On Wednesday and Thursday, I had the privilege of leading the Church Planting Leadership Fellowship (CPLF).
The CPLF exists to help denominational leaders connect and collaborate around church planting learning. We serve as a place for peer learning. I have written about the group before at the blog.
We network together to discuss best practices and work together to increase the number and effectiveness of church plants being launched. I host it twice a year in Nashville. This time, we heard presentations around two themes:
Church planter assessment:
--Jim Bland, Presbyterian Church in America
--Nick Boring, Vision360
--John Shepherd, Mountain Lake Church, and
Multisite and church planting:
--Steve Pike, Assemblies of God
--Philip Nation and Scott McConnell, both of LifeWay Research
The pic is of Philip Nation leading a devotion at the beginning of the meeting:
I may post the presentations later, but I was struck by a couple of conversations. I was saddened to hear of the resistance some leaders are facing in their denominations toward church planting. In particular, two denominations are strongly resisting church planting-- and reconsidering their national efforts (which those who attend the meeting lead). In my denomination, we seem to be ramping up our emphasis in planting. So, it is comparatively easy-- most people believe we need more churches because there are so many lost people. But, in these two denominations, these leaders are fighting for their planters and their plants. And, what I found remarkable was that they were not fighting for their jobs-- they were willing to lose their jobs if they could keep their denominations focused on planting.
It made me thankful for my denominational context and I admired these leaders for standing up in theirs. I tweeted after our meeting:
So appreciative of kingdom minded ldrs not afraid of church planting. They are not coming down from the wall-- thx #cplf.
Don't give up when there is opposition from your denomination. Keep planting and pushing others to do the same. It will make your denomination stronger in the long run.
Don't let your denomination become a cul-de-sac in the Great Commission highway. Plant churches.