J.R. Briggs

Attempting to behold the miracle long enough without falling asleep

  • Are you planting a church (or thinking about it)? We need to talk.

    April 2, 2013

    Renew leaf with dirt

    If you’re a church planter – or you are thinking of planting a church – we need to talk.

    You may know this already, but there are few things you need more as you lead your church plant than receiving the right training and equipping – especially in the stages.

    I speak from experience.

    When we planted our church five years ago, I participated in a training week for church planters. Little did I know how significant that week would be for me and the leaders in our church. It was  invaluable in shaping me and our church for mission.

    It is an entire week created to teach church planters about:

    • theology and ecclesiology (why plant a church? what are we after in planting churches? how do we grow the hearts of people in our context?)
    •  missiology (how do I learn the context to which I am being sent? what is God’s mission and how do I fit into it?)
    • the practical ins and outs of church planting (recruiting volunteers, raising support, applying for a 501(c)(3) status, developing a core team, etc)
    • the heart issues that come with this calling (do I believe the gospel I am proclaiming? how do I develop healthy rhythms in a high burnout rate calling? how do I define success/failure in church planting?).

    It was so valuable I still refer back to my notes on what I learned.

    The Ecclesia Network (with whom our church belongs) sponsors and hosts this event every May in Richmond, VA – and this year it’s held May 20-24. 

    Each year I have the privilege of being a part of the team that helps host this event.In addition to solid training from a variety of practitioners, you get to be around other church planters who are in similar seasons of ministry. I’ve found great friendships that remain over the years that started and were developed through these training weeks. It’s a week I look forward to – as a member of the faculty of this training week, I get to interact with other church planters, hearing their stories, their hopes and their fears in starting a new work in the kingdom of God.

    And the location for this training couldn’t be better. Richmond Hill Retreat Center (located on historical Church Hill in Richmond VA) is an ecumenical retreat center committed to continual prayer for reconciliation in the city of Richmond. You not only get church plant training, but you eat meals and sleep on the premises with others- in addition to praying the hours three times a day in the chapel with the residents of the Richmond Hill community. The grounds, the garden, the chapel, the living quarters always bring me such rest and a closeness to God.

    Church planters, I know it might be tempting to say I’m busy or It’s expensive or I don’t think I’ll know anybody else attending or It’s short notice. But I’m telling you: you will find this week to be incredibly valuable for you and your church. Trust me.

    Click here to download the brochure. 

    Click here to register. 

    Come join us for the week. I look forward to hearing your story and walking alongside of you in this significant calling of church planting. 

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