Friday, June 30, 2006

Welcome, Powerplanters!

Geoff and I want to extend a warm welcome to our friends from Powerplant Port Arthur, Texas and Gwinnett County, Georgia! I know this week has been exciting and life-changing for you. For those of us who constantly pray for workers for the harvest, it has been pretty exciting for us as well! We are so glad you are responding to God's call to church planting. As a way to help you meet each other and other student church planters, we wanted to ask you a couple of questions and create the first of many dialogues about church planting. We also wanted to give you an Assignment like the ones we give our Mission M Possible Field Agents. If you're game, this one is a ministry of encouragement to church planters.

So here is question #1: What is the one thing you learned this week that really changed your thinking about church planting? Post your comments!

Question #2: What is the one thing you are going to do with what you've learned when you get home? Post your comments!

Here's your task: go to to find the list of Southern Baptist church planters in Georgia. Email one or many of the church planters a note of encouragement. Tell them you just got back from Powerplant and thank them for the work they are doing starting a new church. Ask them a few prayer requests and then share those with your youth group and pray, pray, pray! When I was a church planter in Maine, I got a call one day from someone at a church in Alabama who just wanted to pray for me. It was amazingly encouraging and gave me courage and confidence I desperately needed at the time. So go for it! Be an encourager! If you would like to encourage church planters in another place, let us know and we will tell you how to contact them. Welcome to Student Church Planting!


Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Hazards of Student Church Planting?

This is the team from the Asian American Baptist Church in Houston. They are serving this week at the Port Arthur PowerPlant project, doing outreach in the local Vietnamese community.

We prepared our teams for almost every contingency ... except this one. While visiting in Asian homes, it is considered polite to remove one's shoes and leave them on the porch. Our teams have been careful to observe this custom. Adult participant Danny Tape, a long-time teacher in the Middle School ministry at AABC, faithfully removed his shoes for a visit this week and left them outside. All four team members did the same. After the visit, they went out the front door and prepared to put on their shoes ... but Danny's were gone! Everyone else's sandals and flip-flops remained in place. But Danny's sneakers were AWOL. A mystery!

The homeowner immediately knew who the culprit was. A neighbor's dog isnotorious for taking items from neighboring porches and yards, dragging them off, and chewing them into oblivion. She immediately ran down the guilty dog and retrieved Danny's shoes. They were thoroughly soaked in mutt slobber, but otherwise functional, except for the large chunk missing from the rear of his right shoe.

So go the hazards of Student (and Counselor) Church Planting! BTW ... the visit went great. There is now a copy of God's Word in that home. Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Port Arthur - Breakthrough in Vietnamese Community

We had an incredible moment at PowerPlant Port Arthur today. Pastor Tom McLean, from the Summerville Baptist Church in Summerville, North Carolina, is leading the "Chao Anh" ministry team [the name means, "Hello, older lady." I don't have time to explain the name :) ] in the local Vietnamese community. He is being accompanied by his wife, a college student from his church, and a couple of interpreters from a partner church in Houston. Tom and his crew have had a difficult time over the last couple of days. You might even desribe their first two project days as "discouraging." But God stepped in today!

The "Chao Anh" team was having dinner this evening in a local Vietnamese restaurant. Through the course of the meal, Tom and his team made contact with the owner of the restaurant. They struck up a conversation which led to a rapid relationship. By the end of the meal, the owner (who is not a Christian) agreed to host a Bible study for the local neighborhood in his restaurant! Tonight, at dinner, our PowerPlant ministry team found a "person of peace," and this may very well be the first step toward an evangelical Vietnamese church in Port Arthur.

Can students help plant churches? You'd better believe they can! Let us involve your student ministry in Church Planting. Check out our web site at , or send me an e-mail to .

Going Global

What a day! Our blog has taken off, thanks to a well-written post by Roger at SBC Outpost . We have had close to a hundred first-time visitors today, including new friends in the Philippines, Thailand, Spain, Taiwan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Israel (Jerusalem!), Indonesia, France, Southeast Asia, and Benin!!

One of our new friends, Kevin Sanders in the Philippines, has expressed some interest in connecting to bring our trained college students to help reach college students in Manila.

Isn't that cool? People all around the world are reading the positive message, engaging with thoughtful articles and updates from Mission M Possible, and catching the vision!

We hope that all of our friends in North America and around the world will add us to their daily reading lists. We promise to deliver thoughtful, encouraging news from the emerging world of Student Church Planting.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Georgia Student Church Planting Network

Those of you who hang your hat in Georgia may have heard that we now have a Network here in our great state! We will be posting new opportunities and Peach State Networkers as they come in, so email me at to sign up!

I met yesterday with Regional Church Planter Terry Little who works in the South Metro Atlanta area. Terry is looking forward to mobilizing Student Church Planters to help with the churches he is helping plant in Walnut Grove, Stone Mountain, Monroe and Conyers. To contact Terry please email him at Terry particularly needs students to help in September to launch a new church in Walnut Grove called, appropriately enough, The Grove. I'm setting up a miniature Weekend Op, so email me if you want to plug in.

I will be in Savannah to conduct a Church Planting Probe with the Savannah Baptist Association July 31st - August 1. I also will be meeting with area youth pastors and any interested Student Church Planters so email me if you want to connect.

Interested in a Student Church Planting Network in your state or city? Contact me or Geoff or go to for more info.

Catching the Vision

I've met a new friend on the mission field in Port Arthur. He is Pastor Alfred Banks of the Daniel Baptist Church in Richmond Hill, Georgia. We spent about a half-hour before lunch today, talking about the vision that he and his students have caught while attending this PowerPlant project. They have a vision to plant a Hispanic church right under their own roof. They are already considering the people they need to contact to get this vision started. Isn't it awesome? A Georgia church has come to Texas, been trained in church planting, and is now returning home to Georgia with new knowledge, life-changing experiences, and a new vision for church planting! We are exited to welcome the Daniel Baptist Church as one of our first churches in the Georgia Student Church Planting Network.

Blogged with Flock

Friday, June 23, 2006

PowerPlant in Gwinnett County, Georgia

So I am here in Georgia working with PowerPlant this week. In Gwinnett County. Actually at my house. I'm helping 90 teenagers plant churches in my neck of the woods. What could be better? Well, for teenagers, how about planting churches at the mall?

