Following up previous conversations about USMB church planting, the USMB National Strategy Team (NST) presented its plan for adopting a new national Church Planting Council (CPC) to the USMB Leadership Board during its October online meeting. The Church Planting Council proposal has been in process for over a year, and it’s now ready to launch as our national church planting program following the USMB Leadership Board’s approval during that meeting.
The CPC isn’t intended to substitute what district church planting boards have done in the past. Instead, it’s envisioned that the CPC will maintain and encourage a national church planting vision, provide cohesion and communication links along with supporting our MB church planting efforts by offering specific and much-needed project management pieces.
“The CPC will be collaborating with districts and church planting boards, not competing with them,” says Don Morris, USMB national director. “It’s adding to what our districts are already doing. CPC members are people who are willing to serve on this national council because they believe wholeheartedly in church planting as a vital element of doing our part for fulfilling the Great Commission.”
The CPC will be accountable to the Leadership Board through the national director who will also serve as part of the council. Fundraising will be a significant function of the CPC, and all financials will be handled and reviewed by USMB.
Brad Klassen, pastor of Copper Hills Church in Peoria, Arizona, and a prospective member of the CPC, says, “(Planting churches) is risky and takes sacrifice. Ask any healthy parent. Little love equals little risk or sacrifice. Ridiculous love equals ridiculous risk and sacrifice. Planting new churches is the most fruitful way to reach new communities of people for the King with the stunning news report of what he has done for humans.”
Morris adds, “The development of the CPC will supply some of the missing pieces that C2C, the church planting division of Multiply, offered to us when we engaged them for assisting with church planting initiatives back in 2016. When C2C demerged from Multiply and stopped serving USMB in this capacity in the fall of 2019, it left a real void.
“This new CPC will provide essential national synergy for church planting, adding the infrastructure that helps us strategize for developing more church planters and for initiating more church plant projects,” Morris says.
“We do want to be careful that as a denominational organization the CPC doesn’t create a lot of bureaucratic steps for planting churches,” Morris says. “It needs to be uncomplicated. This group is simply helping fulfill the mission that we have collectively determined is a priority. This is our national vision for helping move church planting forward.”
Phil Wiebe, church plant pastor of Lakeview Church in Stansbury Park, Utah, says, “I church plant because it takes all kinds of churches to reach all kinds of people. A church plant can reach a different group of people than existing churches do. They also can go into new areas that other churches aren’t going.”
Brianne Shaw, USMB Leadership Board member, is an associate pastor of Lighthouse Church in Denver, Colorado, itself a recent church plant that plans to plant another campus in 2021. Shaw says, “The church is the hope of the world and church planting is the mission of the church. We are called to make disciples of all nations, and that starts here. The new council will help us effectively streamline our efforts to that end. I believe that the strategy and vision of these leaders will help empower the future of the church and for that I am grateful.”
Wiebe adds, “The harvest is waiting.”