Planting Missional Churches in

Urban Centers of North America 

 

 

 

 

A Proposal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presented to

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The A Cappella Churches of Christ of North America

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By

Robert P. Odle

August 20, 2005

 

Introduction.

           A.    The Urgent Call: The call of God requires each congregation of God’s people to do its part in carrying out the mission of God (missio Dei) in the geographic area in which it is located. Therefore, this Proposal urges all congregations[1] willing to listen to immediately begin to develop and implement a process of planting missional churches in their particular area of influence. When implemented and successful, such a ministry will become a model among churches of Christ for church planting throughout North America. This Proposal presents a detailed plan on how to accomplish such a task.

          B.     Outline of Proposal. The Proposal will be divided into three sections. The first section will set forth the biblical foundation for this church-planting ministry. The second section will describe the goals, strategy, and steps to be followed in developing this proposed ministry. The final section will outline the resources available that will enable your congregation to become a catalyst in sending mission teams out to plant culturally-relevant, indigenously-led, indefinitely reproducible congregations in targeted population centers throughout your geographic area and beyond.

I.                   Section One: The Biblical Foundations for This Church Planting Proposal.

          A.    God’s Assignment. God is calling the church of the 21st century to a much greater sense of commitment to the Great Commission. As a church we must develop “a conscious awareness of a worldwide fellowship, a Kingdom Culture…. [We must become a church] whose prayer life and activities reflect a genuine commitment and desire to share the gospel … so that all people can be reconciled with God.”[2]

          B.     Our Present Context. Our world’s population continues to skyrocket. Although much of the exponential growth is taking place in the so-called third world countries we must always keep in focus that our own country is steadily growing as well. Furthermore, even though the overall population of the United States is not growing as fast as some areas of the world, the shift of our people from rural communities and farms to urban centers means that our cities are growing exponentially.

            The tragedy is that in the midst of all of this growth our churches are not growing. While some of our churches are swelling,[3] most are merely maintaining, some are closing their doors, and still others are barely hanging on to life. In the meantime, huge pockets of people are springing up all around us. These people groups live in new subdivisions, apartment complexes, and are even forming new municipalities all around us. The challenge for the church in many parts of North America is increased by the fact that many of these people groups do not speak English as their primary language.

            Chances are good that at your congregation, as you assemble each Lord’s Day, you do so within the shadows of a major city in the United States.[4] Many of us are literally in the backyard of a rapidly-growing urban center in the United States. In other words, we are living in a ripe and viable mission field. And yet chances are better than good that as a congregation you remain relatively static.

            The solution to this dilemma is very simple: as a people we must begin to recognize our neighborhoods, our towns, our city, state, and country as what they are—a mission field white unto harvest. The purpose of this Proposal is to demonstrate how your congregation can begin to meet this tremendous challenge: by intentionally, systematically, and incisively planting missional churches within these exploding population groups all around us.

          C.    Our Culture is Receptive to the Gospel. Many people blame our lack of growth on the unreceptive nature of our culture. The data, however, emphatically rejects this conclusion. In every major city in every state in our nation there is example after example of rapidly-growing, conservative, evangelical Protestant churches.

            The normal reaction of many members of the churches of Christ to this kind of comparison is immediate and straightforward: they are false teachers. Incorporated into our customary response are numerous issues that must be identified and reflected upon by each of us; however, an in-depth discussion of these issues is beyond the scope of this Proposal. What will be helpful to this discussion is a brief summary of the facts, all of which demonstrate that our culture is not as adverse to the gospel as we might think. Here is a summary of our core reaction to comparing the church of Christ to any rapidly-growing church:

               1.                  “Their False Doctrine Causes them to Grow Faster.” Somehow we have come to believe that unchurched people are more receptive to doctrinal error than they are to the truth of the gospel. However, a cursory examination of the beliefs espoused at many of these rapidly growing denominational churches reveals that, while knowledgeable members of the church of Christ might be able to discern doctrinal differences between the two groups, to an unchurched citizen of our community the differences are extremely subtle, even, arguably, imperceptible.

               2.                  “They Don’t Require Baptism.” While it is true that, in the teaching espoused at many conservative, evangelical churches, baptism comes after salvation, the fact of the matter is that hundreds of people are being baptized in these churches every year. And in many cases, they are experiencing total immersion in water—not merely sprinkling or some other, more convenient, form of baptism.