Gwinnett County is a retail mecca. We have Gwinnett Place Mall, Discover Mills Mall (with the newly opened Medieval Times Dinner Theatre), the humongous Mall of Georgia, and Stonecrest Mall. Oh, and the new Webb Ginn Mall and a host of other shoppes and stores.

One of the church planters we are working with this week is John Mann. John is a bivocational planter who works as the Assistant Manager of a large retail mall. We had a conversation tonight about reaching out to people working retail. I've never seen a book on the subject but it is a fascinating topic, and most of you are especially suited for this conversation since you spend more time at the mall than most people my age do.

Now think about this people group: they work swing shifts for low wages, one week on days, the next on nights. They have to work a lot of holidays and weekends. And they wear those cute little name tags. What kind of church could reach them? Where would you meet? How would you involve them in community? I'd be real interested in hearing thoughts on this subject, so send me a comment! And if you are in the Atlanta area, let us know if you would like to help here in Gwinnett.

See you at the mall (bring your bible),

Don't Mess With Texas!

I'm shouting out from Port Arthur, Texas, this morning. I'm in town getting ready for my PowerPlant project that begins tomorrow. It is shaping up to be an incredible project! We are crossing all kinds of cultural barriers. Our PowerPlant students will be reaching out to the African-American, Hispanic, and Vietnamese communities. We even have a team of Vietnamese translators coming from a partner church in Houston to help us reach Vietnamese adults. It is going to be so cool!

I want some of my Southeast Texas friends fom PowerPlant Nashville to give me a holla. Come down to see me, and being me some of that Tex-Mex home cooking you all keep talking about. We could also use some help at a couple of block party events on Wednesday and Thursday. Give me a shout back with a comment on the blog. I'll check back this afternoon.

Monday, June 19, 2006

PowerPlant Nashville Follow-Up

I know that a lot of my friends from PowerPlant Nashville have been visiting our web site and blog. I would like to get some interaction going ... a bit of a dialogue.

Let me pose a couple of questions ... let's have some fun... Please respond with your comments.

1. What is the one thing that you have learned about Church Planting that has surprised you the most?

2. What do you see as your personal role in Church Planting? Do you see yourself involved in a new church start next year... in five years ... in ten years?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

PowerPlant - An Intro to Student Church Planting

Over a thousand students will be taking part in PowerPlant student mission weeks this summer through the North American Mission Board. PowerPlant has been a groundbreaking ministry for introducing students in Southern Baptist life to the awesome field of Church Planting. PowerPlant is leading several week-long events this summer, and will be hosting mission weeks in several cities in 2007.

If you have attended, or will be attending, a PowerPlant project this summer, and would like to know more about ways you can continue to be involved in Church Planting throughout North America or even right where you live, please contact Roger or me. If you sense that God is calling you in some way to continue your involvement in Church Planting, we want to help you nurture and refine that call. We are already setting up a missional network to connect you with Church Planting strategists throughout North America. We would very much like to help mentor you through this process of your ministry call. We would like to help keep you actively involved in Church Planting.

Please know that we are praying for you and for what God is doing through your awesome PowerPlant experience.

A Partner in the Mission,


Friday, June 16, 2006

Why Your Generation is Made for Church Planting

A Letter to the Y (or Y-not?) Generation from an X-er (Part 1)

The church is a living, organic thing, which means it follows the same rules as other living things. It breathes, it needs food or fuel of some kind, and it grows. But just like plants and animals, it is possible to inhibit the growth of the church. By putting the right (that is, wrong) barriers in place, or taking away necessary nutrients, the growth of a local church can be stunted. And just like in plants and animals, malnutrition in the local church eventually leads to death. And we only have to look at some of the growth inhibitors of the last 50 years to see why so many churches are plateaued, stagnant or six feet under. The good news is that your generation has rejected some of the growth inhibitors of last-generation churches. Here are a few ways God has equipped your generation for starting new churches:

Your generation embraces racial diversity.

“Talking things over, they went on into the house, where Cornelius introduced Peter to everyone who had come. Peter addressed them, “You know, I’m sure this is highly irregular. Jews just don’t do this – visit and relax with people of another race. But God has just shown me that no race is better than any other. So the minute I was sent for, I came, no questions asked. Now, what can I do for you?” Acts 10, The Message

They used to say that the most racially divided place in America is church on Sunday morning. That is not true anymore. The world has had good reason to criticize the church for our racist practices in the past. In one downtown church in a Southern city, I was told by a friend who grew up there that the deacons used to stand at the front doors before each service, not to welcome the right people in, but to keep the wrong people out! By that, she meant that this all-white church in an increasingly African-American neighborhood was scared to death that a “black” family might show up one week under the portico. They could not imagine a racially mixed congregation, a colorful nursery, or hearing the spirituals in the Baptist Hymnal sung by anyone other than straitlaced, navy-blue suit wearing, Caucasian, blueblood, white-skinned, middle-class Christians over 50. Needless to say, this church’s prejudice extended beyond racial lines to affect their views on women, young people, college students, Catholics, Hispanics, and lost people. Also, needless to say, as the neighborhood changed, this church experienced a period of massive decline. When I was contacted by their new pastor, a dear friend of mine, to assist with their transition to becoming a new, welcoming body, they had 200 people meeting in a sanctuary that seated 850! I am glad to say that their views are changing. The church sponsored a neighborhood festival and people of all colors, ages and backgrounds came and had a wonderful time eating sno-cones, playing games and watching puppet shows. One young couple came and asked lots of questions about the church. I visited with them the next week, and realized right off that they did not fit our old member profile! He was black, young, 300 pounds, and worked in a local restaurant. She was white, young, mentally challenged, and unable to work. What’s more, they were unmarried yet living together at her grandmother’s house across from the church! Both of them began coming to my Sunday morning College & Career bible study group. A few weeks later, they both accepted Christ. It was a joy to see the church (led by our college students) reach out to them and slowly learn to love them despite the differences.

Your generation doesn’t see in color. Interracial dating, friendships and marriage are scarcely issues for Gen-Ys. In your lifetime you have never known segregated schools, water fountains, or restaurants. White kids listen to 50-cent (not recommended), black kids listen to Eminem (also not recommended), and everyone (or maybe no one by the time you read this) listens to Jennifer Lopez. Jamie Foxx, Lucy Lu, and Halle Berry share the movie screen with Jim Caviezel, Antonio Banderas and again, Jennifer Lopez. Your boss, coworker, neighbor, police officer, doctor, college professor, or fiancee (pick one) could be Korean, Egyptian, Nigerian, Irish, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Indian, Pakistani or Californian (pick one again). There are so many ethnic groups and mixings these days, who cares? You eat Mexican for lunch, Thai for dinner, and stop at the Asian market for groceries. You are not offended when the automated phone operator says “press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish.” And the most popular sports figure of your generation (Tiger Woods) is a golfer who is African-Chinese-American.

