Church Planting Module at NorthWood at Jewish Synagogue!
Yesterday over 20 church planters gathered for our second cohort of NorthWood church planters this year. NorthWood may well “help” plant over 30 churches this year. First we planted 1 a year, then 2, then 5, then 8, then 10, now 30 – I dream of 100!!! I say help because we don’t do it all – the biggest sacrifice always comes on the part of the planter. We sponsor, which means we assess, coach, train, mentor, connect glocally, impart our values and strategies, and give a little change to the guys. The past two years has grown so much we’ve had to get a lot tighter on our processes – which has been good. We have the training modules, an annual gathering, a trip globally, the projects that have to be done, etc.
We require 3 key things of our plants. First, to keep multiplying churches, don’t start a church for their city, but church their city, think like a “missionary” not a pastor. Second, they are to work with the least, the poorest, the suffering in inner-city areas nearest them. Third, we require them to pick a hard place in the world and serve others. Brian Hook has simply done a phenomenal job along with others at driving it forward.
I like these guys – I’m actually amazed at all the people that are coming through our training and want to be a part and how it continues to grow. Church planters don’t come to us because of money – and I’m glad for that – if that were the case they sure wouldn’t be coming to us. My focus has been how to bring our church planting here in the US in line with global church planting – until we do that – we’ll start a lot of churches but never get a movement. One of the key things there is money – no one has enough money to plant all the churches that are needed – except God! Money is far too much of a factor in our church planting.
We started our module yesterday at Temple Shalom in north Dallas and Rabbi Schneider you were a big hit!!!! I still think your initiation ceremony into Judaism slows the growth of your religion! Here we are a group of evangelical church planters meeting in a Jewish Synagogue. When I first asked Jerry, he said, “You’re going to be teaching them how to reach Jews?” I said, “Jerry I’m teaching how to reach everyone – even Baptists! But I want them to understand how to speak their convictions in kindness and clarity with respect – I want to model for them as we train, how I hold on to our truth and yet say it in love, respect, and have friendships with different people.” I’m very grateful for him. Rabbi – you can bring your “rabbi’s” anytime to NorthWood!
Why do things like this? We do things like this because we want our planters to meet some of my friends and enter the world with me. We live in a global context of faith. How do we have one conversation? How do we be clear in what we say? How do we hold on to the truth that we believe, not compromise, yet respect others. This is the whole point of our globalfaithforum.org, which is growing – you MUST register for this. We have lots of people wanting to come and speak at this as it’s developing. Get ready Imam Zia – we’re coming to your mosque next! Get ready Hanoi and all my friends there – we’ve got a big crop of young pastors that want to see the city that all of us at NorthWood love.
Through the last couple of years I’ve started to see something that I’ve been dreaming about for the past ten years – young pastors wanting to engage and plant their churches in a global context. Most boomers didn’t do it, Gen X-ers did a little more – I believe this next crop of church planters will. They will do it partly out of conviction, but mostly out of their cultural context. This is truly the first “global generation” in the US as Zogby recently wrote. It’s also been fascinating for me watching the international flavor of our cohorts – no longer just a bunch of white guys!
How is it, we have started churches without global DNA’s? How is it we have started churches without a “transformation” or “reconciliation of all things” mindset? How did we degenerate to the point where we were defined first and foremost by the Sunday event? I believe in Jesus – and I believe all that he said will come to pass. That means, sooner or later – and I’m hoping the sooner is here – as the church emerges in maturity globally – we too will be in line with all that God desires for humanity and see us see ourselves not as individual congregations but as the body of Christ. Not as styles, formats, or monopolies of expressions – but as the church – which is ALL organic ALL connected and ALL of Christ’s.
Bob is the founder, senior leader, and chief spokesman for Glocal.net . His primary focus is to connect leaders and estabish relationships to explore transformation. Follow Bob on Twitter at @bobrobertsjr.