshments, just do it. If they need a worship leader, just do it. Often wives can get so caught up in “doing” for the church that they neglect their spouse and the role they play in their lives. Christine says, “my husband has many people who care about him, respect him, and help him lead the church. But he only has one helpmate.” In other words, I am the only person who can encourage and love my husband the way he needs his spouse to do so. No one else in the church can fill that role. And that should be my priority in the church. I love how Christine explains the role of husband and wife in church planting. She lists the burdens and cares that the lead pastor carries that no one else can carry. She explains how his role is different than anyone else’s. She compares church planting to a marathon and says “the church planter sets the pace and the route for the race as he follows Christ. Ideally, he monitors his racing partner…and the wife responds to his leading, matches his stride…” What a beautiful picture- one I had never thought of. This is the most important role a wife will play in a church plant.

Another chapter that spoke to me was the Sacrificial Heart. Christine talks about the importance of being a servant. Sometimes, we can see the big picture of church planting as such a large sacrifice that we forget that it entails making sacrifices every single day. Christine says, “ministry is not so much the big, dramatic acts of sacrifice but the little, unseen ones.” It is easy to make church planting about us- our comfort and our needs. Because we have made such a BIG sacrifice to plant, we get comfortable and forget the constant need to be a servant and give of ourselves. 2 Cor. says it best, “for the love of Christ compels us…that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” We must be compelled by the love of Christ- that is the only thing that can keep us going and keep us loving people even when we feel spent. Christine points out the simple, daily acts of obedience such as having neighbors over for dinner or setting up for church as the daily sacrifices we are to make. We are to be willing to obey in the daily opportunities to serve.

The Undivided Heart talks about people pleasing, which is a huge struggle for anyone in  ministry. Christine talks about our tendency to drive ministry toward pleasing the people who are coming. This leads to an undivided heart: a heart that is trying to please God and people. It is easy to take things personally in the beginning of a church plant, mainly because the church may be small. If a person leaves, it can be taken so personally and cause us to think it was somehow our fault. Then the tendency becomes to shape ministry around keeping people from leaving. The ironic thing is that usually the opposite happens. The more we “give the people what they want,” the more problems arise. When we seek to do ministry God’s way and listen to Him when it comes to decisions within the church, lives are changed and people are saved. People pleasing ultimate paralyzes us and keeps us from doing what God wants us to do. We must trust the best thing to do is always seek the Lord for direction and do things His way.

Christine seems to hit on every aspect of church planting in a short 200 pages and it is powerful. I feel equipped and know God has already done a work in my heart now just through reading this book. In the first few chapters, I didn’t feel like much applied to me. My husband and I had just planted. I was not even close to facing a lot of the challenges and trials she was talking about. As I continued, I began to identity with her and see the importance of understanding everything that was to come and being prepared. This book will save frustrations and trials if taken to heart and truly received well. I highly recommend it.

Julianne Gavin

Why Plant Calvary Chapel Churches? pt 4

This is the final installment in a four part series on planting Calvary Chapel churches. Read part 1, part 2, and part 3.

4. To Meet a Need for a Calvary Chapel Church

a. Calvary Chapel churches are different: Few churches combine the characteristics that reflect the philosophy of Calvary Chapel, especially the emphasis of expositional Bible teaching and a balanced and open view of the work of the Holy Spirit. Many churches do not teach the Bible. Consider are there churches in the proposed community that teach through the Bible, and believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are available today, and are to be exercised decently and in order. Essentially, if there are already sufficient “Calvary Chapel type” churches in the area then find a place where there is a need.

b. Growing suburban and metropolitan urban areas: Growing suburban communities often need churches. The city in essence grows faster than the number of churches. In metropolitan a areas there are so many people and so many activities that it is difficult for existing churches to be able to effectively influence their city. Urban areas often lack healthy churches that are effectively reaching the city. As demographics shift in a community there is often a need for different types of churches to meet the needs.

c. Dying churches need to be replaced: If there are many churches in the area that are experiencing significant decline and are essentially dying there is likely a need for a fresh work. What percentage of the community is likely attending services on any given Sunday? Will a Calvary Chapel church positively influence God’s kingdom in that community?

d. A current generation may have difficulty relating to the culture of an older generation church: When a community is characterized by churches that are reaching an older generation and their children but is not reaching young adults there is likely a need for a Calvary Chapel type church.

e. Is there a fit between the church planter and the community? What are a particular community’s needs? An urban metro pastor may be ineffective in a rural agrarian area. A pastor with a passion for the arts is likely to be more effective in a metro area. A college town may need a young pastor who students relate to. An inner city area that experiences many hardships may need a leader who can champion social justice as well as teach. A suburban white-collar area likely needs a pastor who can connect with people intellectually as well as socially. In essence, you need to consider not only is there a need for a Calvary Chapel church but is the church planter a fit for the community. Generally, especially initially, you will reach people in the community who are culturally similar to one another and to the lead pastor. So, you should seek to find a community where there is a good fit.

