Church planting 'Class of 2016' successes reported

 
In March of this year, Filipino International Baptist Church North in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, celebrated its one-year anniversary by baptizing eight new believers. That brought the total number of baptisms for the first year of the church to 17. Church planting missionary Bayani Taligato says his approach has been simple. "We joined God in what He is doing in Edmonton north, prayed that He would open opportunities so we can share the Gospel boldly, visited and invited people," Taligato said. "God ...

Vacation in the desert reveals God's call to Arizona

 
The two-hour drive to Sedona was an uncomfortable one for Josh Jennings, balking at his wife's vacation plans in the middle of the Arizona desert after the 2011 Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix. But when Josh and Shannon arrived in Sedona—2,000-plus miles removed from their South Carolina home—something happened they did not expect. There, in the midst of the red rock pillars and majestic mountain cliffs, they were drawn to this unique culture. Sedona, one of the ...

Why church plants sometimes have trouble becoming self-sustaining

 
It’s not rare to hear a church planter name money as one of his top needs even as he shifts in his seat and tries to come up with what he hopes you think will sound like a more spiritual answer. And, while many planters will admit that finances rank as one of their plant’s top challenges, it is still tough for them to ask for money from potential partners or even their own congregation. The ...

Texas church plant blessed with space once used as a bar

 
An El Paso, Texas, area church withstood the opposition of alleged drug traffickers and credit the protection of God as they sought to expand their presence in a strip shopping center in San Elizario, a city of 5,000 in El Paso County. Iglesia Bautista Dios con Nosotros, translated in English as "God with Us Baptist Church," quickly outgrew the small space rented in 2012 and expanded the storefront. Within a few years, they again needed more room, but the owner of Amigos ...

Pastor Willy: Everyone can play a role in church planting

 
I recently asked Willy Rice, senior pastor of Calvary Church in Clearwater, if it is realistic to think that smaller Florida Baptist churches can play a significant role in church planting. His answer convinced me that he’s confident church planting is based on heart and leadership—not size and scope. “Even in a smaller church I think focusing on multiplication is a kingdom mindset,” Pastor Willy says. “Obviously, in a smaller church you’...

Pastor Willy Rice leads Calvary to shift the church growth 'scorecard'

 
I met earlier this week with Willy Rice, senior pastor of Calvary Church in Clearwater, for a wide-ranging conversation. One of the first things I asked him was what he saw as the biggest obstacle to more Florida Baptist churches getting involved in church planting. His answer was fascinating. "Because we’ve created a target, we’ve created a scorecard that doesn’t necessarily value kingdom expansion as much as we value expanding our kingdom," Pastor Willy ...

Urban church planters sow amid complex demographics

 
Boston church planting catalyst Joe Souza has developed a unique strategy for working in the city: prayer driving. As a lifelong urbanite and an urban church planter in Rio de Janeiro, Orlando and now Boston, Souza frequently ponders how to reach the vast numbers of distinctive city dwellers, many of whom have radically different lifestyles from the average Christian. "I pray, I cry and I ask God in desperation: Father, do something here that these people may understand that You ...

How should a sending church help a church plant financially?

 
Sending churches commit to take responsibility for a church plant until it can stand on its own as a self-sustaining, self-governing and self-propagating church. Many sending churches have questions about their role in helping a church become self-sustainable. Here are six critical elements of the sending church’s role in walking with a church plant toward financial sustainability: 1. Set a realistic budget The sending church and church planter should work together to determine a realistic budget that accounts appropriately ...

Sending well: Deploying missionaries from your church

 
Like most churches, we got our start in church planting slowly. We partnered with several plants before we ever sent one. Fortunately, we had money to give, something most church planters find pretty useful. So we gave, we prayed, we sent short-term trips, but most of all, we learned. Years later when God gave our church a vision to plant 1,000 churches, the first thing I did was sit down with those first planters. I asked them questions like, “What ...

Church planter from Miami making a difference in Minneapolis

 
Cold, windswept plains or warm, sparkling beaches? Average January low temperatures of 7.5 degrees or 76.2? Minneapolis or Miami. The choice of Minneapolis over that beach down south was a no-brainer for Scot and Holly Mendenhall. In March 2014, a passionate belief in the God-built potential of others led the Mendenhalls and their six children to move from sun-soaked Miami to the chillier climate of Minneapolis. The inspiration? To tell people about Jesus and start a new church. “I believe that ...

Late-night churches reach Chinese restaurant workers

 
Sundays at 11 p.m. after a long day's work, Chinese restaurant workers in Rocky Mount, N.C., meet at Sunset Avenue Baptist Church to worship the Lord. The congregation is one of many for Chinese restaurant workers in small cities across the U.S. through Friends of International Restaurant Employees (FIRE), a ministry of Chinese-American church planter Kewen Dong. Holding worship meetings late at night allows restaurant workers to attend. "There are 1 million Chinese restaurant workers living in the United ...

‘This is what it feels to be called,’ says Orlando family returning to Denver

 
After one year in the Denver area helping to start a new church, Amy Burgess was clearly hooked. She and her family packed their bags to head back to Orlando in the summer of 2015, her mind drifted over the previous year spent in Denver. She thought of the new friends they’d made in the suburban community of Arvada. She thought of the children she’d served through the Storyline Fellowship children’s ministry. But ...

