Church planting grant | The trade

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I can say with almost certainty that there has never been a more appropriate time in our lives to think about and talk about innovations in mission and church planting.

About a year ago, when we were planning the topic and setting up speakers for the summer meeting of the Church Planting Leadership Fellowship, we had no idea that we would meet in the middle of a pandemic this year. So it just feels right, and maybe even a little prophetic, that church planting leaders from all over North America will virtually gather on July 28th and 29th to learn and discuss church planting research, development, and innovation.

This year's speakers (who were chosen long before either of us ever said the word "coronavirus") may be the closest experts to what it means to run churches and church planting strategies in a time of decentralization and digitization.

The line-up and the topics speak for themselves:

  • Session 1: Brian Sanders on creating micro churches
  • Session 2: Sheryce Nguyen on church planting in multiple homes
  • Session 3: Jeff Reed on online church planting
  • Sessions 4 and 5: Len Sweet on trends and ways for church planting and propagation in the West
  • Session 6: Robin Wallar on the founding of collegiate churches

We will share not only how their movements and strategies effectively lead to churches being founded, but also how some of these movements are innovative at this time.

In a normal summer, CPLF meets on the Wheaton College campus at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. However, due to the unique circumstances of the pandemic, our assembly is moving to a virtual experience. This means that the teams and staff of the CPLF members can also participate, which extends the reach of this year's content and speakers.

As mentioned in the church planting manifesto for North America in the 21st century, innovation and collaboration must be embedded in our church planting systems and processes as people's demographics, culture, and attitudes to beliefs and religious assemblies have changed in an unprecedented way. And now that the pandemic is happening, the opportunities for research and development are immense.

This summer's CPLF will provide church planting leaders with a vision and up-to-date models of how some mission movements can effectively reach people in a more decentralized and digitized manner. And as we've seen in the past few months, the pandemic has transferred decentralization and digitization to us regardless of whether we were ready or not.

What we have termed the “new normal” is quickly becoming normal.

If you are leading church planting for a denomination or network, we want you to consider joining CPLF as a member. Our team will be happy to contact you to help you become part of our learning community. Simply fill out the application form:

The CPLF is a partnership between Send Institute, LifeWay Research and

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