               3.                  “They Are in the Entertainment Business.” While it is true that the services at many of these denominational churches involve much more than we would ever be able to do in our churches (e.g., live bands, drama, testimonials from women, Hollywood actors and actresses, famous sports personalities, contemporary Christian artists, etc.) it is also true that the preaching of many of their “Pastors” is fairly conservative, biblically speaking. Furthermore, in many cases their approach to outreach is much more than mere entertainment. They are implementing practices that get the attention of the community and draw the unchurched to the message of God’s love.

               4.                  Conclusion. The purpose of this section is neither to defend nor to condemn the doctrines, beliefs, or practices of these rapidly-growing, conservative, evangelical Protestant churches. The point being made is simply this: hundreds of people, citizens of your community, are becoming members of these churches every year. In doing so, they are responding to a gospel message not significantly different from the one we preach. Furthermore, many respond by being completely immersed in water and by making a firm commitment to live out a life of Christian discipleship to the best of their ability. In other words, these people are not all being converted to an entertainment industry. They are being drawn to Christ and his message of redeeming hope. The only conclusion we must draw from this is that our culture is receptive to the gospel—at least more receptive than we are willing to admit.[5]

          D.    The Church of Christ is Missional. The Church Jesus established is, by its organic nature, missional. If we accept the Bible on its own terms we must accept this fundamental truth. “[Because we are the church of Jesus Christ,] we have a message to proclaim, an experience to share through witness, a goal of bringing individuals to Christ and then into a fellowship of believers, and thence into the world again to participate in service and witness.”[6] As the church of Christ living in the 21st century this is our mission—the purpose for which God has called us into existence.

          E.     Our Mission Ends Only When History Ends. When God created the world and determined a time span for human activity on this earth he initiated history. In history God revealed his way of salvation and reconciliation. History, then, is the arena for the carrying out of the church’s mission. The written record, the Bible, from which the church has received its mission, is an historical document. “[The church’s] commission is valid, by the word of Jesus, to the end of the age. Thus is the Christian mission set firmly in time…. [T]his Christian mission was commissioned in history, is continuous through history, and finds its finality only when history itself comes to an end.”[7]

          F.     God’s Covenant Has Always Been Missional. The theme of redemption and its communication to the entire human family runs throughout the Bible. In other words, the idea of mission is biblical through and through.[8] What we refer to as the Great Commission, repeated five times in the New Testament,[9] contains much more than powerful words that define the church’s mission until the end of history. Embedded within this simple, four-part assignment[10] is nothing short of the consummation of all that God has been doing upon the earth since the beginning of time. In other words, the message of the entire Bible, both the New and the Old Testament, is unequivocally a missionary message.[11]            

          G.    Conclusion. God always has been and always will be passionately interested in all nations, all tongues, all people groups, all ethnic minorities, receiving the opportunity to be restored to fellowship with him. In short, God loves all people. Furthermore, God expects his people to love all people and to reach out to all people with the message of redeeming grace.[12]

II.                Section Two: The Goal, Strategy, and Steps to be Followed in the Development of this Proposed Ministry.

           A.    The Goal. The goal of this ministry is to bring all people—representatives from every tribe and tongue and people and nation (Revelation 5:9)—under the authority of Christ (Ephesians 1:9-10). To accomplish this goal we must identify, recruit, equip, empower, release, and then nurture mission teams as they join God in his work of reconciling the creation unto himself. (2 Corinthians 5:19). Specifically, the objective of this Proposal is to form teams of ministers who will go out from their local congregations, make disciples, and thereby establish culturally-relevant, indigenously-led, indefinitely reproducible congregations of God’s people in urban centers throughout North America. It is the recommendation of this Proposal that you begin this process by targeting population areas within the area in which your congregation is located.

          B.     The Strategy. This Proposal urges the church to immediately begin to implement a procedure whereby the following related tasks can be accomplished:

               1.                  Recruit Team Leaders. Team leaders must be identified, recruited, and equipped for the purpose of forming church-planting teams made up of trained vocational missionaries from your congregation or other churches.

               2.                  Recruit Vocational Missionaries. From within your congregation or other churches vocational missionaries must be identified, recruited, equipped, and empowered to plant missional churches in urban centers of North America.

               3.                  Mission Teams Formed. Once Team Leaders are identified and recruited and Vocational Missionaries are recruited and trained, mission teams must be formed by matching Team Leaders with Vocational Missionaries. This matching must be based upon spiritual giftedness and compatibility.