In Theodore Geisel’s wonderful book, the Sneeches, Theodore (that’s Dr. Seuss to you and me!) tells the story of a tribe of creatures called sneeches who live on the beaches in relative harmony. Harmony, that is, for the sneetches with a star on their bellies. They enjoy campfires and marshmellow roasts and sing-a-longs and the comraderie of other starred sneetches. But there is a whole other group of sneetches without stars. They cannot come to these social functions and worse, they feel inferior due to their lack of stars.

But one day something happens to change all that. A peddler arrives with his star-making machine. For a small fee, he will put a star on your belly. All of the starless sneetches sign up and come out of the machine proudly displaying their new stars. The original starred sneetches are horrified, until the peddler unveils his newest machine which removes stars. Suddenly the “in” thing to have is a starless belly which upsets the now-starred sneetches who promptly pay to have their new stars removed. Soon everyone is madly going from one machine to the other, spending money and trying to keep up with the popular group. When their money runs out, the peddler packs up his machines and leaves the bewildered sneetches on the beach. The sneetches find that some of them have no stars, some one, and some two, three, or four. But they also find that when everyone is different, it doesn’t matter how many stars you have. The book ends with the sneetches finally living in real harmony, having learned the costly lesson that everyone is different and everyone has value.

Now, if you can keep track of who has stars and who doesn’t, there is a great lesson in this story. The days of politically correct racially diversity and clothing ads with five kids of different ethnicities are almost over. We don’t have to force that image. The fact is that North America is racially diverse. We don’t have to create it, quota it, or enforce it. We just have to embrace it. And your generation has done that. Congratulations! That loving your neighbor stuff is good for church planting, and more importantly, it pleases the heart of God.

So what is the advantage of an unprejudiced, nonracist generation in church planting? Jesus said the second greatest commandment was to love your neighbor as yourself. In this new world, your neighbor may not look like you, but he still needs to hear about Jesus! And church planting missionaries who are used to racial diversity tend to treat people of other cultures like real people, not racial stereotypes. Your inclination to respect indigenous people groups, to treat them as equals, to love them, is invaluable to the church planting strategy of the future.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Just a Quick Update

I can't access my geoff@missionmpossible e-mail account for some unknown tech reason. And, to top it off, I left home without my password info to be able to get my messages forwarded to my other e-mail. So ... if you have responded with a post to our blog over the past couple of days, I promise that I will approve it and post sometime early on Friday when I return to my home. Roger and I are so excited about the incredible traffic both on the web site and the blog. Be sure to check in often and interact with our posts!!!

In other news ... it's official ... our Savannah, Georgia, 2007 project is now posted on The Bridge at . The Bridge is an on-line "missions network" that connects missional Southern Baptists with mission projects and opportunities. It is great to have this new promotion partnership with our North American Mission Board!


A "Next Generation" Church Planter

I have been spending a lot of time with a new friend this week. His name is Josh Martin. He is serving as Worship Leader at the PowerPlant project week in Nashville where I am leading the Church Planting training.

Josh is a sharp young man. He is 23 years old, single, and he just graduated from college. He’s serving on a traveling church planting mission team this summer for a purpose. He has sensed the call of God in his life to plant a church. He simply wanted to spend a summer “on the field,” learning more details and facts, and meeting more Church Planters.

Josh has already identified the field where God is calling him. It is the town of Pullman, Washington. Pullman is the home of Washington State University. It’s a pretty big college town. And, in addition to WSU, the University of Idaho is just across the border … only a few miles away. Josh has sensed the call to plant a church to reach college students and meet their needs. He is planning to be part of a ministry team of two or more planters. Each member of the team will be sharing the responsibilities of the teaching and equipping ministries of the church. Josh, himself, brings his musical talent to the team. He is an experienced concert performer and worship leader. You can check out his music at .

Josh has already made application to become a Church Planter with the Northwest Baptist Convention. He hopes to hear from them soon, and he hopes to be on the field in October. He has agreed to make a 3-5 year commitment to plant this church and see it through.

Josh Martin, and thousands of college students and recent college graduates are the new faces of church planting. They are deciding that they will not … they do not have to … wait until they graduate seminary, or get married, or reach age thirty, to get involved in Church Planting. They are prepared to be the church of today. God has called. They are answering.

The Mission M Possible team looks forward to many years of working with Josh. We plan to make his church, as well as the two Northwest Collegiate Ministries on the nearby campuses, part of our NOC List (Network Operations: Collegiate). We want to encourage young people to make collegiate choices to go to places like WSU and UI as strategic, missional choices.

Josh is looking for partners in his new ministry. He is only going to receive limited support funding. And, we all know that college students won’t be dropping much cash in anyone’s offering plate. Please pray about coming on board with Josh and supporting his ministry. Contact him through his web site at or send him an e-mail to .

And check back often with Mission M Possible. Hopefully, we’ll have him up on the NOC List very soon. And maybe we can host a summer project week in Pullman, Washington, in 2008!

Keep praying. Keep serving. Keep seeking.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Students Speaking the Language of Church Planting

I’m writing from Nashville, Tennessee, tonight. No … unlike almost everyone else in Southern Baptist life, I am not at the Southern Baptist Convention in Greensboro. I have never been to a Southern Baptist Convention meeting in my 17+ years of ministry. Let’s face it … most people who are involved in student ministry in any capacity whatsoever rarely, if ever, attend a SBC meeting. We are always at a camp, or on a mission trip, or a canoeing trip, or at Six Flags over somewhere.

So, here I am again. This week I am in Nashville serving as the Church Planting trainer at a PowerPlant (NAMB) project. We have about 160 participants at this week’s camp. PowerPlant is an awesome week-long mission camp. It’s very similar to World Changers, but without the construction. Instead, students are trained in the basics of Church Planting, and then sent out in the community to get involved in local church planting efforts. I have been privileged to be a part of PowerPlant since its launch in 2003, when I led the project in Cornwall, Ontario. Roger Ferrell, my partner in Mission M Possible (and the other contributor on this blog), led the other pilot project in Atlanta, Georgia, that same year. In fact, PowerPlant was a dream that was born in Roger’s heart many years ago and developed after he shared the idea with an associate at Student Volunteers at NAMB. We have each had the opportunity to write materials for PowerPlant, lead projects (10 between the two of us), and train over a thousand students in the basics of Church Planting.

