“What do we need most to plant more churches in Colorado?” That is a question I am often asked as I travel the state. My number one answer is more church planters. Obviously, there are other needs, but without a church planter it is unlikely a church will be planted. Church planters, however, do come in a variety of packages. Some planters come to us from other states. Sometimes a pastor will lead his church to plant in a community down the road, and that pastor is the planter for the new church. In other instances, a planter will be sent out by one of our Colorado churches to plant in another area of Colorado.
The third scenario is where I would like to focus. What if there were multiple church planters being trained up and sent out from Colorado churches? That could be could be a game changer for church planting in our state. The next obvious question is, how do we train up these guys God is calling out to plant churches? There could certainly be a variety of approaches to accomplish this end. However, there is a readymade tool for training up church planters: The Church Planting Pipeline.
The Church Planting Pipeline is a tool developed by the North American Mission Board that is made freely available to any church. It gives a future planter up to three years of development using curriculum that is both knowledge and experience based.
A common misconception about the Pipeline is that it is only for church planters. First, the Pipeline materials can be used to train not only planters, but also church plant team members and their spouses. Second, while it has a bent toward church planting, the material is a good leadership development process for any church leader. Some churches have adopted the Pipeline as their process for leadership development.
The first step to using the Pipeline is visit www.namb.net/pipeline. At this website, you can learn more information, see some samples, and find resources for implementation. This is also where you register to begin using the materials. Once registered, you will get further instruction for using the Pipeline.
We believe developing future planters from within Colorado Baptists churches will increase our ability to plant more churches in the coming years. Our goal is to see forty Colorado churches using the Pipeline by the end of 2018. Currently, twenty-six churches have registered. If you would like to explore using the Church Planting Pipeline in your church, feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or any other Church Planting Catalyst. We would be glad to give you more information and help you through the process.