               4.                  Teams Sent Out and Nurtured. These teams must be sent out for the purpose of planting missional churches among all people groups. As these teams begin to make disciples and churches begin to form, the Team Leaders and their families as well as the Vocational Missionaries and their families must be nurtured, encouraged, and supported as they accomplish their task.

          C.                            The Steps to be Followed.

                1.                  Identifying Potential Team Leaders and Vocational Church Planters.

                         a.      Through Prayer. The first step is to identify people who are predisposed by spiritual giftedness for such a ministry and people who are being called by God into such a ministry. As your congregation seeks this kind of person the search must begin with and be saturated throughout by prayer. Just as Jesus, we must spend the night in prayer to God before we select anyone to enter into this ministry. (See Luke 6:12-13).

                          b.      Through Personal Character Traits.[13] People suited to this ministry will have numerous character traits that can be observed in the way they are already living life. Although not an absolute prerequisite, the so-called lists of qualifications for Elders and Deacons[14] should serve as helpful guides to finding people suited to this ministry. Another source of guidance is the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23.

                                      (1)               Humble. He or she will have a humble spirit before God and before the world. He or she will understand that knowledge is limited, that a little knowledge can be dangerous, and that any amount of knowledge combined with a haughty spirit is sinful and destructive to the Lord’s cause. (Proverbs 3:5-7; 1 Corinthians 13:12; Philippians 3:10). This person will be teachable in all things, flexible, open-minded, and willing to change if directed to do so by the Spirit of God as he works through the Word, co-workers, teachers, or others.

                                      (2)               Grace Oriented. He or she will be grace oriented toward Christian discipleship. He or she will clearly live out the principle that we are what we are by the grace of God and not by religious performance. (Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 15:10).

                                      (3)               Available for Service. He or she will know that God does not “need” us, but he chooses to use us (Acts 17:25). Based upon that understanding this person will make him or herself available for service both to God and to people.

                                      (4)               Submissive. This person will be careful not to assume the role of the Holy Spirit in the ministry. Only he is the Comforter (John 14:16). Only he is the Teacher (John 14:26). Only he is the Guide (John 16:13 and Acts 13:1-3; 16:6-10).

                                      (5)               Discerning. This person will pray for, expect, and recognize the presence, providence, power, and grace of God in the ministry. He or she will pray for it like Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:1-28), expect it like Abraham (Genesis 22:18), and recognize it like Joseph (Genesis 50:20).

                                      (6)               Patient. This person will understand that God always takes the initiative (Genesis 3:9; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:9-10). Therefore, this person will patiently and faithfully wait on God in the ministry.

                                      (7)               Empowered. This person will pray for and work toward an empowered rather than a respectable ministry. Such an approach is a prerequisite (Acts 1:8) because this ministry is a spiritual rather than an intellectual battle (Ephesians 6:10-12).

                                      (8)               Prayerful. This person will understand that such discernment and power in ministry is cultivated through prayer (Acts 4:32) not fancy programs or strategies. This person will know that a prayer-driven ministry causes people to trust more in God and less in human beings (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).

                                      (9)               Incarnational. This person will pray for and develop an incarnational approach to ministry. This means that our Savior will be the ultimate model for the ministry (John 1:14; Romans 8:3; Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 2:14). This person will seek to be like the Apostle Paul who followed the example of Jesus (1 Corinthians 9:19-23; 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8) as he carried out his ministry.

                                      (10)           People-Oriented. This person will pray for and develop a receptor-oriented approach to ministry. This means that outreach efforts will be holistic, focusing on whole families more than on individuals (e.g., Cornelius, Lydia, the Philippian Jailer). This means the message presented will be simplified and contextualized, just as the Apostle Paul presented his message (Acts 13:16-41; cf. 17:22-31). This means that the core of the message will be that Jesus is Lord (John 5:19-23; Acts 2:36; 16:29; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 8:6). This means that this person will be able to preach and teach the ideal but expect and accept the real (Galatians 3:28-29 cf. Philemon and Onesimus).

               2.                  Recruiting, Training, and Equipping.

                     a.      Team Leaders. Each missionary team must have at least one man, preferably with a wife and family, who is able to serve as the fulltime evangelistic leader for the ministry project. This man can be recruited from within the local congregation or from a brotherhood training institute such as the Sunset International Bible Institute or one of our Christian Universities. The financial support for such a man and his family must be handled on a case-by-case basis.[15]

                     b.      Vocational Missionaries. Each mission team will be made up of at least one Team Leader and several vocational missionaries. The vocational missionaries may be single men, single women, couples, or families. The criteria listed above must also be used in recruiting ministry candidates to serve as vocational missionaries.

                     c.       Team Formation, Training, and Equipping. Once all of the ministry candidates (the Team Leaders and the Vocational Missionaries) are prayerfully and wisely identified they must be recruited into an in-house program designed to prepare them for this church-planting ministry. The training will be multi-faceted.

