Matt, Heather, Jones & Macrae:

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Monday, March 3, 2008

Church Planting Internship

Heather and I have been in St. Louis now for just over a week. So what exactly does the CPI program (Church Planting Internship) look like?
  1. Community Involvement:
    The work of the church, being representatives of God on the earth, is to be a blessing to the community. Therefore, the training involves building connections and contacts into the community. I plan to do this through practical and relational avenues:
    1. Revamping a food distribution ministry that helps ordinary people reduce their grocery bill. Angel Food has already been started at Jubilee Church, however, this ministry needs promotion in the community. I plan to go door to door, offering people a box of food worth $75, for only $30. Sounds like a real blessing and a great way to meet people, right?
    2. Being involved in a new Student Ministry. Bryan Mowrey is casting some vision this coming Sunday evening for reaching college students. Student work is an area of exponential growth and increasing the overall passion and testosterone level of any church. My desire would be to blitz the Universities in August as all the freshman arrive and snag as many as we can -- rahhhhh!
    3. Volunteering and participating in established community events and groups through organizations like the YMCA and other charities. I need to do some asking around and research to find out more.
    4. Taking my wife to dancing lessons for example, or other social environments where we can have a good time and meet some people.
    5. Engage in conversation with our neighbors to build genuine friendships. We already are getting to know our super cool artist neighbor downstairs!

  2. Study & Application:
    1. I have a list of books to read about the church:
      1. Church Planting Handbook from Redeemer Church (Timothy Keller)
      2. Rediscovering Church by Lynn and Bill Hybels (already half way through)
      3. Breaking the Missional Code by Ed Stetzer
      4. Planting New Churches in a Postmodern Age by Ed Stetzer
      5. Planting Growing Churches for the 21st Century by Audrey Malphurs
      6. Starting High Definition Churches by Ron Sylvia
      7. Church Planting the Next Generation by Kevin Mannoia
      8. The Multiplying Church by Bob Roberts
    2. Each month I will study a church theme. This will help me build a library of resources. Themes include: church membership, finances, staffing policies, assimilation process, volunteer ministry, etc...
    3. Having completed a Year Team and 3 years of Trilogy, I have established a good theological foundation. However, I will study deeper into certain theological areas that more directly impact pastoral and missional activities such as divorce & remarriage, other religions, family issues, Baptism of the Holy Spirt, etc...
    4. I will also be interviewing church planters inside and outside Newfrontiers to learn from them and gain a broader understanding of what other church groups are doing. You should see these interviews appear on this blog, watch this space.

  3. Mentoring:
    During the internship I will be:
    1. Initiating a monthly one-to-one with John Lanferman. John oversees a number of Newfrontiers churches in the US and travels abroad as well. He started Christs' Church at the Lake of the Ozarks and Jubilee Church in St. Louis. If I don't initiate this, it wont happen. It will be fun to chase down a guy who travels around the world but I plan to make the most of this man and hope that we become deeper friends and that I can truly catch his vision for the church.
    2. Having weekly meetings with Rick Hein who is starting a new Jubilee location in Wentzville. I expect to have a lot of fun with Rick. He will provide regular accountability in what I am doing. One key advantage I see from Rick is the play-by-play "this is what church planting is like" as he has sleepless nights and goes through major successes and failures in his endeavor (smile Rick!).
    3. Working closely with Jubilee's leadership team who will help shape and develop me.

  4. Part Time Work:
    As we continue to reach towards our sponsorship goals I will be subsidizing our income through freelance Web Design and Search Engine Optimization from my previous employer. Initially this will be about one day a week. This is a great example of how God has made a way for us. The only challenge with be balancing the time commitments of CPI and freelance work -- I'll suck it up though!

  5. Strategy Planning:
    During the internship I will:
    1. Start demographic research and explore potential locations for us to start a new church.
    2. Develop skills and ideas for establishing a new church in a new environment.
Please continue to pray for us as we get going. I believe the Church Planting Internship has a lot of the right ingredients to effectively train and send us out so that Jesus can build his church.

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