Within 90 days of teaching 19 church members from several churches how to start a church, they had begun a biker church and a Hispanic church.
A biker complained that the seminary had yet to send them a biker. And nobody in the training was very good at speaking Spanish. Nobody spent any money. Yet, this model is both simple and effective.
Here is how any church can start a new church.
Missions agencies like NAMB have a pipeline for planters and Snowden Ministries is capable of helping with traditional church planting and even multi-site, which is now popular. And, available to your church through Snowden Ministries is a process that is based on Acts and does not require funding. It’s like church planting for the rest of us. And it’s in seven steps that rely totally on the Holy Spirit.
1. Prayerfully mobilize teams of two that go out to do the work of the Lord.
2. Address lostness by understanding the people, area, or interests.
3. Develop a master plan to help everyone be onboard and focused.
4. Evangelize abundantly through relationship-building and follow-up.
5. Gather new believers into small groups and meet whenever it suits them.
6. Coach leaders from within the group including pastor and teachers.
7. Mobilize believers from the new church to seek new people and places.
Church members doing the planting keep their membership and tithe in their sending church. Pastors serve as encouraging champions. The approach used by Snowden Ministries is to coach and connect with them.
These types of church plants work anywhere! And they are a biblical model. We’ve seen them fit a unique niche where church members do not have much disposable income – refugees earning minimum wages (peoples), low income apartment complexes and university students (places), and some groups associating around a unifying purpose such as bikers, shift workers, or truckers (interest).
Pastors might look for these seven characteristics that seem to fit successful apostolic disciple-makers. Pray through these as you “call out the called.”
a. Highly relational outgoing people who make friends easily; joiners
b. Maturing believers looking for “next”; risk-takers
c. Those who are often restless and sometimes criticize the status quo
d. Strong in faith and seeking ways to be spiritually more mature
e. Often bite off more than they can chew; love being busy
f. May appear capable, but might lead a pastor to not easily trust them
g. Comfortable attending other churches and Christian events
The Apostle Paul would easily be identified as having a missionary gift. Right by his side on the Second Journey was Silas, who was a prophet. Timothy was very much a shepherd / teacher in his own right. And Luke evangelized through writing the Gospel and Acts. Each of those character qualities are captured in Ephesians 4:11 apostle, prophet, evangelist, preacher/teacher. Perhaps Paul remembered his effective missionary band (recorded in Acts 16) and recognized those leaders in Ephesus. Their purpose was to bring the church to maturity. And healthy things multiply.
In the Lord’s timing when you’re ready, a short manual is available from Snowden Ministries. The book is Workers in the Harvest: Missionary Training for Church Members. Write SnowdenMinistries@gmail.com.