Earlier this year the team at Exponential and I issued a report on the Top Issues Church Planters Face. We listened to over 40 national leaders who have over 600 years of cumulative experience working with 100's of planters. Individual planter interviews, online surveys, and volumes of real world experience were included in the discovery process. I did a multi-part blog series on that report that you can read here. You can download the full report here.
The Top Issues we found are:
Church planting is a great challenge-- we are living that again at Grace Church and it is never easy. It's normal to experience discouragement, loneliness, frustration, uncertainty, and to even question one's calling during planting.
The results of this research and the difficult realities facing planting families have shaped Exponential's focus for the coming year. The 2012 Exponential Conference Theme of Sifted deals directly with the spiritual, physical and emotional health of the planter and family as key aspect in catalyzing healthy reproducing churches.
This fall, Exponential is also coordinating over 40 One Day Events meeting in various locations across the country that are designed to encourage church planters and their families.
Highlights of the One Day Events are:
- Local Church Based
- 9:00 am to 3:00 pm to avoid overnight travel expenses
- In as many major metropolitan areas as possible to minimize travel expenses for families
- Childcare provided where possible so husband and wife can both attend
- Inexpensive so finances are not an issue ($29 per planting couple - includes lunch!)
- Filled with conversation, connections, interaction and ENCOURAGEMENT for church planting couples
- I appreciate the approach that the Exponential team has taken on these One Day Events. They started with the end in mind asking, "how can we create an environment to encourage church planters and take away as many barriers to participation as possible?" So they removed the barriers, including cost, childcare, overnight travel, etc. There is also great value in having these events on a local church level, as the host churches have struggled through the same issues as the planters and the relationships formed during the one days can continue well after the events.
I encourage planters to attend an "Encouraged One Day Event" near you. See www.onedays.org for more information and a list of cities.