WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
November 19, 2013
A weekly communication for:
WDC Churches and Pastors
WDC Executive Board, Commission, Committee and Task Force members
Any content may be used in bulletins and newsletters and forwarded to congregational leaders and members.
WDC Sprouts is also available at: www.mennowdc.org (Publications)
IN THIS ISSUE:
*Top Six Things Every Church Planter Must Know
Gilberto Flores, WDC Associate Conference Minister, found the following blog post by Steve Pike, who leads the Assemblies of God church planting efforts in the United States and currently serves as National Director for the Church Multiplication Network (CMN). Church planting is a one-of-a-kind experience. There’s nothing as exhilarating as seeing droves of people come to faith in Christ—and nothing as disheartening as seeing your new church plant suffer. Here are seasoned church planter Steve Pike’s six big how-tos every church planter must know to succeed. Article is used with permission. See: http://tinyurl.com/nw6vkeq
Top Six Things Every Church Planter Must Know by Steve Pike
1. How to pray.
Starting a new church is a miracle, and only God can work miracles. If you start a church without prayer, it won’t be a church, it will be a club. If you don’t know how to pray, learn how. Make prayer a central part of your planting strategy. Recruit others to help pray. Keep them informed of answered prayers as well as prayer needs.
2. How to build teams.
There is only one Lone Ranger, and he is not you. He wasn’t actually even “lone,” because he had Tonto. It is not good to go it alone. To be successful in church planting, you must create teams—even before you start. At the very least, you will need a prayer team, finance team and launch team. If you can’t recruit planting teams early on, your church plant will most likely stay small and struggle for a long time. Read Doing Church as a Team by Wayne Cordeiro. Apply what you learn.
3. How to share the Gospel.
The reason we plant churches is to join Jesus on His mission of seeking and saving people who are far from God. When the Gospel is shared, Christ’s Great Commission is fulfilled. Share the Gospel, first in deed, then in words. If you don’t know how to walk the walk and talk the talk, you should not plant a church! But don’t stop because you feel unqualified, learn how to share the Gospel by hanging out with others who do it successfully, and then emulate them. Then you will be ready to plant!
4. How to have faith.
God’s dream is always bigger than any dream you currently have. Faith believes God for what you cannot see and also for what you need to succeed. Be vision driven—not provision driven. Learn how to trust God to provide for the challenges that are bigger than you. If little obstacles paralyze you and keep you from moving forward, you are not ready to plant a church. (*Spoiler Alert*) You will never have everything you think you need to start a church. Never. You will always have less than you need, which will force you to build your faith and find God’s provision. When you depend on Him, you will always have what you need when you really need it.
5. How to be flexible.
A very wise man I know often says, “Blessed are the flexible, for they will not be broken.” Take this as a word of wisdom. Your best plans will almost always need to be adjusted. Expect stuff to happen that will mess up your plans, and then choose to be happy when it does. Flexibility will add joy to your church and years to your life!
6. How to pray.
I know, I already mentioned prayer. But it really deserves to be mentioned twice. Planting is one part strategy and one part miracle! Prayer connects us to the miracle. Start and end each day by talking and listening to God. Listen for His still, small voice when praying, when planning and while doing everything else.
1. Featured Resources from the Conference Resource Library: Animate DVD series! Brand new, each of these series produced by SparkHouse, feature 7 sessions with input from contemporary authors, pastors, movers and shakers. Animate Bible has sessions from Phyllis Tickle, Rachel Held Evans, Will Willimon and more. Animate Faith has sessions from Brian MCClaren, Lillian Danierl, Shane Hipps and Mark Scandrette and more. Read full info on the on-line library catalog at www.mennowdc.org. Perfect for a winter study, Sunday School class or Year of the Bible focus.
2. Sooner or maybe a little later–Camp Mennoscah reservation forms and information for annual groups (church congregations and families that visit us every year–woo-hoo!) will be sent shortly. If you were the contact person in 2013, but are not the contact person in 2014, please contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 to let us know of the change. If your family or church group would like to visit us as a volunteer group or for a retreat (and who wouldn’t like to have a few moments of peace?), contact us. We’d love to find a space for you!
MC USA Announcements
1. Western District, South Central, and Mountain States Mennonite Conferences invite you to attend the annual Snow Camp at Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp. Be inspired by singing and worshiping with other year, slide down the tube run (hopefully!), play a competitive game of broom hockey, explore beautiful scenery around camp, and more! For more information, visit www.rmmc.org or your church information area. Hope to have you join us! 2014 Snow Camp Dates: Junior High: January 24-26, Senior High 1: February 14-16, Senior High 2: March 14-16.
2. Are you curious about or committed to God’s global mission? Perspectives is a 15-session comprehensive global mission course available at Hesston Mennonite Church beginning January 13, 6:30-9:30 PM. The opening class will be taught by James Krabill of Mennonite Mission Network on “The Living God Is a Missionary God.” For a full description of the class go to perspectives.org or contact Alaina Kaufman at alainakaufman@
3. Start here…and jump into the biblical text! Join Michele Hershberger and Hesston College students for two weekends as they learn about the Psalms, Paul’s epistles and I Corinthians verse by verse! The weekends are January 24-26 and March 20-23 (includes Thursday evening) on the college campus. Call 620-327-8290 to register and for info on costs, discounts and other details.
4. CALLING ALL MUSICIANS! The Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary – Great Plains Extension will offer a three-credit course “Congregational Song” (audit option) in spring semester in four weekends: Feb. 7-8, March 7-8, April 4-5, and April 25-26–with the Friday class from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. and the Saturday class 8:30 – 4:30. Dr. Cynthia Neufeld Smith is professor; all classes will be held at Shalom Mennonite Church, Newton, KS. Choir directors, organists/pianists, pastors, worship leaders and singers are urged to sign up by January 6 (saving $50). Register online; www.ambs.edu/forms or contact Dorothy Nickel Friesen, firstname.lastname@example.org; 316-283-7098, etc. 206 for information.
5. Pastors AND YOUTH Leaders; You are Invited to the Mennonite Educators Conference 2014
Theme: Open to the unexpected, Ephesians 3:20-21
Date: Thursday, February 6 – Saturday, February 8, 2014
Beginning with Dinner on Thursday evening, and ending with Lunch on Saturday.
The National Conference Center
18980 Upper Belmont Place
Leesburg, VA 20176
Washington Dulles airport is the closest airport when flying.
Western District Conference
2517 North Main, PO Box 306
North Newton KS 67117
316-283-6300; FAX: 316-283-0620