Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Church Planter Training Reflections by Andrea

I asked my church planting partner and wife Andrea to share her thoughts and reflections about our follow-up Church Planters Training this weekend. These are Andrea's notes for each day...

It all began Thursday evening when church planting couples (including us) shared their visions and plans for planting churches in Butte, Townsend, and Helena.

It was awesome to hear about how God is moving in these communities. It is great to see the heart of the church planters to make a difference in their community and to see lives changed for Jesus. It was a reminder that God is definitely at work in the world and in Montana.

Looking back, Eric and I spent many frustrating hours on our presentation together. Near the end of that preparation, we we're reminded to listen to God's voice and trust in His power to help us put together this master plan for Encounter. The outcome was an awesome presentation that inspired and encouraged those at the retreat.

Friday was a time of gleaning valuable insight about church planting both from teaching sessions and conversations with other church planters throughout the state. We discussed the importance of using our time wisely; allotting time for building relationships, taking a sabbath, and actually doing ministry.

We also explored ways to plan message series to make the most of our time and to allow others to be involved in the process. The ultimate goal being to communicate a clear message that will result in life-transformation.

Another powerful discussion was about the the importance of differentiating between a church OF small groups and a church WITH small groups. We were also able to share inspiring church planting experiences with one another and share our challenges.

As a the retreat came to a close, Eric and I led a time of worship with the other church planters. A time of prayer followed giving us the opportunity to pray for one another and the challenges we were facing. It was great to get to know the other church planters. We've already begun the process of developing friendships and helping one another.

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