This morning, I had one of the most awesome moments ever during our Church Planting training time. I had just spend the first two days helping the participants understand some new ideas regarding church (what a church looks like, what it can look like, what a church really is). Then, this morning, I placed them into “Church Planting Teams” to begin thinking about the possibility of planting a new church in their hometown. I encouraged them to think about people who are not being reached by any church. Now, stick with me, here’s the cool part. As I wandered around the room, eavesdropping on their conversations and prayers, I heard over and over again words and phrases like, “culture,” “unchurched,” “creativity,” and “people group.”

It almost brought me to tears! In years past it seemed to take a little longer to break down the barriers of years of cultural church “programming.” But it seems like this group “got it” on the first day. They are already thinking and speaking missionally. They are already sold on the idea of and need for church planting. In their hearts and minds, they are already partners in this ministry of church planting. Clearly, God is at work in this next generation of church planters. He has already prepared the way.

We have to join this movement with Him. We have to educate, train, and mobilize this next generation of Church Planters. We have to mentor them and connect them with Church Planting tasks and opportunities. We have to help them discover and nurture the call of God in their lives to be Church Planters. And that is the purpose and passion of Mission M Possible. We would love for you to join us in this mission … your mission … should you choose to accept it…

Capturing the Missional Heart of the Next Generation

My son, Sam, is nine. He is a terrific artist (really, I am not biased) who loves to draw superheroes, a passionate fencer (that is a swordsman with an epee, not someone who builds fences),and a huge fan of hobbits, elves, and the X-men. Now, given his age and interests, what would I say to him to get him engaged in missional living? As a dad, this is a question I think about from time and time and the answer is the reason Geoff and I founded Mission M Possible.

The heart of each generation cannot be bought, drafted, or inherited from their parents. It has to be captured. My son has no interest in serving on a missions committee (committee is either the language of corporations and business or the communist party) but is delighted at the opportunity to be a Field Agent for MMP. In fact, we go on the Mission M Possible website all the time, check out the surveillance photos, read the intelligence briefings, look at the map, and dream about the places we could be deployed. See, I've learned that if I want Sam to be excited about the kingdom, then maybe it would help to explain the kingdom in his language. He does not understand the WMU, the NAMB, the IMB, the RAs, or the Committee on Committees (my personal favorite). But if I ask him if he wants to be a not-so-secret agent for God, he will say yes. If I tell him we need several young men to grab their swords, mount their horses and fight dragons, he will say, "I'm in." His response to the call of Christ will almost entirely depend on whether the call captures his heart. Now the Holy Spirit does his work in this, to be sure. But often the Spirit works by speaking the language of the listener.

And why not? Jesus went to men with fishing nets in their hands and said, "follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." So today we call teenagers and children to missions and say, "come, follow Christ, the ultimate superhero!" Or we couch the concepts of church planting and evangelism in the language of espionage. Now, we have to make sure the metaphor works. And we need to be deliberate that we do not embrace a culture that is immoral or unethical. But what better than a godly knight? And what are church planters if not field agents for the kingdom? When King James first commissioned his translation of the Bible, people called Jesus "Lord" and knew what a Lord was, because they lived in a feudal system of government. In the nineties, people began to talk about Jesus as the "CEO" of your life. Sorry, but that language does nothing for my nine-year old. But tell them Jesus is a king and you are a knight of the kingdom and we are getting somewhere. C.S. Lewis got this - what better image of Jesus for kids than the world's biggest talking lion?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject. And love to get feedback on our strategy to capture the missional hearts of the next generation. Check out and sign up to be a field agent. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to engage a generation in the adventure that is following Christ. Initiate sequence, on my count. 3...2...1.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Pray for Steve Reid

Please pray for Steve Reid. He is the Church Planter Strategist in DC with the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia. He has had chronic back pain for years and is now completely incapacitated in the hospital. I talked with him a few weeks ago and he was hurting then and is much worse now, unable to communicate or work. He was my trainer for Basic Training for Church Planters seven years ago in New England and is a generous and passionate guy and a gifted church planting mentor. Geoff Hammond of the SBCV shares the details in this prayer request:

Dear Folks,
Please pray for Steve Reid. He’s back in the hospital in room 2001 of Mary Washington. According to the MRI yesterday, the steel bar they placed in his back has shifted (bent about ½ inch) and is dangerously close to the spine. It is also pressing on a nerve. The doctor is giving some time for divine intervention, and therefore; we are calling you to pray that the Lord would move the nerve and the rod. Otherwise, Steve may face surgery again at the beginning of next week. Please ask the Lord to heal Steve without any further surgery.

We know He can do what seems to be impossible!

Blessings in Christ,

Dr. Geoff Hammond

Please ask folks to pray for Steve.

This Group Gets It!

New Work Fellowship was planted in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, in 1997. It has grown into a vibrant, thriving church. The missions emphasis of New Work focuses upon church planting. The church has been involved in sponsoring and supporting several new congregations throughout North America.

Likewise, the Youth Ministry at New Work Fellowship is a dynamic, evangelistic, church planting group. Youth Pastor Steve Coleman has made church planting the focus of his entire missions strategy since the summer of 2002. That was the year when his youth church planting team went to support a new church start in Lafayette, Indiana. The new church was being sponsored and supported by New Work Fellowship. His students led sports camps, Bible clubs, and performed other servant evangelism projects. It was a life-changing experience for the group. They fell in love with the town and the people. The entire team, with a few new youth church planters, returned to Lafayette in 2003.

Unfortunately, that new congregation floundered and failed. The lead planter left for another field. The church disbanded and the people were absorbed into other local congregations. The collapse came during the week of the group’s second church planting trip to the city. It was a difficult, heart-breaking week. But it was a great learning experience for the New Work group. Steve was able to help them understand that failure was sometimes a part of the process. In fact, often times many of the most important lessons in church planting can only be learned in times of difficulty and failure. He challenged them not to give up on church planting. The students got it … and very single one of them committed to go to another church planting field the next summer.