            First, it will tap into a wide variety of resources already available to our churches to train and equip church planters and church-planting teams. Second, it will require a committed and disciplined schedule of personal reading and study on many different subjects. Third, to the greatest extent possible within the local context, it will involve doing what is being learned as it is being learned.

               3.                  Empowering, Releasing, and Nurturing. Once the church planters complete this program of recruiting, training, and equipping it is proposed that they be empowered by your congregation for their ministry, released by your congregation to their ministry, and then nurtured for several years afterward as they accomplish their ministry. Because each church plant, and each church planting team, will bring its own unique set of circumstances it is beyond the scope of this Proposal to make specific recommendations in this area. However, certain principles must be understood and followed:

                     a.      The Church Planting Team Must Be Empowered to Carry Out the Plan.  

            Many of the so-called church plants among churches of Christ are little more than church splits. This Proposal advocates that all future church plants originating from your congregation be intentionally designed, planned, and executed. The team must go out from the sending church with more than merely the “blessing” of the church;[16] the sending church must see this as an integral part of its life and ministry. The sending church must understand that the church being planted may differ radically from the sending church in areas of culture, opinion, and non-essentials.[17] The sending church must empower this diversity by encouraging it from the very beginning.

                     b.      The Church Planting Team Must Be Released and Supported as it Carries Out the Plan.

            The success of the church plant must be a top priority for the sending church. As already stated, each church plant, and each church planting team, will bring its own unique set of circumstances into this ministry; however, the sending church must be willing to stay with each new church plant long enough to insure that it is a success.

                     c.       The Church Planting Team Must Be Nurtured as it Carries Out the Plan.

            Perhaps the most important thing the sending church can do to insure the success of its church plants is to make a commitment to nurture the church planting team for as long as the church plant remains in its infancy. Our brotherhood is making huge strides in understanding the need for missionary care. These resources must be marshaled for use in this ministry as well. A church planting team sent into the inner city of one of our major cities, for example, must be cared for in the same way that a team sent to the capital city of a developing country would be nurtured by the sending church.

III.             Section Three: Marshalling Resources.

          A ministry project of this magnitude cannot be accomplished by one church alone. That said, however, this Proposal argues strenuously that this type of ministry must be carried out by and performed within the context of the local church rather than being delegated to an off-site training institution as we see happening now within our brotherhood. Tragically, such artificial structures often develop into highly academic institutions with disciple-making, church development, and even team formation taking a secondary role to academic studies.

            This Proposal urges your congregation to set itself up as a catalyst for church planting and as a rallying point for the vast array of resources already available to you within our brotherhood of churches. God has provided the resources; your congregation must simply marshal them and call on them to begin working together toward a common goal. Below is a summary of the various resources already available to your congregation for the carrying out of this ministry project.

          A.    Mission Alive: Pathway to Church Planting.[18] This is a newly-formed ministry of Dr. Gailyn Van Rheenen and his wife Becky located in the Dallas Forth Worth, Texas area. Both Gailyn and Becky are eminently qualified to train church planters and broadly experienced in church planting.

          B.     Kairos: Church Planting Support.[19] This is the ministry of Dr. Stan Granberg of Portland, Oregon.

          C.    Focus Northeast.[20] This is the ministry of Charles and Tamara Cook of Lubbock, Texas.

          D.    Our Brotherhood’s Christian Universities. Most of our brotherhood universities are keenly aware of the crisis among churches of Christ. Most are rich with resources for any congregation seeking to become a missional outpost for the Kingdom of God.

          E.     Abilene Christian University. The faculty and staff of Abilene Christian University are available to support this ministry. This author is currently working on an M. Div. Equivalency from ACU and will complete that degree in May of 2007. Immediately thereafter this author will enroll in the Doctor of Ministry program at ACU. The D. Min. program is a hands-on, ministry degree program rather than a research-intensive program. The goal is to assist men and women in the carrying out of ministry. A church-planting ministry such as the one outlined by this Proposal is a perfect ministry project to submit to the faculty of ACU for their assistance, critique, and support. This author has briefly discussed this concept with Dr. Charles Siburt who is in charge of the D. Min. program at ACU. He enthusiastically supports this idea.