Why Plant Calvary Chapel Churches? pt 3

This is the third of a four part series that appear every Friday. Read part 1 and part 2.

3. To Advance God’s Kingdom

There are several general advantages that new churches offer to advance God’s kingdom including but not limited to the following:

a. Increased vitality: Churches generally grow fastest during their first fifteen years and decline after thirty. New churches provide new life into communities.

b. Increased options: Different churches tend to appeal to different people. For the unchurched and those in a rut a new church provides an option that didn’t exist before.

c. Removes obstacles of traditions & resistance to change: Starting new churches is difficult but is often easier than trying to save dead or dying churches. Jesus spoke of the difficulty of pouring new wine into old wineskins [Mt.9:16-17]. The tendency is for churches to become set in traditions and resistant to change. Like an old wineskin they lose elasticity and the ability to change or expand. New churches avoid that problem as there is no history of tradition or resistance to change. Also, church planters and other leaders will gain credibility as leaders faster in a new work than an existing work. It can take years for new leaders to gain/earn credibility in an existing church. On the other hand, in a church plant, leaders establish credibility essentially instantly.

d. New churches speak best to the next generation: The next generation of leaders in an established church often feel like they serve in the shadow of the prior generation. In a new work they can be free to express the truth of God in a way that reflects their generation. This is often an effective bridge to others of their generation.

f. Leadership development opportunities: New churches need various new leaders. This need becomes a catalyst for new leaders to fill the need.

g. More effective use of resources: New churches tend to maximize leverage regarding facilities, payroll, and operations/ministry. New churches are generally more efficient than established churches as they tend to rely more heavily upon volunteers and are often limited regarding the use of facilities to weekend rental.

Why Plant Calvary Chapel Churches pt 2

This is a series of four posts that appear every Friday. You can read part 1 here.

2. To Fulfill the Need for Healthy Churches

a. Success: How success is determined will impact the vision. Success is not determined by: attendance, buildings/property, budget, extent of ministries, number of converts, or number of church plants. Success is determined by: receiving a vision from God and walking in that vision; developing disciples who are worshipers and are equipped for ministry; and a community that reflects the core characteristics of a healthy church. Spiritual and numerical growths complement one another and are not opposed to one another. Healthy churches tend to grow and expand their sphere of influence [Ac.1:8], but numerical growth is not the litmus test of health or success. Healthy biblical churches produce engaged disciples resulting in growth and depth.

b. Core characteristics of a healthy church: The mission and activities of a local church flow from its values. Here are some core characteristics that we believe reflect a healthy church:

i. Bible teaching: Healthy churches emphasize expositional teaching to establish a high value of God and biblical authority. The Bible becomes the basis of decisions and life. By teaching the whole counsel of God you give balance and create an environment where people bring and use their Bibles. Modeling study of the Scriptures in the church encourages personal study. In contrast, to my amazement and sorrow, there are (many) churches in communities today that do not even believe that the Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God. Furthermore, there are churches that claim a high view of the Bible as the word of God but don’t teach the Bible. For example, they might use a verse from the Bible as a springboard to discuss a topic, or a verse becomes a pretext to convey the preacher’s point but they don’t actually teach what the verse means in context. An additional problem relates to a model that avoids “controversial” passages that challenge a cultural standard. In this scenario, its not that heresy is being taught from the pulpit but that the church is avoiding issues that God deemed important and thus “editing the word” and compromising its effect.

ii. Healthy theology: Healthy churches are intentional about helping people to understand God. They desperately want to reveal God in all of His glory so that people can respond to His revelation. Healthy theology focuses on what God has done for us more than what we must do for God. Healthy churches present clear teaching about God with clear arguments, a call to action, and information to support the argument. Any other technique paradigm or method that takes priority is likely to retard spiritual growth. If the purpose is to transform lives and develop Christ-like character then churches must develop a hermeneutically responsible and theologically coherent philosophy of ministry. We must present a healthy theology to develop a relationship with God. Nevertheless, avoid polarization on non-essentials: be tolerant on social issues when possible [tree hugging is okay but abortion is not]. A healthy local church sees itself as part of the larger Church. There are many good orthodox theologians who have differing views re spiritual gifts, end-times, church government, etc.

