The bedrock of the Christian faith is discipleship, and the place where this takes place is in the Church. It is at this junction, the baton-pass of the faith, where the majority of our energy needs to be concentrated so that the next generation will know the Lord. It has been proven that more people come to faith through church planting efforts than if we seek to only revitalize older fading congregations. Nonetheless, church planting is a courageous task that takes time, prayer and definite reliance on the Lord. Jesus promises that he will build His church (Matt. 16:18), and we have the wonderful opportunity to partner with Him in this! Below are some particulars regarding the plan of partnering with the Lord in planting the South Bay Anglican Community. We are entering into a three-phase process that has dates as you see below. We are holding those dates loosely, and expect God to do His work as we go to the people to try to make disciples as he encourages us to do. Please continue to lift this endeavor in prayer to our King Jesus, as we are reliant on Him in so many ways.
The three phases are as follows:
- Laying a Foundation
- Launching Public Worship
- Maturing and Birthing
Phase one: Laying a foundation (April 2019 – October 2019)
Goal: Multiply Small Groups (2 to 3), Gather a core group (10-12 people), and raise support (budget goal for 2020)
- Listening and Learning
- Gathering together as a community
- Partner development
- Leadership development
The Sears Tower in Chicago Illinois, which at one point was the tallest building in the world, has a foundation over 100 feet deep, with over 200 caissons, which are huge cement-filled cylinders bored an additional 100 feet below and set in solid bedrock. You can imagine that this work took months, just to finish the foundation. Even today, the work of setting the foundation is invisible to the human eye, but every inch of the building relies on this firm foundation. As we begin the work of church planting, we need to set a firm foundation. To do so, we need to understand and listen to our community and gather as a community. This process will give us insight into normal patterns of common life together. Crucial to the growth and flourishing of our common life together is our ability to cast vision for potential partners, and to develop leaders who can do the work of ministry. Please ask the Lord to add leaders because the harvest is plentiful.
Phase two: Launching Public Worship (November 2019 to April 2020 or longer as the Lord leads)
Goal: Have 12 committed disciples leading missionally; Discern a location for worship
- Solidify Corporate Rule of Life (Including Common Mission and Multiplication)
- Find place of worship
- Continued partner development
This phase of our common life together will necessitate committed workers and disciples. Therefore, we will need at least 12 leaders who are capable of disicpling others before we launch a regular public worship. One of the pitfalls to church planting is to launch a public service pre-maturely, and the litmus test to being ready is to have around 80 people involved, and 12 missional leaders. The bedrock of any church ought to be discipleship, and when we are proficient at reaching and discipling people far off from God, the church will thrive and multiply. In subsequent updates we will further explanation on how SBAC will orient towards mission and multiplication.
Phase three: Maturing and Birthing (April 2020 and beyond)
Goal: Multiply Missional Communities after launch
- Reevaluating ministry (Keeping the focus on formation and discipleship)
- Deepening in Worship and Mission
- Multiplication of small groups/ Church Plant
If we are able to set the DNA in the church of multiplication and mission, it shouldn’t be a challenge to birth while being pregnant. This means that in the bosom of SBAC is another missional community that forms as we focus on discipleship and leadership development. At the core of a disciple’s life is always to reevaluate whether or not our love for Christ is deepening and our core focus on discipleship is remaining. Therefore, we will reset every Summer and take a look at the inner work of formation in us, and the outer work around us in our communities. We hope to have taken steps to deepen our ability to reach out, disciple and incorporate non-believers into the body of Christ, as well as raising up leaders to lead other smaller communities.