           F.     The Sunset International Bible Institute (“SIBI”). The faculty, staff, and students of SIBI are available as resources to this ministry. One of the primary resources available to this church is Jay Jarboe, Outreach Minister for the Sunset Church of Christ and former Dean of Missions at SIBI.

           G.    The Adventures in Missions Program (AIM).[21] Another resource is the Adventures in Missions program at SIBI. Through this excellent program missionary apprentices can be recruited for up to two years of dedicated service in Kingdom activity.

            H.    Dr. Daniel A. Rodriguez.[22] Dan teaches at Pepperdine University and is perhaps the most qualified person within the fellowship of Churches of Christ in Hispanic missions. Dr. Rodriguez has also indicated his willingness and his desire to get involved in a cross-cultural, church-planting project in any area of North America.

            I.       A Church-Planting Library. Attached to this Proposal is a Bibliography. These are excellent resources for equipping men and women for church planting in urban centers in North America.

            J.      Other Resources. The resources thus far identified are all directly affiliated with a cappella churches of Christ. There are numerous other resources available that are not affiliated with our fellowship of churches but are, nonetheless, extremely valuable resources to any congregation seeking to become a missional church.[23]

            K.    Summary of Resources. One congregation cannot accomplish this project alone; however, God has provided and will continue to provide the resources necessary for your congregation to become a pioneering church in missions in North America. The only thing lacking is the assent of your congregation—and the faith required to join God in such a redemptive mission.

Conclusion.

            The goal of this ministry is to recruit, equip, empower, release, and then nurture mission teams as they join God in his work of reconciling the creation unto himself. (2 Corinthians 5:19). The objective of this ministry is to bring all people—representatives from every tribe and tongue and people and nation (Revelation 5:9)—under the authority of Christ. (Ephesians 1:9-10).

            If your congregation will follow the steps outlined in this Proposal, it will be able to accomplish this and much more. It is the dream of this author that your congregation will immediately begin to form teams of ministers who will go out from your location, make disciples, and thereby plant culturally-relevant, indigenously-led, indefinitely reproducible congregations within your surrounding area and beyond, all to the glory of God.

 


End Notes          

      [1] My spiritual heritage since conversion on May 13, 1978 has been with the a cappella churches of Christ. I have no interest in leaving that heritage; however, unless we wake up and once again enter passionately into the life and mission of God on the earth I am terrified that our heritage is doomed to extinction. Therefore, it is to those churches I am issuing this plea.

                [2] Mando Sevillano, Evangelizing the Culturally Different (Shippensberg, Pennsylvania: Treasure House, 1997), xv.

                [3] Overall attendance may be climbing in a swelling church; however, the increase in attendance is coming from transfers from other churches of Christ and not from actual conversions.

                [4] You can verify the exact population of your area by consulting the data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. The data from the 2000 census is available online at http://quickfacts.census.gov, by mail at Population Estimates Program, Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC  20233, or by telephone at 301‑457‑2422.

                [5] Because if we do admit that our culture is receptive to the gospel, as this Proposal argues, then the reason we are not growing lies with us rather than with our “unreceptive culture.”

                [6] Alan Tippet, Introduction to Missiology (Pasadena, California: William Carey Library, 1987), xxii.

                [7] Tippet, Ibid., xxiv.

                [8] See Tippet, Ibid.

                [9] Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-16, Luke 24:46-47, John 20:21-23, and Acts 1:7-8.

                [10] Synthesizing all five references results in these four parts to the church’s assignment: (1) go into the entire world; (2) proclaim the gospel, thereby making disciples of all nations; (3) baptize those disciples; and (4) teach them all things that Jesus commanded, which includes the four-part assignment just given.

                [11] For an excellent treatment of this idea see, David Filbeck, Yes, God of the Gentiles Too: The Missionary Message of the Old Testament (Wheaton, Illinois: The Billy Graham Center, Wheaton College, 1994).

                [12] God also loves His creation. His plan of redemption includes much more than merely saving human souls; it includes redeeming the entire creation as well (Romans 8:18ff). Such a discussion, however, would take most of us far beyond our present level of comfort. My intent with this Proposal is to begin with what I perceive to be step one: reigniting our fire for human redemption and, once that has occurred, perhaps then we can begin to explore the implications of a broader view of redemption.

