Home > Uncategorized > Church Planting starts in small groups

Church Planting starts in small groups

This concept is still in the formalizing process in our heads here at the Summit, so this post will be short since the language is not completely worked out yet. But here is the gist:

At the Summit we believe churches planting churches is the best way to reach the world with the gospel. We also believe EVERYONE at the Summit is a potential church planter. We want to do more than just say that though, we want to create an atmosphere where our people can have a tangible experience in what it is like to plant a church. Soo…

Our small group strategy is for every group to plant at least one new small group every 18-24 months. Just like we don’t split churches to create new ones, but plant churches, we don’t split groups to create new ones, we plant groups. That means a group will commission one to two people or couples to go through our Group Planting Training course and then that new core team will bring in new faces to start building biblical community with. The head of the missions department at a local seminary is one of our group leaders and upon going through the training course he commented that it was very similar material to what he uses to train church planters (What an encouragement!).

This model gives everyone who is involved in discipleship at the Summit at least somewhat of a tangible look into the church planting process. A leader in a prominent missions organization, after learning of the number of church planters we are sending out in ’08, recently asked our lead pastor “do you guys have a church planting factory or something there at the Summit?” The answer is yes, our small groups!

Again, I think this concept has far reaching implications for how churches connect discipleship strategies to their church planting strategies. Once we get this together a little more, we will talk about some of those implications.

Id love to hear your thoughts on this concept.

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  1. April 4, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Found you through JD’s site. I love this idea. Years ago I attended a Church Planting Conference in Waco, TX at Antioch Community Church. Those guys have been doing this for years – making small groups the embryo for all their church planting efforts. It is one church where the idea that every member is a church planter is being fleshed out.

    I have also wondered too how to nourish a passion for church planting in children’s ministry and youth group and college. It seems it gets easier as the members get older. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

  2. spenceshelton
    April 5, 2008 at 4:14 am

    Thanks for the feedback! Good to hear this rings familiar with others. I will check out Antioch Jason and I think you ask a great question (about synthesizing our ministries towards church planting) that needs more investigation & discussion.

    A couple of simple steps we take is unifying our language and main vision across the board. ex: all of our ministries have the same mission: Love God, Love Eachother, Love the World. So when a young one goes from elementary to middle school, they are not entering into a brand new ministry, but the next phase in a unified ministry. They become saturated with the idea of loving the world and thus it is part of their dna as a member of our church.

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