the Leadership Forum
One of our primary goals is to provide leadership development
opportunities, and as part of that effort we're excited to announce the
Northwest Conference Leadership Forum Series, and its two inaugural
events that we hope you can attend and that we believe can have a
significant impact in your church.
On Saturday, February 26th, Leith Anderson of Wooddale Church in Eden
Prairie, Minnesota will present a seminar at Faith Covenant Church in
Burnsville, Minnesota. The theme will be Church and Culture, and will
focus on how the church can relate to contemporary society from a
kingdom perspective. Leith is a nationally known speaker and author on
church growth and change and his books include Dying for Change, A
Church for the 21st Century, and Leadership that Works.
And on April 5th, we will welcome Lyle Schaller, also a nationally
known expert on church dynamics and health. Christianity Today has
called him "the master technician of church mechanics." His books
include What Have We Learned?: Lessons for the Church in the
Twenty-First Century, and 44 Questions for Congregational
These events are open to Conference church staff members and leaders,
that is, you. And we are making these available free of charge.
While the events are free, we do need you to call or click here
to email the Conference office to register.
Church Planting: A
The Evangelical Covenant Church and the Northwest Conference
seek to work with existing local churches in the development of new
churches. We believe that this is a normal part of ministry expansion.
We also believe that God has created the world in such a way that it is
only natural that "like produces like." Therefore, even as the fruit of
a disciple is a new disciple and the fruit of a small group is another
small groupâ€¦so is the fruit of a church another church.
This is God's economy of multiplication; it is why the early church
grew rapidly. They were not merely adding a member here and a member
thereâ€¦they were adding at an explosive rate due to the
birthing of new churches. Thus, the planting of new churches within the
Northwest Conference has become a priority over the past decade.
How do we plant churches? We seek to plant them organically. This means
that the Covenant no longer picks up property ahead of time and then
hopes that a group will emerge in the future to occupy the spot. Rather
we look for certain variables to line up in such a way that the
possibilities for a new church become self evident. When these
variables come in to view, we begin to describe this as having the
potential to become a "well conceived project."
What are these variables? I thought it might be helpful to you as
leaders to know what they are. It may also help you determine if there
is a part for your church to play in the days ahead.
1. THE RIGHT CHURCH PLANTER- Leadership is the key. Without a pastoral
leader with the right subset of ministry gifts, a thriving church plant
is highly unlikely. Ideally, the church planter possesses the gifts of
leadership, vision, preaching, and the ability to gather people. We
tell our church planters that in order to be effective they must
"preach well, lead well, and care well." We cannot over emphasize the
importance of the right church planter in the process.
2. THE RIGHT CORE GROUP- We also understand the need for a committed
group of people to come alongside the pastor. It is best when this
group exhibits the broad range of gifts needed in every church. It is
also important that the people comprising the core group be unified in
the direction the new church is to go. If people come in to a new
church and begin to resist the vision and direction, the church will
flounder and fail because it does not have the capacity to absorb as
much conflict as some existing churches do. It is also important that
the core group members are there out of a sense of call, rather than
leaving the former church out of frustration and anger. If the people
in a new church are primarily there as a negative reaction to a past
church experience, this frustration tends to poison the new group
3. THE RIGHT PARENT/PARTNERS- Experience has shown that churches that
are actively supported and encouraged by other local churches seem to
do far better than the ones that are viewed with suspicion and
resentment. Other Covenant churches can come alongside a new church and
provide prayer support, volunteers, finances, and relationships. This
not only strengthens the new work, but it usually energizes the
existing church as it extends beyond its own doors.
4. THE RIGHT TRAINING AND MENTORING- The Covenant and the Northwest
Conference provide the following for a new church planter: Church
Planter Assessment Center, Church Planter (and lay leader) Training
Conferences, Church Planter Connection at the Covenant Midwinter
Conference in February, ongoing mentoring relationships with Northwest
5. THE RIGHT FUNDING- There is a three way funding stream for new
Covenant Churches. The funding partners include the Covenant Department
of Church Growth and Evangelism, the Northwest Conference, and the
local church(es) involved in the project. This funding provides a three
year predictable funding schedule that is used to augment what is given
by way of tithes and offerings from the core group and new attendees of
the church plant.
Certainly without the hand of Almighty God, our planning and
preparation will not lead to changed lives. And yet, He allows us the
opportunity to play a part in His work on earth. We believe we are
acting obediently when we do the best we can to develop a well
conceived project, knowing that the Holy Spirit is what is ultimately
needed to expand the Kingdom of God.
May we be faithful to do our part in this Holy work.
Youth Pastors Connection
The next NWC Youth Pastor's Connection Meeting:
Northwest Conference Office
For those attending the Midwinter Youth Workers Connection in Chicago
on Jan. 29- 31 at the Hyatt- OHare: Plan to join NWC youth workers for
an ice cream social on Sunday, January 30th following evening worship
in the back section of the Garden Terrace Restaurant.
The Office of Compassion and Justice Ministries would like to
invite any participants of the 2005 Midwinter Conference who are
involved with prison or jail ministries to a luncheon on Wednesday,
February 2. We are looking to hear from each other about what God is
doing in our different ministries and possibly brainstorm what more we
might do together. If you or someone in your church is involved in
prison ministry and will be at Midwinter, join us at noon on Wednesday
by the Midwinter registration desk at the hotel and enjoy a free lunch
with others who share a similar passion. If possible please RSVP with Max Lopez-Cepero
A Note About Links and Resources
In this newsletter we try to provide links and resources to
you that reflect insightful thinking in the area of church leadership.
We want to inform, challenge, inspire, educate, and sometimes even
entertain. We attempt to link to sites that are "safe" and consistent
with the values and the faith that we share and we try to verify that
there is no offensive material. But the nature of the Internet is
dynamic, and sites can change from moment to moment. We also may
completely overlook something that you might find offensive. Please be
assured that this is not our intent.
Help for the Helpers Event
Returns This Week
Are you a Pastor, Care Minister, Youth Pastor, Men's or
Women's Ministry Leader, Counselor or Parish Nurse? This conference is
for you! Back by popular demand...Help+ For the Helpers Conference, a
Christian Addiction Resource Conference, sponsored by Metro Hope
Ministries, KTIS and North Heights Lutheran Church will be on Saturday,
January 29th at North Heights Lutheran Church, in Arden Hills, MN.
International Speaker and Author Neil Anderson will again be the
keynote speaker with 20 workshops led by local Christian addiction
recovery leaders. To view workshop choices and to register, go to wwwmetrohope.org.
Volume II, Number
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Remember Adventurous Christians/Covenant Wilderness Center
when your church group or family is planning their winter retreat.