A New Leaf

 By Shannon Youell, CBWC’s Church Plant Director/Coordinator. This article originally posted in CBWC’s enewsletter Making Connections.

Ed Stetzer, missiologist, pastor, and researcher, is in the process of studying Canadian trends in church planting and is seeing that Canadian church plants are more likely to succeed and grow when they have more lay leadership, bi-vocational pastors, strategic stewardship plans, and prayer walking, as well as new believers’ discipleship classes and outreach Bible studies.

In other words, every believer has the possibility and Holy Spirit-empowered potential of starting or participating in something!

In church planting and church renewal we have been exploring how to be catalysts of culture, context and the shifting landscape through innovation, entrepreneurism, faith, prayer, perseverance and a gracious permission to fail. To encourage exploration of organic growth in communities requires us to be more comfortable with the concept of “startups.”

noun: startup

the action or process of setting something in motion

In the realm of new faith communities we are seeing enthusiasm emerging both within existing communities to multiply outwards and in conversations, and in skunkworks-type dreaming which eventually leads to putting legs on that dream and seeing where it might take us. Just like in traditional church, not all experimental ideas actually gain momentum, but what the startup concept does is expand the possibilities and horizons of formal step-by-step programmatic processes to include fluid rhythms of planting right into the places we find ourselves day to day.

One of the vehicles we are introducing to those who sense a calling of God to explore/begin new churches and communities are Church Plant Design Shops from New Leaf Network.

Church-Plant-DesignSHOP

Jared at a Design Shop

New Leaf coordinator Jared Seibert explains: “A Church Plant Design Shop is a 3 day interactive gathering of Church Planters from all stages (ie – thinking about considering, working toward a plant, about to plant, planted, etc…). This is not your mother’s cookie cutter “10 Easy Steps to Planting a Church” kind of event. These events are action packed and uniquely Canadian. They encourage contextual thinking, culturally responsiveness, and mission adaptability. If you are looking for help, a chance to think out your plan, and to hear life saving advice for the road ahead these Design Shops are for you!”

CBWC Church Planting is hosting our first Church Plant Design Shop at our Carey Centre Campus February 2-4, 2016. Register now for this exciting opportunity to discover how God is inviting you to participate in kingdom work.

For more information (and encouragement!) contact me at syouell@cbwc.ca

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