Recently one of our new association facilitators and I were discussing a church planting strategy for one of our county-seat towns. Because of my involvement in several church plants over the last few years, I let the facilitator know that I had prepared a strategic plan including a timeline to help guide new church planters. In that document, I offer a guideline of what needs to happen during the months before, during, and after the church’s public launch.
I skimmed my document before sending it and was reminded of the contextual differences between smaller towns and the cities. When I sent the associational facilitator the document, I let him know that I believed it was wholly unsuitable for the county seat context. The time lines, the sequence of activities, the funding, almost everything needed modification for the new context.
This led me to schedule a summit of Iowa pastors experienced in town and rural contexts to develop a similar strategy document with timelines to guide new church planters. Of course, each pastor will need to adapt the principles to his own gifts and local factors, but I believe we can pool our experience to help new pastors and church planters have a good start in Iowa towns and rural settings.
I’ve scheduled this meeting for September. More later.
Let me know if you have recommendations for the group or content for the strategy paper. Email me directly at TLubinus@BCIowa.org.