In 2004 the group traveled to Crofton, Maryland, a thriving township of 30,000 people, to assist Pastor Roy Jacques in planting the Journey Fellowship. Steve made the connection through a personal relationship with the worship leader at Journey. The New Work team led basketball camps (since everyone in Kentucky is an expert in basketball!), connecting with kids and families, and distributed thousands of flyers and invitations to a massive 4th of July carnival. The week and the event were immensely successful. The New Work student team has returned to support the church planting work at Journey Fellowship for the last three summers. Each year, they have witnessed growth in the church.

Youth Pastor Steve Coleman speaks with wisdom and experience when it comes to youth and church planting. He says, “These church planters don’t need people to come in and tell them how to reach their communities. They just need laborers to show up, be available, and minister within their strategies to reach the people of their area. They need passionate laborers. And our youth are a great labor force!”

Can youth take an active role in planting new churches? The New Work Fellowship youth ministry has proven it with five years of training and experience! If you want to take your youth ministry to the next level, if you want to have a Kingdom impact by involving your students in Church Planting, we can help. Contact us at . And, please, help us get the word out. We need your help to make this new ministry a reality.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Church Planters of All Shapes & Sizes

Yesterday Geoff and I visited with Dennis Mitchell in the Church Planting Group at the North American Mission Board. It was good to get his affirmation of Mission M Possible and even better to get his insight on church planting. As we talked, a topic came up that is dear to my heart: can we mobilize people for church planting who don't fit the profile? That is, can we train computer geeks to be computer geeks for the cause of church planting? Can we mobilize compassionate people to encourage church planters? Can people without all 13 characteristics of church planters play a role in the process? Or do all our church planters have to be up-front leaders and pastors?

I have a 12-year old son who would much rather build a website than preach a sermon. He's not like me in that respect. But my hope is that he will be able to utilize his gifts in church planting, especially since he can do things that I cannot do. There is a lady in my church, Katie, who wants to plug into ministry but lives an hour away from the rest of us and travels all week for business. I asked her what part of her job she really loves, and she responded "I love mentoring and encouraging younger women!" So I asked her: "if I gave you a list of church planter's wives in the cities you travel to each week, could you arrange to meet them for coffee and prayer, just to encourage them?" Katie was delighted to discover that God could use her gifts in such a meaningful way. I guess you could say Katie will be our church's first Kinetic Church Planting missionary!

Anyway, my point in all this is that we need lots of different people in church planting. Let's look beyond the stereotypes and discover how to engage all people in the work of redemption. Since God has gifted every person differently, won't our work in church planting be far more diverse and effective if we utilize a multiplicity of gifts? Here is a little exercise: ask your teenagers, your family or congregation what they really love to do. Then brainstorm together about how they could utilize that to help in church planting. Let us know how it goes!

If They Could Only Catch One...

Okay, I admit it. Making this apply to Church Planting may be a stretch at best. But I had to get this picture on my blog. This is my trophy. It is my baby.
I caught this monster back in April on spring break at St. George Island, Florida. I take my family down there a couple of times each year. You see, I am a surf fishing junkie ... but I am landlocked up in Kentucky. It's almost pathetic. My Kentucky friends make fun of me. They just don't understand. Anyway, I have to scrimp and save in order to get back to the beach each April and October.
So, about the picture ... I hooked this beautiful 6' 4", 170 lb beast (Bull Shark - meanest in the ocean) on the sunny, perfect afternoon of April 4, 2006. I hooked it, fought it for 35 minutes, followed it as it hauled me up and down the beach about 1/4 mile in both directions, and finally landed it with a little "crocodile hunter" tail grab by a local guy who was in my gallery of 50+ observers. I smiled, posed for pictures, then put him back in the water to be caught another day (or maybe bite a swimmer or surfer later this summer??).
But here's the thing. Here's my spiritual application, if you will. I cannot wait to go back! I cannot wait to get to surf fishing again! I caught the monster fish of a lifetime! And I know that there are more out there! I'm already tying leaders, cleaning my hooks, prepping my lines, and getting ready to go again. I even scraped up a little money and convinced a friend of mine to bring his family and split a house with my family ... next month! My second of three trips for 2006! Man, we are going fishing!
Now, just imagine our Christian teenagers out fishing ... being "fishers of men." In that holy moment when they "catch one," when they make a connection, when they experience the glory of leading a person to Christ ... they will never be the same again. They will be hooked. Truly, they will be "fishers of men." And they will want to go back again, and again, and again.
That's what we do at Mission M Possible. We fish. We teach your students how to fish. And we teach them how to plant churches. Check out our web site. Catch the vision. Send us an e-mail. We are already "chartering the boats" for next year. We'd love to do a little fishing with you.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Our ministry accomplished something very important yesterday. I'm in the Atlanta area for a couple of days, planning and scheming with my Mission M Possible ministry partner, Roger Ferrell. We had a meeting yesterday with Dr. Jim Millirons of the Church Planting Team at the Georgia Baptist Convention. He was most gracious, kind, and encouraging. It was clear that we shared the same passions and vision. And, praise the Lord! We nailed down a working partnership with our friends in the Church Planting Team of the GBC. We're going to work together to facilitate Church Planting. We're also going to create a network among youth pastors in Georgia for the specific purpose of involving youth ministries and Baptist students in Church Planting ... in Georgia and beyond! Exciting stuff! Our Savannah, Georgia, project is now confirmed, off, and running!

Partnerships are important. They remain important to those of us who consider ourselves as missional Baptists. We're looking forward to establishing many, many more partnerships like this one in the coming days. In fact, we would really like to partner with you.

Find out more about how you can partner with us in mobilizing students for evangelism and Church Planting. Got to .


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Next Level?

My daughter leaves with her youth group next Sunday morning. They're headed to New Orleans to take part in a youth construction / disaster relief project. Obviously, they will be working in the wake of last year's devastating Hurricane Katrina.

This is our youth ministry's third mission trip. It is our youth ministy's third construction-oriented mission trip. And though I am proud of them, and I know that God will use them to do an incredible work, I know deep in my heart that it is time for something more. It is time to stretch this youth ministry and take them to the next level.

Do you know what I mean? Think about it. Many tens of thousands of students that we send to the "mission field" each year are actually going to construction sites. Without doubt, they do good works. They touch lives. They make a difference. And yet, evangelism opportunities are always rare ... sort of hit and miss. I know, I've probably been on ten such projects myself over the years.

For years we have touted such construction-oriented projects as "entry level" expsures to missions. Yet, in fifteen plus years, we have done little to move these students beyond "entry level." We seem satisfied with giving them just a taste of missions, and we so rarely challenge them to throw back their heads and take a big drink.

