Mt. Bethel Project Update-No. 26

How to Start a Church Planting Movement – The value of “meet and report”

“Encouragement is the ‘oil’ of the church.” This is one of Bruce Bennett’s favorite sayings.  Without oil in an engine the friction produces heat and the heat will destroy the engine.  Like oil keeps an engine functioning, encouragement keeps the church functioning.

Starting a church planting movement requires creating reproducible systems of encouragement.  The question of “how do we encourage the people we are training” is one that every trainer has to consider.  Church planting movements are built on changing the behaviors of believers through the nine strategies. Behaviors are changed through training and encouragement.

Encouragement happens both through face to face encouragement, but also through the weekly “meet and report” time that happens during the training meeting. During this time of the training meeting members of the training group report on the activities they have done during the past week to meet the goals they agreed to in the previous meeting.  Those who have met their goals are appreciated and encouraged to keep going. Those who have not met their goals are appreciated and encouraged to do better. For example, if someone agrees to share their story and God’s story five times during the week, and at the report time during the next training week they report that they have only shared twice, then the goal of the trainer is to express appreciation for the good work they have done in sharing twice, and then encourage them to complete the next week’s assignment.

“Meet and Report” is a powerful factor in shaping behavior of believers. If there is no “meet and report” time in the training session, trainees will quickly lose motivation to do the things that God is calling them to do, such as sharing their story and God’s story, or gathering their own group to train and disciple.  This is a form of the old adage that “what get’s measured get’s done.”  Just knowing that we are going to have to meet and report on our work toward our weekly goals is a great source of encouragement to keep meeting those goals.

Strategy Coordinator Training

Eight people gathered at Peach orchard Retreat Center in August for the Mt. Bethel Project’s first Strategy Coordinator Training.  The training consisted of three phases: a brief overview of the entire church planting system, an introduction to four different methods of short-term discipleship plans/plans to equip persons to share their faith and gather their own group, and opportunity to practice leading the actual lessons each trainer will be teaching their group.

Strategy Coordinators play an important role in church planting movements.  Strategy Coordinators are persons who understand the reproducible strategies necessary to have a movement and know how to train others in those strategies.  The goal of training is always to produce reproducible behaviors in believers that they can pass on to the next generation of believers and churches.

Our Strategy Coordinator training happened over two days during which the participants selected the system of training they will use with the groups they are starting. The participants also agreed to start their own group and train that group to share their faith, gather a group, disciple that group and train their group to train a second generation group.

In addition to starting a group, the trainers in the group agreed to participate in a conference call every two weeks to “meet and report” on their progress.

I want to thank each person that attended and also thank them for their obedience to God’s call on their life to participate in the work of church multiplication.

Strategy Coordinator Training North

The first Strategy Coordinator Training was a beneficial time for those who participated. We are considering doing this training a second time but in an area that would reach more people in the northern part of our conference.  We are looking for eight to nine people who would be interested in attending this training. If you have interest in being part of this training please contact me at dharveymar@aol.com.

Joel Guzman Teaches CPM Principles to 75 Hispanic leaders from two churches

Joel Guzman, who was one of the attendees at Strategy Coordinator training mentioned above, recently taught seventy-five Hispanic leaders the principles of starting a church planting movement.  Present at this training were sixty-five small group leaders from Passaic First Spanish Church, pastored by Hector Fernandez, as well as ten leaders from Pastor Estaban Lora’s churches in Patterson, New Jersey and Brooklyn, New York.

Pastor Hector is seeking to learn how some of his small groups can become church plants.  With sixty-five small groups in many communities across northern New Jersey, pastor Hector has a vision to plant many Spanish churches. We want to continue to pray for Joel as he teaches these principles and coaches these pastors in the principles of church multiplication, and for the churches that God is calling to plant other churches.

Be with Him…

First conversions and second generation groups

As you pray this week, pray especially for the first conversions to come out of the Mt. Bethel Project, and for second generation groups to emerge.  There are about 125 involved in the Mt. Bethel Project in some way, but we have not yet had a large number of conversions.  Please pray that God will bring to us the first large wave of conversions that will lead to the emergence of many second generation groups.

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