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6 STAGES OF

CHURCH PLANTING

1
1. Pre-entry stage:
2. Entry stage
3. Gospel stage
4. Discipleship stage
5. Church formation stage
6. Leadership stage
Note that these are broad stages which are
designed to help the CP team see what they
are doing and where they are in terms of the
planting process.
“What have we done, what are we
doing, are we doing things well?”
These stages can take place at the same
time - there will be overlap evangelism-born
again-making disciples, all at the same time.
As the CP develops there should be a
movement through the stages.
What generally takes place in each
stage?
Personal Opinion: Church planting is
birthed and lived out in prayer and
intercession. There is a strong link
between P&I and accomplishing all the
Lord has told us to do.
1. PRE-ENTRY STAGE

The basic question is: What do we need to do


before arriving and how will we do it?
This is everything that is done by the team
before arriving on location.
- Developing as a team
- Studying the culture and context, via books
etc. and conversations
- Learning languages
- Identifying places to live
- Finding a local job
- Identifying, and solving, anything you think
needs doing before arrival
In your location what would you do
before starting a church plant in a
new village?
2. ENTRY STAGE

The basic question is: How do we enter the


location?
Everything the team does as they arrive.
This is about your entry as outsiders into a
community:
- How do we connect with neighbours?
- Getting to know and understand the
community
- Starting to share the Gospel / living an
evangelistic lifestyle
The team can ask about their own gifts,
skills, passions etc. and how these can
help them to engage the people they are
working amongst.
3.GOSPEL STAGE

The basic question is: How do we connect with


people and share the gospel?
• Everything the team does to share the
Gospel; in word or action.
• Share the Gospel at all times and with all
peoples.
• There should be deliberate reliance upon the
Spirit of God.
James Harvey in Nashville uses this approach:
James Harvey in Nashville uses this approach:
1. Let people know that I am a follower of
Jesus Christ as soon as possible
James Harvey in Nashville uses this approach:
1. Let people know that I am a follower of
Jesus Christ as soon as possible
2. Offer to pray God’s blessing for them
James Harvey in Nashville uses this approach:
1. Let people know that I am a follower of
Jesus Christ as soon as possible
2. Offer to pray God’s blessing for them
3. Ask if they would be interested in
studying the Bible in their own homes
This is Harveys comment about his method, “We
use this approach to quickly get to the gospel.
This method works here but probably would not
work well in a different cultural context.”
Harvey suggests that the church:
- look for houses of peace, Lk 10:5-6
- look for the spiritually hungry
- are open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit
4. DISCIPLESHIP STAGE

The basic question is: What is necessary for short-


term and long-term discipleship?
Evangelism is the start of obeying the Great
Commission.
Faith in Jesus is followed by a process of
disciple making.
The CP team has to equip and empower men
and women to walk as disciples.
Main question: What do these people need for
immediate short-term discipleship and for long-
term discipleship?
This stage is strongly connected to the next stage
and involves emphasis on baptism and teaching
core spiritual disciplines.
1. Pre-entry stage:
2. Entry stage
3. Gospel stage
4. Discipleship stage
5. Church formation stage
6. Leadership stage
5. CHURCH FORMATION
STAGE:
The basic question is: How will we lead the new
believers to self-identity as a church and organise
themselves for mission?
New believers need to identify as a local
church.
Care is taken to teach them biblical
ecclesiology.
Nathan and Kari Shank write that it is
important for the new believers to ask
questions such as:
(1) Who is the church?
(2) When do we meet?
(3) Where do we meet?
(4) Why do we meet?
(5) What do we do?
This stage also includes leading the church
to appoint elders, mentoring those elders
and partnering with the new church to plant
other churches.
6. LEADERSHIP STAGE

The basic question is: How will we model and


teach leadership and work with the new believers
to appoint pastors?
Leadership development starts with
proclaiming the Gospel…from the moment of
sharing the Gospel you are showing what it
means to be a leader in the KOG.
It is important that throughout each of these
stages the CP team are working with the end
in mind—that means thinking they will be
departing and leaving a new church (without
them).
The CP team wants to leave a local church
engaged in mission with its own leaders.
This thinking shapes all decision making
through the stages of planting.
Common idea is of a scaffold used in new
buildings.
The scaffold is always temporary .
SUMMARY

• Knowing the big picture is helpful for developing


the strategy.
• The church-planting process can be thought of
as six stages (pre-entry, entry, gospel,
discipleship, church and leadership).
• The stages overlap at times—they are not
mutually exclusive.
• The leadership stage runs parallel to the
gospel, discipleship and church stages.
• The stages emphasise both reaching and
teaching new believers.
• Phase-out forces the team to begin with its
end in mind.
• The team should think of themselves as a
scaffold—a temporary, supportive structure.
The End