Project: The 1000 Churches Initiative
Leader: J.R. Rushik
We plant churches.
- Church Planter Recruiting and Equipping
- Collaborative Methods for Increased Planting
- Micro Models and Expressions
Big Idea and Overview
We have created a simple and reproducible strategy for deploying church planters and starting new churches in creative spaces and places. The core environment is an encounter weekend followed by seven months of mentorship.
The innovation of this work is a simple system of training followed by personal mentorship. Instead of the typical method of front loading church planting with a heavy dose of education, we require our church planters to first lead some people to Jesus and gather them as a group AS PREREQUISITE for joining the mentoring program. In this way, the mentorship process is not “Ready, Set, Go” instead it is, “Ready, GO, Set”.
Customer / Mission Field Context
We are serving in a regional context, primarily the east coast stretching from Maine to Florida. The goal is to start many new churches and allow the natural formation process to unfold as the Spirit leads and directs each pastor and church.
We are committed to not providing any qualifying label to churches that form. With that in mind, we are not starting ‘house’ churches, although several have started in homes. We are not describing them as ‘micro’ churches, although they all begin as a small gathering.
We start churches, period.
One church meets in a crossfit gym, another in a city park, one gathers as part of a skatepark ministry, one is meeting in hammocks on a college campus, and another in a rented, more typical, church building. The sizes vary, too. As these churches grow, some may have a short lifespan and others will develop a firm foundation and pathway into our denominational family. We are celebrating the church in all its sizes and forms.
Goals and Desired Outcomes
Currently we have two full-time trainers who are leading “Encounter Weekend” and engaged in mentoring church planters. Over the next 9 months we plan to:
1. Increase our trainers from 2 to 8. We have potential trainers in mind and are working on equipping and deploying them.
2. Mentor 40 to 100 new church planters. This goal is dependent on #1 above.
3. Build the support team to expand storytelling from the front line churchplanters. Specifically, stories of salvation, baptism, and new church starts.
4. Clarify a support raising model for new trainers and team members.
5. Celebrate God’s goodness at every step!
Deployed 24 church planters (who started churches).
Trained 100 people in the Discovery Bible Study method who have started
100’s of Bible studies which have reached over 800 people.
Established a growing network of like-minded pioneers.
Have 2 trainers/mentors on staff and have Identified 5 additional trainers/ mentors for multiplication of training centers.
Established a simple model with practical ministry environments.