                [13] Adapted from lecture notes and handouts given by Daniel A. Rodriguez, “Hispanic Mission in the US: Missions to and From the Barrio,” Abilene, Texas: Abilene Christian University, May 16-23, 2005.

                [14] I prefer to call these lists the qualities of spiritually mature disciples. The qualities of deacons are listed in 1 Timothy 3:8-10, 12. The qualities of elders are listed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and in Titus 1:5-9.

                [15] This Proposal is NOT about financial resources. This Proposal is about embracing the vision of God and entering into the mission of God on earth. Since this Proposal urges your congregation to do nothing more than carry out the stated and assigned will of God on earth it is my position that He, God, is responsible for providing the resources required. It is my further belief that He will provide all of the resources necessary to accomplish his will if your congregation will simply respond in obedient faith to His call.

                [16] Too often expressed in terms along these lines: “Since you are not happy here at this church, why don’t you (all) move to another part of town and start your own church.”

                [17] Again, my personal preference is that all churches planted be a cappella churches of Christ. Although I may not personally see instrumental music as an essential, or “a salvation issue,” I do strongly feel that we must honor our traditional heritage, not be divisive, and follow the principles for unity set out by inspiration through the Apostle Paul in Romans 14:1 – 15:13.

                [18] Dr. Van Rheenen can be contacted at P.O. Box 117575, Carrollton, TX 75011, 972-939-4337 (Office), 972-754-9693 (Mobile). More information about Mission Alive can be obtained online at http://www.missionalive.org.

                [19] Dr. Granberg can be contacted at 11124 NE Halsey, #497, Portland, OR 97220, 503-257-1220. More information about Kairos can be obtained online at http://www.kairoschurchplanting.org.

                [20] Charles Cook can be contacted at the Sunset International Bible Institute, 3723 34th Street, Lubbock, TX 79410-2895, 806-792-5191. More information about Focus Northeast can be obtained online at http://www.focusnortheast.org.

                [21] Both SIBI and the AIM program can be contacted at 3723 34th Street, Lubbock, TX 79410-2895, 806-792-5191. More information about SIBI can be obtained online at http://www.sibi.cc. More information about the AIM Program can be obtained online at http://www.aimsunset.org.

                [22] Dr. Rodriquez can be contacted at Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90263, 310-506-4000. His direct office phone is 310-506-4767 and his email is daniel.rodriguez@pepperdine.edu.

                [23] For example, Stadia is a church planting organization of the Independent Christian Churches established in the 1950’s. Under its leadership that fellowship of churches has become one of the fastest growing Christian groups in the United States. They can be contacted at Stadia: New Church Strategies, P.O. Box 19700, Irvine, CA 92623-9700, 800-233-3880, Fax: (949) 417-5906. More information about Stadia can be obtained online at www.staidia.cc.

Bibliography 

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________. A Theology as Big as the City. Downers   Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press,     1997.

Bosch, David J. Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Missions. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 2004.

Camp, Lee C. Mere Discipleship: Radical Christianity in a Rebellious World. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Brazos Press, 2003.

Conn, Manuel M. and Manuel Ortiz. Urban Ministry: The Kingdom, the City and the         People of God. Downers  Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2001.

Elizondo, Virgilio. Galilean Journey: The Mexican-American Promise. Maryknoll, New    York: Orbis Books, 1985.

Filbeck, David. Yes, God of the Gentiles Too: The Missionary Message of the Old   Testament. Wheaton, Illinois: The Billy Graham Center, Wheaton College, 1994.

Freidzon, Claudio. Treasure in Jars of Clay: Allowing God to Mold You for His Purpose   and Glory. Lake Mary, Florida: Creation House, 1999.

Frost, Michael and Alan Hirsch. The Shape of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st Century Church. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2003.

Garrison, David. Church Planting Movements: How God is Redeeming a Lost World. Bangalore, India: WIGtake Resources, 2004.

Gonzalez, Juan. Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America. New York, New       York:   Penguin Books, 2000.

Gonzalez, Juan L. Mañana: Christian Theology from a Hispanic Perspective. Nashville, Tennessee: Abington Press, 1990.

________. Santa Biblia: The Bible Through Hispanic Eyes. Nashville, Tennessee: Abington Press, 1996.

Guder, Darrell L. The Continuing Conversion of the Church. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000.

_______. Editor. Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1998.

Harley, David. Preparing to Serve: Training for Cross-Cultural Mission. Pasadena, California: William Carey Library, 1995.

Hodges, Melvin L. The Indigenous Church: A Complete Handbook on How to Grow Young Churches. Springfield, Missouri: Gospel Publishing House, 1993.