It's time for us to train our teenagers to do more that paint and roof houses. Let's face it ... few of them will need those skills in adulthood. We need to train them how to share their faith. We need to train them in the need for and methods for planting new churches. It's time for the Youth Pastors in Baptist life to step up and take it to the next level. Even if your church doesn't get it. Even if your sponsors and adult chaperons want to keep doing construction (because it is their youth ministry "comfort zone" - their security blanket).

We're not going to do it again next year. We've meade our last mission incursion to a construction zone. My youth group and my daughters will be doing missions in the heart zone next year. They are going to a Mission M Possible evangelism / church planting mission week. Hopefully, they will meet some of your students there. It will be a shame if our thousands of missional students in our churches remain hidden behind their hammers and paint brushes. I pray that God will move on the hearts of their leaders and move them to the front lines of this spiritual war that we're all in.



Monday, June 05, 2006

Just Add Water

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. - 1 Corinthians 3:6

Just over two years ago, David Coram planted a church in Oak Grove, Kentucky. He planted a rather unusual church. It is a church that specifically reaches out to people in the United States Army. Living Waters Fellowship is in Oak Grove, Kentucky, just outside the gigantic Army post known as Fort Campbell (home of the 101st Airborne Division).

There coundn't have been a more appropriate planter. David had just retired after 31 years of service in the Army. He had served as a regular enlisted man and worked his way to become a Warrant Officer and a helicopter aviator. He later felt the call of God to enter the ministry, so he left the Army for a while, attended seminary, then re-entered as a chaplain. And that's where he served the remainder of his years for Uncle Sam ... as a chaplain to our fighting men at Fort Campbell. He served under fire in Operation Desert Storm. He retired as a Major in 2004. He already had the connections, he was already committed to the community, and God had called him to plant.

David Coram planted the seed.

Then, just a few months after he and his wife planted the church, God sent a large group of Baptist students to help him water. About one hundred youth and adult sponsors came to Oak Grove, led puppet presentations and sports camps for kids, performed acts of servant evangelism, and "beat the streets," going door to door gathering information and seeking out receptive people for the new church. And they found many! In fact, some of those students had the opportunity to lead a few soldiers and their families to Christ, right in their own homes or even on their doorsteps. The awesome part is that David and his core went back and followed up with each family and each decision. Several were baptized into membership at Living Waters, and remain faithful members to this day.

If you ask David Coram, he will tell you. That group of students made all the difference in the world. They performed tasks in one week that it would have taken him and his team months to perform. They helped give him a "super boost" of growth and energy. God used them to catapult Living Waters to a new level of growth and energy. And all they had to do was show up and be available for God to use them!

Students watered.

And since this is a military church, David knows that he won't have his people very long ... maybe two or three years. The Army keeps them on the move. So they have to reach people and disciple them quickly. They are one of the "Kinetic Church" models that Roger Ferrell describes in his article, "Kinetic Church Planting." But they're okay with that. In fact, David calls the United States Army the "missionary mobilization arm" of Living Waters Fellowship (and he says that with a huge, cheesy grin on his face). Whenever one of their families is transferred to another Army post, the church "commissions" that family as missionaries to that new location. They challenge them to find a new church plant to get involved in or to step up and plant a new church themselves. It doesn't cost Living Waters or the Kingdom of God a thin, shiny dime! Uncle Sammy picks up the tab! Cool, huh?

God has given the increase.

Can students play a vital role in Church Planting? You bet they can! Find out how at .

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Kinetic Church Planting

(This is an article I wrote for On Mission magazine that has not been published yet. I hope they won't mind if I post it here but I feel it is relevant for our network.)

And on that day a great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles... therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. (Acts 8:1b,4)

We call it the diaspora, or the scattering. At a critical point in the history of the early church, God saw to it that his people were dispersed throughout the known world to share the gospel. He is still doing that today, and we can respond and join Him in his work, if we can see how He is scattering us – and why! Here are a few thoughts on the 21st century diaspora, or what I call kinetic church planting.
An Apostolic Age. Notice that it was not the leaders of the early church who were dispersed; it was everybody else! Though we use the word apostle to signify one who saw Christ and bore witness to who he was, in its simplest form the word apostle just means messenger. We live in an apostolic age, where the church is not a temple or building in a fixed location but instead is the people of God moving across the globe to share the good news of Jesus Christ. We need to embrace this biblical model and understand that the fact that the average American moves every 3 ½ years is not just a societal trend, but is a movement of God to get His word out to those who need to hear.
College Students on a Mission. Every year, millions of high school students graduate from high school and go off to college. One way or another, through parents, scholarships, loans or jobs at Starbucks; students manage to move to a different town, get a roof over their heads, and become part of the fabric of a new community. As we look at mobilizing people to plant new churches, is there any group as suited for the task as college students? Just as God saw fit to disperse the early church throughout the world through persecution, He has seen fit to disperse gen-Y believers throughout the world into hundreds of colleges and hundreds of college towns.
Yet very few Christian students pick where they go to college based on God’s calling on their life for church planting. But they could! What would happen if a student in Georgia decided to get his engineering degree at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada instead of going to Georgia Tech? And what if he did so because God moved his heart for the lostness of the capitol of Canada? And what if he started a bible study that became a church? And what if, in his junior year, the church called a pastor from another place, a godly man with a godly family, but new to Eastern Canada? I can see the look on that young pastor’s face when that college student shook his hand and said, “I’m glad you’re here. How can I help you for the next two years?” In our denomination, only 50% of new churches make it past the first two years. How many more would be successfully launched with a college student already in the community, meeting people, talking with people, reaching people, discipling people – even before the pastor arrives?
Moving For a Job, and a Calling. As people move from an area because of jobs or family decisions, they often struggle with finding a new church in a new town. They have to learn a whole new system, new people and new strategies. The church they leave behind feels disappointed, since that individual or family is no longer part of the ministry or family there at that local church. The family has to start over looking at churches and evaluating doctrine, programs and personalities to find a new church. Thinking kinetically, we can ask them to consider being a seed family for a new church plant wherever they move. In this way, geographic transition can work for the expansion of the kingdom rather than against it. The people moving can remain part of the “church family,” work in a familiar model, and continue to be developed as leaders as they undertake a bold new effort in a new place. They will already be employed (theoretically, with the new job that caused the move), and able to contribute time, money and energy to the new church. This will make it easier to plant new churches. As any church planter will tell you, getting that first seed core group family is a big step!
A New Way of Thinking. Since most of us have always thought of people moving as a bad thing, this move of God requires new thinking. Moving can be a good thing for the kingdom if we embrace the idea of “kinetic church planting.” Kinetic just means of, relating to, or produced by motion. As in the sport of judo, where the energy of the attacker’s forward move is used to defeat him, so we can take advantage of a transient “forward moving” generation to scatter the gospel throughout the earth!
The Great Commission, as translated by many biblical scholars, more accurately reads: “Therefore, as you go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Kinetic church planting does not require stability. It requires motion! We can plant churches with willing people, as they go.