iii. Prayer: People learn to pray corporately and become people of prayer individually. Prayer is taught and modeled so that people learn to communicate with and depend upon God. Healthy churches are characterized by people who have learned how to pray and pray.

iv. Reproduce leaders and disciples: Healthy churches have an intentional systematic leadership development system that emphasizes spiritual formation. People are mentored and encouraged to grow in God and use their gifts to advance God’s kingdom. Church leadership is intentional about seeking to develop leaders at every level.

v. Relationships: People discover Christian life together [i.e. one another experience]. Healthy churches create a clear assimilation process to move from attraction to retention to create community. People invest their time talent and treasure to the vision. Relationships hold churches together so that people move from consumers to community. Large worship gatherings and Bible studies, as well as outreach events do not foster relationships in and of themselves. If there is a sense of Christ’s love people will feel safe, welcomed and attracted but this is just a beginning. The next step to develop relationships, especially in a larger church requires the church to “become smaller.” Healthy churches become smaller by connecting people in smaller groups to experience spiritual growth together. Community groups [home groups] and ministry/service together are key elements. In very healthy churches 80% or more of the people are involved in community groups and service. People are united: they enjoy being around each other and stay after services, and relate with one another. Help people establish authentic relationship ~ model it, teach it, and call people on it.

vi. Minister to physical needs: Christ’s church provides for the needs of the hurting [servant evangelism]. Ministry to physical needs is a tangible way to demonstrate Christ’s love, and is also a means to create a bridge to minister to spiritual needs.

vii. Missional: Healthy churches have intentional local and global focus on reaching pre- believers, and making disciples. They are incarnational in the sense that they seek to enter their culture and develop relationships to seek and save the lost [Missio Christi (Lu.19:10)]. People are equipped and encouraged to dialogue regarding their faith. People invest time in relationships with pre-believers and invite their friends to learn more about Jesus and begin a relationship with Him. You sense a passion for Jesus, His people, and His ministry locally and globally. The church will model its leaders and zeal is contagious. People are drawn to a passion for Jesus.

Communities need healthy churches – are you able to lead a healthy church and provide a benefit to a community?

Why Plant Calvary Chapel Churches Pt 1

1. To Fulfill the Purpose of the Church

Research published in 2009 [summary of American Religious Identification Survey] reveals that 80- 85% of churches in America have reached a plateau or have declined. Win Arn’s research in 2007 found similar results among the estimated 350,000 various protestant churches in the U.S. In 2007 an estimated 17.5% of the U.S. population attended an orthodox Christian church on any given weekend. Thus 82.5% did not attend, and as the population grows the church is losing more ground. Furthermore, it is significant that since 1990 the number of Americans who report no religious affiliation has doubled.

The issue is, can be done about this scenario? The answer is clearly yes [Mt.16:18]. First, declining churches and those that have reached a plateau need renewal, and second new churches need to be planted. Church growth expert Peter Wagner opines, “the single most-effective evangelistic method under heaven is planting new churches.” Church planting is the future for the American church as it was for the 1st Century church.

a. What is the purpose of the church? The local church is ordained by God to 1. seek and save the lost [Lu.19], 2. make disciples [Mt.28:19-20], 3. develop worshipers [Rev.4-5], 4. equip God’s people for the work of ministry [Eph.4:1-12], and 5. positively impact & transform the community [Ac.17:1- 6] all for the glory of God. The church is the hope of the world because it is the fundamental Christ established institution to help people know Jesus and make Him known.

b. Seek and save the lost: The process begins with evangelism. Regardless of the methods, there must be an intentional desire to reach pre-believers and the unchurched. Bruce McNicol’s research reveals that evangelical churches under three years old will win ten people to Christ per year for every one hundred members. Three to fifteen year old churches win five per one hundred; and after fifteen years the number declines to three per one hundred. New churches are generally more effective in reaching the lost than established churches.

c. Make disciples: The process moves from evangelism to edification leading to maturation. Bob Gilliam’s research in 1995 reveals that most people in churches aren’t growing spiritually. 24% reported they were sliding backwards, and 41% reported that their spiritual growth had reached a plateau. Most churches are failing to impact the world because they are failing to make disciples. A call to be disciples implies a high-level of commitment to Christ – love God and live His word! Disciples are characterized by: fellowship, Bible study, evangelism, prayer, giving, service and worship.