Kozol, Jonathan. Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation. New York, New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1995.

Law, Eric H. F. The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb: A Spirituality for Leadership in a Multicultural Community. St. Louis, Missouri: Chalice Press, 1993.

Lingenfelter, Judith E. and Sherwood Lingenfelter. Teaching Cross-Culturally: An Incarnational Model for Learning and Teaching. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2003.

Lingenfelter, Sherwood and Marvin K. Myers. Ministering Cross-Culturally: An Incarnational Model for Personal Relationships. Second Edition. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2003.

Lingenfelter, Sherwood. Transforming Culture: A Challenge for Christian Mission. Second Edition. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1998.

________. Agents of Transformation: A Guide for Effective Cross-Cultural Ministry. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 1996.

Malphurs, Aubrey. Planting Growing Churches for the 21st Century: A Comprehensive Guide for New Churches and Those Desiring Renewal. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1992.

McIntosh, Gary L. and Samuel D. Rima, Sr. Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership: The Paradox of Personal Dysfunction. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1997.

McNeal, Reggie. Revolution in Leadership: Training Apostles for Tomorrow’s Church. Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press, 1998.

Murray, Stuart. Church Planting: Laying Foundations. Scottdale, Pennsylvania: Herald Press, 2001.

Newbigin, Leslie. The Gospel in a Pluralist Society. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989.

Ortiz, Manuel. One New People: Models for Developing a Multiethnic Church. Downers Grove,   Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1996.

________. The Hispanic Challenge: Opportunities Confronting the Church. Downers Grove,        Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1993.

Perkins, John M., Editor. Restoring At-Risk Communities: Doing it Together and Doing it Right. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1995.

Rodriguez, Richard. Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez. New York, New York: Bantam Books, 1982.

Sevillano, Mando. Evangelizing the Culturally Different. Shippensberg, Pennsylvania: Treasure House, 1997.

Shuster, Marguerite. Power, Pathology, Paradox: The Dynamics of Evil and Good. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1987.

Sider, Ronald J. Good News and Good Works: A Theology for the Whole Gospel. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1993.

________. Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger. Second Edition. Dallas, Texas: Word Publishing, 1990.

Stetzer, Ed. Planting New Churches in a Postmodern Age. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003.

Tippet, Alan. Introduction to Missiology. Pasadena, California: William Carey Library, 1987.

Villafañe, Eldin. Seek the Peace of the City: Reflections on Urban Ministry. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1995.

Wagner, C. Peter. Church Planting for a Greater Harvest: A Comprehensive Guide. Ventura, California: Regal Books, 1990.

Warren, Rick. The Purpose Driven Church: Growth Without Compromising Your Message & Mission. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1995.

Wilbanks, Dana. Re-Creating America: The Ethics of U.S. Immigration and Refugee Policy in a Christian Perspective (Churches’ Center for Theology and Public Policy). Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press, 1996.

Wright, Walter C. Relational Leadership: A Biblical Model for Leadership Service. Carlisle, United Kingdom: Paternoster Press, 2000.

Journal Articles.

Bañuelas, Arturo. “U.S. Hispanic Theology.” Missiology  20:2 (April, 1992): 275-300.

Escobar, Samuel. “Migration: Avenue and Challenge to Mission.” Missiology 31:1 (January, 2003): 17-28.

Ford, John T. “Hispanic/Latino Theology—¡En Marcha!” Religious Studies Review 29:1 (January, 2003): 35-42.

Hernández, Edwin I., Kenneth G. Davis, and Catherine Wilson. “The Theological Education of U.S. Hispanics.” Theological Education 38:2 (2002): 71-85.

Jiménez, Pablo A. “The Laborers of the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16): A Hispanic Homiletical Reading.” Journal for Preachers 21:1 (December, 1997): 35-40.

León, Luis D. “Metaphor and Place: The U.S.-Mexico Border as Center and Periphery in the Interpretation of Religion.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 67:3 (September, 1999): 541-71.

Lloyd-Sidle, Patricia J. “Called to the Border: A Paradigm for Mission.” International Review of Mission 78:310 (April, 1989): 135-43.

Pineda, Ana María. “The Challenge of Hispanic Pluralism for the United States Churches.” Missiology 21:4 (October, 1993): 437-42.

Rodriguez, Daniel A. “No Longer Foreigners and Aliens: Toward a Missiological Christology for Hispanics in the United States.” Missiology 31:1 (January, 2003): 51-67.

