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Church Planting Advanced

A note from European Leadership Forum Director, Greg Pritchard: 

To see Europe won back for Christ, many leaders of denominations, missions, and churches are convinced that church planting is key.  But the question is how?

The Acts 29 movement, which currently includes over 700 churches all over the world, believes the local church is God’s primary mission strategy.  As they explain: 

“As a family of church-planting churches we are about one thing: church planting.  We exist to encourage, resource, facilitate, support and equip churches to plant churches that will plant church-planting churches.”

They are known for their commitment to firmly ground their teaching and practice of church planting in the Bible. In the ELF Church Planting Foundations Network, we are excited that Philip Moore, European Director of Acts 29, and his team will teach and train leaders in the church-planting model of the Apostle Paul.

2020 European Church Planting Advanced Network

Often as we plant a church, our main aim is to get started and then to survive. To grow to a certain point of viability in terms of human and material resources. These are proper aims, but they are not yet the full extent of what maturity as a church means. We should be aiming for them not as ends in themselves but as means to the end of extending further the mission of God through intentional, 2nd generation church planting.

To attend this Network, participants should be involved in church planting, either as a church planter or as a leader of a denomination in the area of church planting. They should be interested in what it looks like to bring a church from the plant to maturity.

 

NETWORK LEADER

Philip Moore has been pastoring and planting churches in the east of Paris for the past 12 years. He is currently European director for Acts 29, working to build relationships between local church-planting churches and church planters all over Europe. With over 50 countries and a population of over 700 million people, the European continent, once the most Christianized in the world, is now a mission field. It is Philip’s privilege, as European director of A29, to see what God is doing in our continent, and to encourage church–planting initiatives from Ireland to Turkey, from Denmark to Italy through assessment, coaching, training, and supporting of church planters and church–planting churches. Philip is married to Rachel and they have 5 children.

 

NETWORK SPEAKERS

J. D. Gilmore was born in Italy, where his parents were missionaries. God’s grace opened his eyes to the good news of the gospel as a teenager. J. D. and his wife are passionate about the spread of the gospel in Italy, where they have been involved in church planting for many years. He now coordinates Impatto (Acts 29 in Italy) as well as being involved in setting up gospel-centred movements in Italy and the Balkans.

 

Tomáš Henžel is the Acts 29 Regional Lead for Central Europe. He is married to Silvia and they have 3 children. He is a bi-vocational church planter in Slovakia. After replanting in Nitra, their family has been planting out in Bratislava since the summer of 2018. Tomáš leads a small network of planters in Slovakia longing to see Christ's glory imaged in many new churches in the region.

 

 

NETWORK FACILITATOR

Gary Cousins is originally from Northern Ireland but is now based in the Black Forest region of Germany. After several years serving as a Baptist pastor in N. Ireland, Gary served for eight years with the children’s mission-agency ‘CEF Europe’ — initially providing resources and training for ministry to teenagers, progressing to leader of the training department for Western Europe, and in the final two years working internationally to pioneer and facilitate a leadership training course for leaders in 190 countries. In 2016, being convinced of the importance of making disciples through the planting of healthy churches, Gary joined the staff at Acts 29 Europe. Gary’s role is to provide operational leadership to the Europe network as well as to oversee the assessment of applicants. In his spare time Gary enjoys trail running and is a volunteer firefighter. Gary is married to Claudia, and they have two teenage boys.

 

NETWORK PROGRAM

 

Day 1

Advanced Church Planting
J. D. Gilmore

Often as we plant a church our main aim is to get started and then to survive. To grow to a certain point of viability in terms of human and material resources. These are proper aims, but they are not yet the full extent of what maturity as a church means. We should be aiming for them not as ends in themselves but as means to the end of extending further the mission of God through intentional, 2nd generation church planting.

Healthy Growth 1 – Conversion
J.D. Gilmore

The first element in becoming a church-planting church is conversion. We will look at what conversion is, what it is not, how to pursue it intentionally in different contexts, our role in conversion and God’s role. Keeping conversion at the centre of our focus is a sign of current health and future fruitfulness.

 


Day 2

Becoming Financially Viable
J. D. Gilmore

The Bible talks a great deal about money and its place in discipleship and in churches. Right from its infancy the church found ways to finance its mission and its ministries. The principles we find in the Bible are still the same today, but we need to understand how to raise and manage money at the start of our church plants and how we can continue to raise finances and increase generosity so that we can continue to pursue God’s mission through church planting locally and globally.

Healthy Growth 2 - Discipleship
Philip Moore

Those who come to Christ through our church plants need to be discipled. Christ calls us not to make converts but disciples. What are the essential characteristics of a mature disciple in our European contexts? What are the tools we have at our disposal for effective discipleship? A church where disciples are growing in love, faith, and obedience is a sign of current health and future fruitfulness.

 


Day 3

Missional Communities
J. D. Gilmore

What is a missional community? How does it integrate with the church gathering? How does it function? Who should lead them? How should they be led? How can they be used as the starting blocks for new church plants in other places? These questions are essential both for the current health and the future fruitfulness of the church.

Healthy Growth 3 – Volunteers and Staff
Philip Moore

Church plants need volunteers. Creating a culture of volunteers right from the start is essential. Encouraging, enthusing, mobilising and managing volunteers is a key part of leadership in churches. At some point it may be possible and desirable to add staffing to the volunteer base. These elements make for communities of infectious disciples, where every-member ministry is a real experience and where skills and gifts are being tried and tested for future ministry

 


Day 4

Healthy Growth 4 – Leadership
Philip Moore

In the pastoral epistles, Paul lays out what we should look for both in terms of those who should lead churches and those who should help lead. The Bible refers to elders and deacons in these roles and describes in detail the character, convictions, competencies of these individuals. Our churches need to become the primary focus of leadership development if we are going to mature and reproduce.

Planting Again
J. D. Gilmore

What is the life-cycle of a church? What are the different models for church planting that exist in Europe today? What needs to be present in the sending church to make the church-plant possible and to give it the best chance of success? As we conclude our time together, we will be providing models for consideration and tools for evaluating the current state of a church and its readiness to plant again, as well as next steps in that process.

 


 

 

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