Ministry Boot Camp Explains How of Church Planting

November 16, 2021 | Church | Heidi Baumgartner

Church planters have audacious dreams: where there are currently 7,000 Adventist churches, companies and mission groups, they dream of twice as many churches to meet the spiritual needs of communities.

The North American Division recently hosted a west coast church planting boot camp to equip local leaders, including many young adults — primarily from Washington, Oregon, California and Montana — who are energized for multiplying and growing God’s kingdom.

“Church planting opens up more missional lanes for more disciples,” said Jose Cortes, Jr., NAD ministerial associate director. “If we are not praying, visioning, planning and working to multiply, we are planning to die. If our church can only reach people who think like us, dress like, eat like, worship like us, we will never be able to reach those who are different from us. Jesus came to save them, too.”

A church plant is defined as a newly recognized mission group — less than five years old — that equips disciple-makers, serves the community, meets weekly and is on the path to becoming a multiplying church.

For a short-term goal, the NAD dreams of planting 500 churches by 2024 and revitalizing another 500 churches by 2025. The vision for multiplication also includes 50,000 baptisms and equipping 500,000 local leaders.

In starting a new church, a core team of leaders identifies a new ministry area, assesses local community needs, establishes community partnerships, defines church systems and seeks kingdom growth.

The launch process is an intentional timeline that typically needs a minimum of one year to be reached. Launch process information was helpful for a core team from the Renton Church as they explored the needs of nearby Issaquah, Washington, and the potential for church planting there.

Washington pastors with a Spanish-speaking church brought five local leaders with them. They were well represented at the church planting boot camp. “We’re praying for four new church plants in 2022 in Monroe, Shoreline, Stanwood and Elma,” shared Wagner Cilio, Washington Conference Hispanic Ministries director.

“The leaders all have the spirit to open new groups — the 'how' in the challenge,” said Francisco Brito, Washington conference Hispanic ministries associate and pastor. “The boot camp helped with the 'how.'” 

“The Adventist Church is uniquely designed for organic multiplication,” encouraged Steve Leddy, boot camp presenter and church planting coach. “I’m inviting you to become a real Seventh-day Adventist. Be a person of the Truth. Make a commitment to show God that you want to be an active part of this movement. You are called to do something incredible for Christ. Follow His message and His method.”

The Church Planting Boot Camp curriculum will be available soon through the Adventist Learning Community.