Collegiate Partnerships

Our new friend, Kiki Cherry, from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, has reminded us of an extremely important aspect of our Mission M Possible strategy. It involves having a defined strategy to maintain mentoring relationships with students into and beyond their college years. We dream of creating an environment where Christian students make their college choices based upon missional, rather than economic, reasons. Wouldn't it be so unbelievably cool to have a Christian students going off to certain schools because they sense God calling them there to do ministry, and maybe even plant a church ... not just to get the degree and make lots of money someday (though both of those goals are okay, too :) )?

So, we want to help facilitate this process. We want to make this a part of our expanding Church Planting / Ministry network. Next summer, we will be completing our first round of projects and recruiting our first group of "Church Planting Sleeper Agents" and "Church Planting Youth Groups" (see to understand what I'm talking about). We want to connect those motivated, ministry-driven, trained, passionate students and student ministries with collegiate ministries that will reach out to them and find ways to draw them in.

I will (ASAP) post a new page on our web site ... I'll call it "Collegiate Partners," or something like that ... it will most likely have a name that fits within our spy theme. Anyway, on that page I will begin to list our Collegiate Ministry partners. These are the schools and ministries that, through our mentoring process, we will point our students toward. Think about it. We will let you "recruit" our agents to come and serve on your campuses.

We just need your info (or, as we call it at Mission M Possible, "intel"). Please send your name and contact information to . Make sure you give me a phone # so I can give you a call. I like to talk ... can you tell? And we will make some plans, swap some stories, and I will get your school, ministry, and links up on our site. We will also welcome you and at our projects and offer you the opportunity to promote your ministries through talks, printed materials, media ... whatever.

Just another way that we can help prepare the next generation of church planters at Mission M Possible. If you have any more brilliant ideas like Kiki ... just let me know.



Saturday, June 03, 2006

Safe Houses Needed

Here is an easy way to help church planters:

Lots of our planters are from one part of the country and serve in another (I know some of you feel strongly about being indigenous so if you want to talk about that, post your thoughts). Getting back and forth to visit family, friends or sponsors is expensive and tiring. Missionmpossible has formed a network of safehouses to provide free lodging for church planters on the road. To become a safehouse, you just have to be willing to host a church planter and family in your home for a night as they travel. Making them french toast in the morning before they leave would not be a bad idea, and praying for and with them is a must.

To find you, they would go on our interactive map on our website and get in touch with you through your church. For more info, check out our website at Click on the safehouses tab to see our map and email me at roger@missionmpossible to sign up as a safehouse. Your church can also sign up to host youth groups on their way to a missionmpossible project. Ain't that easy?

Encourage a Church Planter

Geoff and I are tremendously excited over the response to missionmpossible in the last few weeks. As we start to talk with people about training and mobilizing the next generation of church planters, I cannot help but think about our current generation of CP's who are struggling with finances, loneliness or discouragement. Back when I was planting churches in Maine, there were several guys planting there who a)reached the end of their funding or b)reached the end of their rope and quit planting and left the area. I think about those guys a great deal and realized a few weeks ago that I may be one of the few who does. I mean, we hear much about church planters who are successful but almost nothing about those who fail. And I started to think, "shouldn't we have some sort of exit interviews/counseling/healing process with those who leave in mid-stream (or mid-plant)?" And I also realized that these folks may have as much to teach us as those who are fabulously successful.
So we are putting together a new book tentatively called "Exit Interviews With Church Planters". If you know someone who has left church planting and would not mind sharing their story with us, please encourage them to post or to email me at I'm curious to start a dialogue with those who have gone before, and though I know some of the stories will be heartbreaking, I think it is valuable to us to hear them, and valuable to them to have someone listen. I also would love to hear about any programs to help church planters who have failed get back on their feet, get counseling and figure out what to do next. I have never heard of any ministry like this.
Part of our work in engaging students in church planting is just teaching them to encourage church planters. Last year in Toronto, one of the planters we were serving told our group that he was ready to quit and then some teenagers came and told him that he was a hero to them and they wanted to be just like him when they were older. He shared that this gave him the strength to continue with his work. So encourage a church planter today! Just a phone call or email to pray with them will work wonders.

Student Pastors = Church Planters?

I don't know if any academic studies have been done, or if anyone has really searched to find a connection, but it seems clear to me that many (if not most) of our church planters are coming from the world of student ministry. I know that's what happened in my own life and ministry, as well as many of my friends.

I'm pretty sure that the more student pastors involve their students in Church Planting, the more students pastors we will find being called out to plant churches. And that's okay. In fact, it's better than okay!

One young man who has taken this step in his journey of faith is a friend of mine named Josh Culver. Josh brought his rather large youth group (somewhere around 40 students) to my PowerPlant projet in Colorado Springs last summer. He partnered with a "restart" there called Springs Ranch Church. He listened and studied carefully in our Church Planting training seminars. And God used that experience to fan the flames of his newly discovered passion to plant a church.

Josh took a huge step of faith and planted Pillar Church in LaGrange, Georgia. He has gathered a core group and launched this church without a dime of denominational money. He is working extra jobs to meet his family's needs. He is stretched as thin as can be ... and loving every passionate, heart-pounding minute of it. He also has a heart to help other church planters, and is involved in a company that provides web site help for new church starts. Church Planting has taken root in his heart and ministry. And God used the pathway of student ministry to get him there. Help feed his fire. Send him a quick note of encouragement to .

Youth / Student Pastor ... are you walking a similar life path? Are you struggling with a call to church planting? I would love to talk to you about it. We can help you explore that call at .

Can HE Do That?