Canadian church plant seizes opportunity in Catholic sanctuary

 
In a place steeped in religious history, a Southern Baptist church plant in Canada's Quebec City is redefining what church looks like for a local community and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ among North America's most unreached people group. In 2005, Église Communautaire Mosaïque was founded in downtown Quebec City, Quebec, one of the poorest parts of the city and also one of the most spiritually impoverished places in Canada. With evangelical Christians making up less than 1 ...

Potential church planters get enhanced screening

 
Church planter Bryan Bair became involved in Southern Baptist life as a youth when he accepted the invitation to join a friend at church. God called Bair into ministry at a Southern Baptist church, and he had served in Southern Baptist churches for nearly two decades. But the 38-year-old, who was in the beginning stages of planting South Point Church in Tallahassee, Fla., was thinking long and hard about whether the new outreach should be part of a denomination. While ...

6 ways you can champion a church plant

 
Each Sunday, we'd haul baby beds, sound equipment and chairs to our temporary meeting place. We were church planters, and though it was hard work, the results were awesome. Flash forward to present day. Our son-in-law and daughter serve as church planting pastor and worship leader for a new church. Every Sunday, they load a trailer to haul all kinds of equipment to their downtown Indianapolis meeting site. America is still a great mission field. As a Southern Baptist, you ...

Louisiana native planting a church in his childhood neighborhood

 
Ryan Rice once despised the church. Then he found love. Growing up in greater New Orleans, an aunt read the Bible to him. Rice found the stories about Jesus fascinating. "I was the kid who raised his hand to answer every Bible question," Rice said of his early exposure to Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. When he turned 8, his mother married a man who was an abuser and drug user. As a child just discovering the Bible, he learned ...

Waterfront Church to be a fort in nation's capital

 
Zack Randles believes that the nation's capital needs another fort, and he's willing to build that fortified structure. The fort he envisions will not look anything like the military installations that protect the hub of America's government—this fort will be a church. The young west Texan set his heart toward Washington during his senior year at Oklahoma State University, where he studied sociology. He committed to God in prayer to "do whatever you want me to do." Randles ...

Creativity meets church planting in Montreal

 
When Tony Silveira's family arrived in Montreal in 2006, the Portuguese native was not naive. After starting churches in Toronto for 12 years and assisting with efforts in Montreal, he knew challenges existed in cities where there was an apparent resistance to religion. "In general, churches don't have a good reputation," Silveira said. "Religious words are curse words." A city that he now says is against religion was once nicknamed "the city of 100 bell towers," evidenced by the presence of so many ...

What church planters want you to know

 
What is a church planter? A simple definition of a church planter is one who plants (or starts) a new local church. That leads to the question, "What is a good definition for church?" The word "church" originally comes from the Greek word "ekklesia," which is defined as "an assembly" or "called-out ones." The root meaning of "church" is not that of a building but of a people. Beyond just a Greek definition of the word, the New Testament model ...

Church planting personal to NAMB trustees

 
As North American Mission Board trustees gathered for dinner on the eve of their Feb. 2 meeting, the entity's president, Kevin Ezell, called on several to share how their churches are involved in planting churches and sharing Christ. "I am excited to say that we have trustees who are not only serving as trustees, they are actually out there doing the ministry," Ezell said. During trustees' Feb. 2 meeting, they also heard reports of church planting and chaplaincy activity throughout North America, ...

Super Bowl: Bay Area in need of new churches

 
As the nation prepares for the first Super Bowl in the Bay Area in nearly three decades, Southern Baptists will turn their eyes to a changing mission field—but one with a consistent need for new churches. "Things are booming economically in the Bay Area," said Rich Johnstone, the North American Mission Board's (NAMB) Send North America city missionary for San Francisco. "At the same time, there's not a corresponding boom spiritually—just yet. However, we are starting ...

Former adult store site redeemed by church plant

 
There was something the landlord didn't disclose before D3 Church launched in a newly rented space on Jan. 10 in Tallahassee, Fla. A fellow pastor "mentioned in passing that it was really cool that God was putting a church in what used to be an adult video store," lead pastor John Thomas said. "I didn't have any idea of the history." Thomas learned of the previous tenant at a meeting of the Tallahassee-area Florida Baptist Association when he was sharing his ...

Idaho cowboy churches fill ministry void

 
A rancher in eastern Idaho spends two months each spring living in his rustic calving barn. He "calfnaps" when he can, since he's awake at least every two hours 24/7, checking on the birthing process, helping when needed. He doesn't like to miss church, though, so perhaps that's why he may choose to wear the same jeans, boots, shirt, vest and hat he wore while helping a mama cow or her calf, with vestiges of his work smeared, splattered and stained ...

Study reveals characteristics of successful church plants

 
America is launching new Protestant churches faster than it loses old ones, and attracting many people who previously didn't attend anywhere, new LifeWay Research studies show. More than 4,000 new churches opened their doors in 2014, outpacing the 3,700 that closed, according to estimates from the Nashville-based research organization based on input from 34 denominational statisticians. And on average 42 percent of those worshipping at churches launched since 2008 previously never attended church or hadn't attended in many years, LifeWay Research found in an analysis of 843 ...

Meeting needs key to Oregon church's ministry

 
"Is this a Jesus thing?" a homeless man asked Charity Brown. That day Brown and a team of volunteers from The Branch church in Corvallis, Ore., were making it their mission to serve those most in need in the community. And one of the ways the team was doing that was through washing feet. While washing the feet of another person is a reminder for believers of Jesus' example within the Gospels, its meaning can be particularly practical for a ...