Connectional Church Planting

L. Connectional Church Planting:[1] Congregationalist models plant congregational rather than connectional churches. Connectional church planting by district teams of twelve disciple making lay missioners and their families would ensure a connectional church as a result. After a two year term of missional service, many of these leaders would return to their local churches and bring a significant impact to their home churches due to skills developed while serving on the district mission field. This district based, connectional church planting approach would spread ownership of the new church plant among many churches. Members of the new church start would have many friends and mentors who attend other churches but whom they would continue to see at district equipping functions.

            Church planting is a significant system change, and can be resisted by choosing methods that guarantee failure or by constantly changing to new methods. Church planting is an academic discipline and academic training can be avoided. The key limiting factor in church planting is the availability of a large body of effective, trained, disciple making leaders. There is no ongoing training in skills necessary for church planting available to clergy and laity within the Illinois Great Rivers Conference that would equip a large number of leaders in the discipline of church planting. A district equipping track could widely teach these skills and raise up local leaders highly skilled in disciple making. The highly successful third world church multiplication movement model is lay led, extremely low cost and inherently connectional.[2]





[1] The quote is a selection from David O. Kueker’s Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry project submitted in September, 2007, entitled Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
It is shared here in recognition of its 12th Anniversary along with comments to update and provide perspective on the material. The original project was a Training Manual/Study Guide of three Seminars supported by three chapters of research and an Introduction. The material is available for download at In 2009 it was provided for purchase as a softcover book entitled Designing Discipleship Systems: Christian Disciple Making For Any Size Church, Any Theology through

[2][3] [4][5] [6][7] [8]

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.

[1]Church planting requirements are listed in Paragraph 260, Book of Discipline 2004, 179-182.

[2]Cf. David Garrison, Church Planting Movements: How God Is Redeeming a Lost World (Midlothian, VA: WIGTake Resources, 2004). David Garrison, Church Planting Movements, (accessed 16 May 2007). Cf. Robert E. Logan & Neil Cole, Beyond Church Planting (Carol Stream, IL: ChurchSmart Resources, 2005).

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