The doubters are already beginning to surface. As I have spoken often to people about my passion for Student Church Planting, one recurring response (or, at least a variant of it) that I get is, "Why? What in the world are you talking about? Youth can't plant churches." It just doesn't compute for some people. It doesn't fit into their preconceived notion of what Church Planting is or who Church Planters are. It's as if it is beyond our sovereign God's capabilities and will. I'm a bit perplexed, especially since these responses so often come from people "on the inside," the "missional" in-crowd.

I fear that those of us who consider ourselves to be "missional" have the unbridled potential to be just as closed-minded as the people caught up in the stagnant systems, programs, and methods that still (tragically) occupy so many of our churches. Somewhere in the process ... probably not consciously ... we reach the conclusion that our "missional" ideas are right, and everyone else is off track. Our way is the right way. If we didn't think of it (or if some hip, flavor-of-the-month author that we love doesn't think of it), then it cannot be relevant and cool. If it doesn't look and sound like us, or the things that we do, then it probably won't work.

I guess it's just old age or something, but the older I get the more simple my thinking becomes. In fact, the older I get, I find myself doing much less pondering, over-thinking, and self-indulgent self-defining. I guess I kind of know who I am now. I turn 41 in a few days. I had to shave off my goatee (too much gray). I wear the baggy "old fat guy" jeans now. I buy my sunglasses at the Dollar Tree (no more expensive ones ... in my senility I keep losing them). I find myself liking good old Folgers coffee more than the exotic African blends at Starbucks. Less pretense. Less exotica. A lot more practicality. A relatively simple life.

I no longer think of myself as immortal, like I used to when I was in my 20's. I know, with stark reality, that my days are numbered. In fact, by all statistical standards, I'm at least halfway to my heavenly home. But I still want to make a difference. I still have big dreams. I still want to leave my mark.

I choose to do that by teaching what little I know to this next generation. I know about loving people, I know how to share Jesus Christ, I know a lot about student ministry, and I know just a little about planting churches. So that's what I choose to pass on. I know that it will make a much greater difference than anything I could ever do on any web site, or through any blog, or at any Southern Baptist counter-current political meeting, or even at the annual thrill-packed Southern Baptist Convention.

So ... back to my original subject, since I have so blatantly digressed ... can students be taught to plant churches? Can God call them out as teen-agers to a lifetime of evangelism and Church Planting? Yes HE can. I have already seen Him do it. You can see it, too. One million Southern Baptist students are waiting to be mobilized ... looking for a direction. Check out our strategy at .

Friday, June 02, 2006

Missional Mayhem

We sure do love our "buzzwords" in Southern Baptist life. It seems to me that our newest addition to the semantic salad bar is "missional." I have been amazed at the incredible level of linguistic surgery and analysis among "missional Baptists" in the world of blogdom over this humble little word.

The simple reality is that you do not have to be a twenty-something, an emerging churchish person, have a goatee, spend ten hours a day in a coffee shop, do text messaging and IM, know Ed Stetzer personally (I actually am honored to know Dr. Stetzer, by the way, had a class with him), or even be a postmodern-renegade-spiritualist- fighting-against-the- archaic-SBC-system blogger to be missional.

Do you want to me "Missional?" Then invest yourself in the next generation. The church of today is in our colleges and high schools ... even in our middle schools. Let's set a missional example for them. Let's teach them how to share their faith and plant new churches. Let's stop beating our heads against the established past and look to the future. It is now!

We have a strategy. Check it out at .

My humble advice is that we should all spend a whole lot less time sitting around thinking about how we are "missional," get out into our communities, and BE MISSIONAL!!!

Gotta go. I have a culture to engage, people to love, churches to plant.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Students Planting Churches?

Our Future Depends On It!
Some church health statisticians claim that we are closing the doors on approximately 4,000 churches a year in North America. And our Southern Baptist Convention is no exception.

SBC Statistics, from the 2005 Annual Church Profile report, showed a net gain of 234 churches in the SBC last year. But, according to the NAMB 2005 Annual Ministry Report, there were 1,795 new church plants and affiliates in the same year. Let's do the math. 1,561 Southern Baptist churches (at least) died in 2004-2005. Even in the middle of our "Everyone Can!" push for more baptisms, our total number of baptisms fell by 16,097 from the previous year.

I am convinced that we are just a few years of funerals away from seeing a dramatic increase in church deaths, and a decrease in our convention overall. We must get busy planting new churches. Our life as a denomination depends on it.

That's where our students / youth come in. We cannot afford to wait until our kids reach college, or beyond, before we expose them to the realm of Church Planting. We must train them as youth, equip them for Evangelism and Church Planting, and unleash them upon the continent of North America as a Church Planting army. We are in a spiritual war, my friends. We need more feet on the field.

The 2004 Annual Church Profile showed that we had 8,206,440 people enrolled in Sunday School / Small Groups in SBC churches. Of that number, 1,073,961 ... an incredible 13 % ... were between the ages of 12 and 17. Let's be generous (way too generous) and say that 50,000 were mobilized to do missions last year. That still leaves over a million students waiting to be mobilized. That is an army waiting to be unleashed! And, by the way, we have to stop letting them hide behond their paint brushes and hammers on the plethora of construction projects that we are operating across this continent. Missions must be more than feeling a warm fuzzy over a nice paint job or a straight line on a new roof. We have to get past being satisfied with good works. Sooner or later, someone has to step up, open up, and tell people about Jesus Christ. We need to teach these kids how to do evangelism. We need to put them on the mission field and challenge them to do it. If we teach them, and if we challenge them, they will do it. They will share Jesus with boldness ... with reckless abandon. I've seen it. They are bold beyond our wildest adult measures.

But we must also teach them about Church Planting. We need to help them understand some new definitions of what a church can be. Youth Pastors, that is going to be up to you ... because most of the members and leaders in our churches are clueless about Church Planting, the reasoning behind it, or the even need for it. Most of those who know of it, tragically, tend to line up in opposition to it. It's threatening to them. It encroaches upon pastoral pride and imaginary parrish territories. It is a reminder of the cycle of church death that so many of them are caught up in.

There is a bold new ministry to help Youth Pastors expose their students to Church Planting, train them in its practice, and release them to take part in church planting ... right now ... while they're still in school. The ministry is growing. A Youth Church Planting Network is forming. Be on the cutting edge of this eternity-changing movement. Check out Mission M Possible. The "M" stands for something important ... "M" aking Disciples and "M"obilizing Church Planters. Your Youth Ministry will never be the same again. You might even find God calling you out of your Youth Ministry comfort zone to step out and plant a church.