d. Develop worshipers: Worship is more that praising God in song. It is a life characterized by passionate devotion to God. A worshiper loves God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength [Mt.22:37-38]. The local church is to develop followers of Christ so that Jesus is the master passion and priority. Attending church is not the same as being a worshiper.

e. Equip God’s people for the work of ministry: It is estimated that in most churches the work of ministry is generally performed by 20% of the people. In a healthy church, 80% of the people are involved in ministry.

f. The church should positively impact & transform the community: The church is to transform a community not provide an enclave from the community. God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah to urge the Hebrews, who were being dispersed to Babylon as captives, to be a spiritual influence their, “And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace” [Jer.29:7]. Unfortunately, in most communities if a local church was gone “no one” would notice.

Help For The Church Planting Wife | Christine Hoover

When my husband and I planted a church in 2008, we attended church planting conferences and read countless resources, but none specifically spoke to me as the church planter’s wife. I wanted direction and help as we approached the church planting process. Then when we actually planted the church, my want for resources turned to craving. I learn through reading, so I read books that encouraged my faith, such as missionary biographies and books about spiritual warfare. All along, however, I longed for a book that addressed the specific needs and struggles that I had as a church planting wife. I recognized that I played an integral role in the formation of the church and that my support would be crucial to our success. And I wanted to do it well.

There are countless women across the globe just like me: church planting wives standing beside church planters. Each of those women is just as important as her husband in launching the church, she is often the sole encourager for her husband, and she juggles intense ministry demands while also nurturing a family. And she wants to do it well.

In order to do it well, and because she is so crucial to the church planter and the church, church planting wives need support, encouragement, and help in their roles. They need an apt word from someone who has been there and applicable biblical wisdom that will sustain them.

Finally, a rich resource is available for the wives of church planters: The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope for Her Heart, which I wrote out of my own need and experiences in those first few years of planting.

The Church Planting Wife is a practical guide for wives of church planters, who when the faith-filled adventure of church planting turns into fear-filled reality, find themselves asking one question: “What have I gotten myself into?” The book speaks to her greatest internal struggles—sacrifice, uncertainty, loneliness, fear, stress, and discouragement—and offers her guidance, encouragement, and hope.

Each chapter addresses an internal struggle common to church planting wives, offers biblical wisdom and practical strategies for combating those struggles, and shares anecdotes from seasoned church planting wives, including Lauren Chandler, Jennifer Carter, Brandi Wilson, Amanda Jones, Ginger Vassar, and Yvette Mason.

I have learned that church planting is difficult work, but it is also a positive, rewarding, faith-filled adventure. This resource will aid church planting wives at every twist and turn of the journey. It will help them do it well.

 

 

hoover_christine
Bio
: Christine Hoover is the author of The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope for Her Heart. She has contributed to the Desiring God blog, In(courage), The Gospel Coalition, Pastors.com, and Christianity Today, and blogs for ministry wives at www.GraceCoversMe.com. Christine and her husband Kyle, a church planting pastor, have three boys.

ChurchPlantingWife

 

Calvary Chapel: Name & Logo

a. Calvary Chapel: Calvary Chapel was the name of a small, non-denominational church in Orange County during the 60’s that was looking for a new pastor and asked Chuck Smith, a former Four- Square pastor, to become their new leader. They retained their name under his tenure. “Calvary” refers to the place of Jesus’ crucifixion [Latin Calvaria]. “Chapel” has the connotation for many of a small church building, a quaint setting for sincere devotion. Though several Calvary Chapels are large fellowships with thousands of members, the spiritual warmth they possess carries on the environment of a Chapel.

b. Selecting a name: Generic names [e.g. community church] are often used to attract people beyond a denominational boundary [e.g. Baptist becomes “community” and Presbyterian becomes “Bible”]. There are certain parts of the country where denominational names can greatly enhance attraction [e.g. Lutheran in the Northern part of the Midwest, Baptist in the South/Bible-belt.] Generally, denominational names are far less significant today than in prior generations. In some areas the name Calvary Chapel has strong “brand” significance, however in many areas there is no particular brand association.

c. Logo: An unique emblem for a local church can enhance that fellowship’s identity in a community. It also serves as a mark of identification for members.

i. Logos should quickly identify the church: Brand all print materials with the logo. Use a logo that reproduces well in various sizes. It should also reproduce well in gray-scale.

ii. The Calvary Chapel dove logo: The dove logo (also knowns as the
Maranahta! Dove) is the trademark-protected property of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa and its use will be described below regarding affiliation.