________. “Victory Outreach International: Pentecostalism in the Americas.” Apuntes: Theological Reflections from the Hispanic Margin 22:4 (Winter, 2002): 136-48.

Rogers, Thomas G. and Mauro B. de Souza. “Preaching Cross-Culturally to Spanish-Speaking U.S. Hispanic Americans.” Homiletic 28:1 (Summer, 2003): 1-10.

Rossing, John P. “Mestizaje and Marginality: A Hispanic American Theology.” Theology Today 45:3 (October, 1988): 293-304.

8 Responses to “A Church Planting Proposal”


  1. respected sir,
    greetings to you in the Jesus crist. i am pas tuphan
    have been working (ministry work) at baragadra and outside of
    baragadra
    i have taken bible training,teached som boys and girls to work in my
    Ministry field,whom had been working and thir names are given below-EVAN:LALTU SARDER, GANESH SABAR, SANTOSH SABAR, PADIP MANDAL, SAMIR DAS, LAKSHMI SARDAR, NEBADITA SABAR, MOUSUMI MANDAL, NEPALI SARDAR, BANDANA SABAR,APARNA SAREN, SUMIRA DAS,NABAKISHOR MAHATA, EVANCE RI.they are working personal evangelism,fasting prayer,gospel meeting inverious fields,villages,tracks distribution and hous visit,heeling ministry,
    They are also working at our Sunday schools.and somes time children feeding programme.in various fields and villages-bagjabra village-30 people,khudakanali-27 people,kharda-38 people, motgoda-20 people, kulapara-26 people,garputa 22 people,
    Doupur-18,bhuladanga-25 people,jaspara-15,luluk puta-18,sonardanga-28 people,choto sarenga-10,some of my workers give their labour in paddy fields,tracks, in 100work,
    As well as in the work of ministry.i have two Sunday school the children of my Sunday school are living below the proverly line.we are in prayer for them in nutrition programme.120 people are ready to take biptizem.if one person of 120 becom died who will be suffer for his blood.if you want to visit us,you can come to netaji international airport kolkata(dumdum).i will received you there.i am looking forward to your early reply.
    PAS:TUPHAN BISWAS
    VILL+PO-BARA GADRA
    DIST-BANKURA
    PIN-722150
    WEST BENGAL
    INDIA
    MOB-09564843572


  2. am pastor boniface from kenya and i need to join your church planters team+254723215174

  3. kerbaguebra Says:

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  4. pastor boniface Says:

    how is you doing in kenya mombasa city can i join your team and plant more churchers here

  5. ikaho Achumi Says:

    Hi .
    Dear brothers and sisters in Christ..
    My name is ikaho achumi
    I have been praying for a proper link up with a good organization to take up my ministry among the children in north east INDIA ,Dimapur ,Nagaland ! Please contact me at ikaho321@gmail.com or contact +919436699195 if there and man and women of God who really has a zeal to take up this cross helping out with financial back up in this ministry of Christ we can really make this ministry grow in a big tree and of sure the fruit full one!
    Ministry strategy ..mini bible school and a church planting in a remote(rural ) place where gospel is not even been focused ! Thanking you all

  6. Osric Van Staden Says:

    please help with missionary equipment.

  7. Jasper Says:

    I am Jasper starting a new ministry in Uganda,our mission is ” We collectively exist to promote, to seek and to save the lost souls through Christ, Luke 10:19″we are looking for partners in ministry.The ministry is two weeks in operations and more than two years on paper while i was still looking for God , waiting for his approval,no permanent placement yet.We are in serious need of public address system which a point of catch up with nonbelievers,am currently meeting the initial cost of starting up and operational cost.

  8. MWANZA BAPTIST ASSOCIATION ( NELSON PENFORD- SECRETARY GENERAL) Says:

    Praise the Lord Hope you are doing great over there. I am Rev. Nelson Penford from mwanza Tanzania. I am working as the secretary general of mwanza baptist association here in mwanza whereby we have 35 churches and working in secondary schools and primary schools by making sure that they receive the word of God every week. we are also working such ministry in the Islands so we need to expend our Islands work so we need you to join us with evangelism and discipleship ministry so that we may reach to unreached places. our contacts are MWANZA BAPTIST ASSOCIATION, P.O.BOX 11794,MWANZA-TANZANIA, EAST – AFRICA. EMAIL; mwanzabaptisttz@yahoo.com mobile number is +225 755546319/ 783248705

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