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Dec 5, 2017
church planting, leadership, culture

The Need for Culturally Agile Leaders in Church Planting

The mission of God knows no cultural boundaries
The Need for Culturally Agile Leaders in Church Planting
Image: pixabay

We’re in one of the best times in history to start globally-minded churches in North America—churches that are rooted in North American cities, but effectively minister to and minister through global citizens. This isn’t just for cities like New York or Chicago. ...

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Nov 27, 2017
rural church, small town, church planting

Rural Stories: Books to Challenge, Inspire, and Encourage the Small Town Pastor

Donnie Griggs, J.D. Vance, and Winn Collier
Rural Stories: Books to Challenge, Inspire, and Encourage the Small Town Pastor

If church history has shown us anything, it’s that stories matter. From the time of the earliest followers of the Way, stories shaped the Christian community in profound ways. The most powerful story was the gospel—God in the flesh dwelt among us, died, rose again ...

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Oct 17, 2017
20 Truths, book release, rural church

20 Truths from "God's Country"

Reclaiming God’s kingdom vision for the rural church

God’s Country: Faith, Hope, and the Future of the Rural Church

For many, rural brings a positive, sentimental vision of the untouched countryside populated by good-hearted people with a little dirt under their fingernails. Or maybe, in the other vision of rural, they’re ...

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Oct 13, 2017
church planting, contentment

“Playing the Long Game”: 3 Reasons Learning to be Content Is Critical in Church Planting

Contentment is a required spiritual practice for church planters.
“Playing the Long Game”: 3 Reasons Learning to be Content Is Critical in Church Planting
Image: pexels

Have you ever heard the phrase, “playing the long game”? My guess is we’ve each heard it thrown around in different venues. The saying is not new. It’s been used to describe throwing the football down the field or driving the golf ball toward the green. ...

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Oct 4, 2017
CCPA, church planting

How We’re Encouraging Chicago Church Planters This Fall

Join us this month at Progressive Baptist Church in downtown Chicago.

Autumn in Chicago is a stunning blend of historic skyscrapers and some of nature’s finest green spaces. The college students are flooding back into the city from their summer hiatus. Young families spend weekends doing sports and visiting orchards, squeezing out every ...

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Sep 19, 2017
small town, rural matters, church planting

Go Where The Humans Are: What One Movement’s Small Town Task Force Has Learned So Far

If there are humans in small towns, then they need churches.
Go Where The Humans Are: What One Movement’s Small Town Task Force Has Learned So Far
Image: Joseph

“Is Vineyard committed to planting churches in small town America?” Five years later, I still can’t believe I asked the question. It was directed to Michael Gatlin, national coordinator of Multiply Vineyard, Vineyard’s church planting arm. The occasion ...

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Sep 5, 2017
church planting, multi-denominational, networking

The Need for Multi-Denominational Church Planting Networks in Our Cities

One tribe can’t teach you everything you need to know.

In 2007, I had coffee with a church planter in New York City who had recently moved there from Dallas, TX. This was at the height of the urban church planting craze and I was looking to plant in an urban city with the denomination I belonged to at the time. I was intrigued by ...

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Aug 29, 2017
church planting, rural church, small town

Five Things Small Town Church Planters Wish Their Denominational Leaders Knew

Planters in rural America feel misunderstood and ignored.
Five Things Small Town Church Planters Wish Their Denominational Leaders Knew
Image: Joseph

The last night of our 2 1/2 day conference was coming to an end. I was feeling pretty good that we had pulled off our first Multiply Vineyard Small Town USA church planting conference. Our two presenters did a fantastic job giving the nuts and bolts of planting and doing multisite ...

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Aug 24, 2017
southern baptist, history, church planting, evangelism

The Southern Baptist (Re-)Emergence in Church Planting

Church planting accelerates and advances the kingdom in exponential ways.
The Southern Baptist (Re-)Emergence in Church Planting
Image: pixabay

In the last few years, Southern Baptists have made a significant turnaround in their church planting efforts. It’s something I’m excited about and care about, and as such I’ve been reflecting on what has happened and how we need to move forward.

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Aug 22, 2017
small town, rural church, church planting, evangelism

Don’t Despise Small Town Living: Jesus Didn’t

Capernaum was home to about 1,500 people.
Don’t Despise Small Town Living: Jesus Didn’t
Image: pixabay

There are advantages to growing up in a small town. Everyone knows where you live, what you drive, and what you did last night. You grow up with great trust in humanity and knowing no stranger. You truly learn to love your neighbor as yourself. Friendships are forged for life. ...

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Aug 8, 2017
church planting

Three Keys to Increasing Church Planting Capacity in Denominations

Engage the Planters. Embrace the Pace. Establish the Path.
Three Keys to Increasing Church Planting Capacity in Denominations
Image: pexels

A generation of Christians that has grown up with microwaves is also sold on the idea of movements. But rarely do these things go together.

Movements are not instantaneous—they can explode (that’s what makes them movements) but they don’t just show up.

It takes ...

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Jul 27, 2017
church planting

The Value of Church Planter Assessment and Boot Camps

We identified seven challenges faced by most church planters.
The Value of Church Planter Assessment and Boot Camps
Image: jrhode

Planting a church is hard enough. It is more difficult when the planter doesn’t have solid support and resources. And we’re not talking about money here. Church planter development is a crucial element to giving new churches a real chance to succeed.

I’m a big ...

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Jul 21, 2017
rural church, small town, church planting

Rural Matters: Placing Rural Church Planting Back on the Map

Small town pastors are doing big things for God’s Kingdom.
Rural Matters: Placing Rural Church Planting Back on the Map
Image: Wikipedia

I recently introduced my daughter to the 2006 Pixar movie Cars. Sorry, if I’m ruining the movie for anyone, but it has been out since 2006, so tough. The movie follows a race car named Lightning McQueen who ends up stranded in a small town off Route 66 called Radiator ...

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Jul 20, 2017
rural church, small town

A Kairos Moment for Small Town America

Over 30 million people still live in rural areas.
A Kairos Moment for Small Town America
Image: pixabay

When is time more than just seconds and minutes stuck end-to-end? If you’ve been around the Church for a while, you probably know the answer. As the Greeks and the authors of the Greek New Testament knew, there is time (chronos), and then there is time (kairos). The first ...

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Jun 27, 2017
rural, midwest, church planting

Ruralology: All It Takes Is Sacrifice, Commitment, and a Desire to Be What God Made Us to Be

It doesn’t matter how grand your vision is if it doesn’t flow with the culture of your community.
Ruralology: All It Takes Is Sacrifice, Commitment, and a Desire to Be What God Made Us to Be
Image: pixabay

I recently attended my high school class reunion. It was a backyard barbecue with a couple dozen in attendance. As I’m sure most reunions go, the time was spent reminiscing of the glory football days and Saturday night shenanigans. Not a lot has changed, but we are all ...

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