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Sermons from Church Planters' Forum and Retreat

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Discipleship as the Foundation of Church Planting

Jesus never commanded us to plant churches, he told us to make disciples. Church planting is actually the indirect product of making disciples. Yet many people today struggle with clear pictures of what disciple-making looks like. Without a robust, biblical model of disciple-making, church planting will suffer. This session will be a more practically oriented session to equip listeners in the fundamentals of successful discipleship.

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Understanding the Culture of Generational Poverty and Dependency

In many conservative Anabaptist urban and international church plants, effort is made to reach a particular culture that has formed over the course of many generations. Dependency on outside assistance, dysfunctional homes, drug abuse, and sexual promiscuity are common characteristics of this culture. It is often difficult for conservative Anabaptists to understand this culture and to effectively reach it with the gospel. What needs to be understood before attempting a church plant in communities where this culture is prevalent?

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Does a Rule of Life Still Work in the 21st Century? - PDF

What should guide the construction of a corporate Rule of Life? What is the nature of a spiritual Rule of Life? How can it be used to bless the church? What challenges do Westerners face in submitting to a Rule of Life and what can be done about this?

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Helping Churches Grow Greener Grass

One of the biggest temptations for church planters is to grow their church with transfers from other churches. What if Christians today would follow the example of the Apostle Paul who discipled Onesimus, sent him back to his master, and then gave Philemon some suggestions for growing greener grass? It is typical for Anabaptist churches to gladly (or sometimes reluctantly) receive members from other Anabaptist congregations who are looking for “greener grass.” Churches take it as a compliment that someone else wants what they have to offer. However, if someone leaves their church for another church, they can often see wrong motives in the person or take it as an offense. Some churches will at least check with the former congregation to see if there is any reason why they should not take the folks in as members, but the default is still to take them in. Rarely if ever do Anabaptist churches have a vision for helping their neighboring churches grow the kind of “grass” that will keep the sheep satisfied and content.

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Enlarging the Church through Discipleship in the Workplace

Half of all new Christians become believers through the influence of a friend. How can Christians use the work place as a way to bring unbelievers into the Church, and perhaps set the stage for a church plant?

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