The Church Planting Initiative is born out of a heart to serve and equip church leaders in an increasingly multicultural, secular, and global context. Our vision is to equip church leaders for planting new churches and re-missioning existing congregations so they can become reproducing disciple-making movements. We offer a variety of training, assessments, and resources to equip church leaders to fulfill the Great Commission as they live out the Missio Dei in their local context of ministry. Since we started our church planting institutes we have trained almost 500 people in North America and around the world. We currently have 117 active students in the Masters and DMIN church planting-related degrees. At current rate, we will reach our goal of training 1,000 church planters by 2020. Here are a few of the highlights from the first part of 2018!
200 Pastors Trained in India. In the first part of 2018, we are continuing to see the power God all around the world! With their trip to India in January, Drs. Gregg Okesson and Steve Ybarrola taught over 200 pastors and Bible College students about the Mission of God and the importance of understanding context for Mission. Specifically, these pastros saw themselves formed by the understanding of a holistic Gospel where redemption is about the whole person and all of creation, rather than just the soul. Drs. Okesson and Ybarrola embodied this message and through their efforts, over 200 students and pastors were trained! As always, we learned a great deal from our brothers and sisters around the world and their drive for Mission and Church Planting continues to encourage us that God is moving powerfully among them!
Bishop on Mission. As Bishop of Islington (Church of England), Ric Thorpe oversees London’s church growth strategy to plant 100 churches in London by 2020 and 200 city-center church-planting churches around the country by 2030. As a church planter himself, Ric delights in working alongside his wife Louie to make disciple-making-disciples in new and re-vitalized churches. “My main work is culture change,” Ric said. “I’m trying to help people imagine themselves more as a missionary church, as opposed to just sustaining what has always gone before.” Read More
First Ever Asbury Fellows Cohort. On March 8-9, we welcomed our first cohort of Asbury Church Planting Fellows to our Kentucky Campus. During these two days, we hosted training with Drs. Jay Moon, Winfield Bevins, and Bryan Sims, alongside of guest speaker, Alan Hirsch. Consisting of individuals from all across the eastern US, as well as two from Jamaica and Singapore, our cohort of 12 participants underwent a day of training together and then each participant presented their church planting strategic plans. Through this time, we witnessed the beautiful tapestry of church planting and how it appears in different forms all across the world! Having been awarded grants and a slot in our Church Planting Fellows Cohort, these 12 planters will now spend one year together in an intentional learning community guided by Drs. Bevins and Moon. We are truly excited to see what this next year hold for these amazing planters!
Fresh Expressions National Partnership. This year, we celebrated another year as a partner of the Fresh Expressions US movement! This year, we were able to witness to fruits of the FX movement at their national gathering just outside of Washington, D.C. For two days, leaders from all over the country came together to promote creative expressions of church in order to reach the unchurched. With an emphasis on creating effective communities of faith, this year’s gathering was another milestone for the FX movement and how it is continuing to reinvigorate the church in America.