Church Planting Phases Ken Guenther

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Church Planting PhasesKen Guenther

www.send.org1Ken Guenther

2Introduction to church planting phasesDescription of the process of planting churches that can reproduce themselvesThe model has been developed over a period of years3Introduction to church planting phasesSENDs Six Cs in the PhilippinesContactsClassesConvertsCongregationsChurchCommunication

4Introduction to church planting phasesFrontiers model for church plants in Muslim countriesDeveloped by Dick Scoggins and James Rockford - www.churchplantingphases.comA Vision of the Possible by Daniel Sinclair


The need for church planting phasesTo clarify the goal of church plantingTo understand that church planting is a processTo identify the next stepsTo maintain the focus on what is most importantTo measure progressTo pray more specificallyTo appreciate the various gifts on the teamTo decide when your job is completed


The phase descriptionsAgricultural analogyThreshold - the place or point of entering or beginningA intermediate goalChange of primary focusSuggested activitiesNot all of themNot only them

"So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 1 Corinthians 3:7 7

Phase 1: Seed (Preparing)Primary focus of church planters: the church planting teamNeed to identify the location, team membership and strategyExample from Paul: Acts 13:1-4, 15:36-16:10

8Phase 1 ends, Phase 2 beginswhen most of the CP team is settled in the community, target groups and strategies are confirmed and the team is ready to focus on evangelistic ministry.


Primary focus of church planters: the unbelievers in the communityNeed to spread the seed widelyExample from Paul: Acts 14:1-7, 8-19Phase 2: Sowing (Evangelizing)

10Phase 2 ends, Phase 3 beginswhen members of the team are discipling at least three believers from the intended people group.


Phase 3: Seedling (Discipling)Primary focus of church planters: new believers and their networksNeed to teach believers to mature in ChristExample from Paul: Acts 14:21-22, 20:20, 27Primary focus of new believers: personal spiritual growth12Phase 3 ends, Phase 4 beginsonce there is a fellowship group of 3 or more new believers of the people group regularly meeting together.


Phase 4: Young Plant (Covenanting)Primary focus of church planters: the congregation, the Body of ChristNeed to develop a unified fellowship of believersExample from Paul: Acts 16:4-5, 19:9-10Expanding focus of discipled believers salvation of family and friends

14Phase 4 ends, Phase 5 beginswhen the fellowship reaches these criteria (critical mass): GROUP COMMITMENT: The believers see themselves as a churchSIZE: Around 10 or more believers regularly involvedBREADTH: 3 or more married men (heads of households), and 2 or more mature women. LEADERSHIP: At least 2 key believers who seem to be elders in the makingSTRENGTH: Baptisms, perseverance, sharing their faith, planning for reproduction.


Phase 5: Fruit bearing (Empowering)Primary focus of church planters: church leadersNeed to train multiple mature, responsible leaders for the church

Example from Paul: Acts 14:23, 20:17-36Expanding focus of local church leaders: discipleship of congregation16Phase 5 ends, Phase 6 beginswhen 2 or more elders are ordained and the church has embraced a Great Commission vision. The church planting team transitions to a background or support role.

17Phase 6: ReproducingPrimary focus of remaining church planters: believers ready to participate in new church plantsChurch planters need to withdraw from leadership in the churchExample from Paul: Acts 16:3, 18:18Expanding focus of church: other communities without churches

18The DNA of reproductionWhat can the church planters do at each phase to ensure that at the end, the church that is planted will truly be a reproducing church?

19Plan for reproduction in Phase 1Choose a location that is a natural bridge to other communities that need churches. Develop a strategy that is reproducible without foreign funds

20Plan for reproduction in Phase 2Think of networks, not just individualsAsk your new friends to introduce you to their networksCultivate relationships with respected people who can open up doors to other networksInvite new believers into a discipling relationship21Plan for reproduction in Phase 3Teach the principle of reproduction to new believers from the startAsk believers to teach their children what they are learningEncourage new believers to share their faith in their networks22Plan for reproduction in Phase 4Teach the whole church to have a vision of reproductionAsk older believers to disciple younger believersTalk to believers who live far from the church about the possibility of starting another church in their areaEncourage the church to give financial help to evangelistic projects and other needs outside church23Plan for reproduction in Phase 5Move into the background (refuse to take the lead) to allow local believers to leadTrain leaders not just for preaching, but also for outreachTeach extensively on the importance of reproducing churchesEncourage believers to pray about and suggest locations for new church plants24Plan for reproduction in Phase 6Reproduction actually happensCoach or lead believers sent out by church as they plant new churchEncourage local leaders to continue to teach about reproduction