The Send Network Church Planting Blog

Why the Send Network: Introduction

January 15, 2018 by William Brown

Have you ever felt like a poser? Like you know just enough to make people think you know what you’re talking about, but you really don’t.

I feel that way about cars. I grew up “kicking the tires” of new cars at dealerships and drooling over old ones at car shows. I feel like I know a lot about cars. But, when someone starts talking about the mechanics — what makes a car go, stop, or turn — I’m at a loss. Yeah, I’ll nod my head and mention a carburetor or something, but I’m really just trying to avoid embarrassment.

For some pastors, church planting can feel this way. On one hand, no one knows more about churches than pastors. They are the ones who — week-in and week-out — bear the burden of shepherding a congregation of broken people trying to follow Jesus. On the other hand, starting a church from scratch is something entirely different. To many, planting feels like a task they are ill equipped to undertake.

Certainly, Jesus is not unaware of this, even when he proclaimed his Great Commission. His command remains clear: Disciples of Christ are to make disciples, and churches are to plant churches. We must not let a lack of expertise or a fear of failure keep us from faithfulness to His mission. We must take bold steps of faith for the sake of the kingdom, even when they lead us into unfamiliar places and unknown situations.

The North American Mission Board has developed the Send Network to help churches of all kinds plant churches. This series of blog posts is intended to help you know how the Send Network can serve your church in discovering, developing, and deploying church planters to lost fields.

Discover

The single greatest hindrance to church planting in North America is a lack of qualified planters. Together, we must face this challenge head-on. Look with fresh eyes at those in your congregation. The church planters of tomorrow are sitting in your pews today, and they’re probably not going to raise their hand out of the blue to proclaim a burning desire to plant a church. No, multiplying churches must work with conviction to multiply leaders. The next post in this series will introduce you to ideas, events, and tools the Send Network has created to help your church identify a planter to send, a location to plant, and a pipeline to help discover potential planters within your congregation.

Develop

When you’ve discovered a potential planter, what do you do with him? What does he need to know? How do you know if he’s emotionally ready? What about his marriage? How do you help him get the experience he needs to be prepared? The Send Network is poised to help here too. Later in this series, you will hear from the pastor of a church implementing a Church Planting Pipeline to help develop leaders from within his congregation. Some of them may plant, some may work to replant a church, and some may simply be better prepared to lead within his congregation. Regardless, the Pipeline is helping him discover leaders within the congregation and develop them for significant missional leadership. If they choose to plant, the Send Network is ready to help with the assessment of planters, as well as training and coaching for planters and Sending Churches alike.

Deploy

All this is ultimately just preparation for the real work, which begins when your planter and his team hit the ground. When they’re far from home, surrounded by lostness and separated from all that is familiar, your planter may feel lonely and overwhelmed by the task at hand. As you will hear in the final post of this series, we work hard to foster genuine brotherhood among Send Network planters. We welcome them into this unique fraternity with an orientation, provide experienced coaching and tangible care for them and their spouse, and continue walking with you — their Sending Church — to help you know how to support them well.

The point is simply this: Your church can plant churches, and we can help. Sure, you may not feel you have everything you need to plant, but no pastor does. What you do have is a clear calling from Jesus to make disciples of all nations, and He has sent his Spirit to equip you with everything you need to be faithful to His mission. No other organization can make that claim. So, yes, we firmly believe that your church — no matter its strengths and weaknesses — can plant churches. Whatever your next step in this journey, the Send Network is here to help.

More like this:

Blog Post|Send Network

More in this Series