Vineyard Church Planting: A Four Step Process

I love the local church. I love the fact that those who follow Jesus can gather together in worship of our King and learn to walk together after Him. There is a beauty and a sense of Jesus that is reflected in the local church that you cannot find anywhere else.

Now note that when I use the term “local church” I am not talking about a building or an organization registered with the government. I am talking about a group (two or more) of Jesus followers gathering together on a regular basis to worship God and strength each on the journey call life. They can meet in a gym, house, a stand-alone-building, cave, bar, hollow, under a tree or where ever they want too – it does not matter!

This love of the local church leads me to want to see more of them started around the globe in cultures, sub-cultures and/or areas that currently do not have one.  Hence this post about church planting in the Vineyard Movement.

From the very beginning, the Vineyard has had a heart for planting new churches as folks new to following Jesus needed a place near them where they could learn how to live in the Kingdom of God. As the years went by this church planting seed continued to grow within the Movement – leading to differ methodology and strategies on how to best recruit, equip and support those brave souls who jumped out of the nest and started a new church.   As with anything, some of the plans and strategies worked….while others did not….Happily, though, we continued to push forward and ask Jesus to help in this process.

This week marks a new phase in church planting in the Vineyard as the national church planting task force just released a new four step process to help “facilitate the reproduction of healthy Vineyard churches.” The steps themselves are fairly basic, but are very, very crucial in launching a new church plant: 1) Get to know us, 2) Let us get to know you, 3) Get some training, and 4) Get out there and plant.

One cool thing about this new phase is that church planting task force has recruited and trained special church planting coaches who will walk with each new church planter for at least two years. This, to me, is amazing as those first few years as the hardest but most crucial in the life of a new church. It is during this time that the initial culture of the new local body becomes established – defining, to a certain extent, who you will become. To have a coach actively engaged with you during those years is…well…godsend.

Kudos to the task force members – may the King continue to guide your steps and may He bring a swamp of new church planters your way. 🙂

*** Update (2012-10-30)  ****

More detailed thoughts on the first two steps have been posted. Thoughts on the final two steps will follow on October 31st.

***Update (2012-11-02) ***

Thoughts on the last two steps can be seen here.