Today was a good day for assessing a potential partnership between Community Christian Church/NewThing and Global Family Rescue. It had some highs and it had some lows. We had a meeting with about 16 pastors from the surrounding area that includes all the GFR sponsored families. The high was getting to connect with that many pastors from the region. The low was that they were all from the same denomination while all the other churches declined to come since it was not in there church. Ugh!?! However, as we talked with this group of pastors we came to realize that not only were all 16 from one denomination, but all of them were from one church. This was a multi-site church – kind of cool! This church had 16 sites and about 3,400 members. Although the language was a barrier it was interesting to hear how they start new sites. It was explained in a 6-step process for going multi-site:
- Step #1 – Identify the location of the new site. It seems that their criterion for identifying a new location has to do with “need”. You might think that “need’ would be food, shelter, etc. No, they identified it has prostitution and drunken-ness.
- Step #2 – Event-based evangelism. They use events that include a choir, evangelist and amplification. This will draw a crowd of people to hear the “preaching” and are challenged to become Christ Followers.
- Step #3 – School for Christian Training. Those people that make a commitment to become Christ Followers will attend a School for Christian Training. This school will give them the basic of Christianity and they form the nucleus of this new location.
- Step #4 – Appoint a Pastor. The Senior Pastor will appoint someone to be the Pastor for that new location. There is an informal leadership developmental process in place that is constantly growing new pastors. We asked the Senior Pastor to explain how Paul (the site pastor at Gitumba) was selected. He explained the developmental process in the following:
- The Senior Pastor observed Paul as a young man in Sunday School
- 1981 – Paul was baptized.
- 1986 – Paul became an evangelist; a position and role in the Gitumba site.
- 1993 – Paul became an associate Pastor in the Gitumba site.
- 1996 – Paul was asked to become the Pastor of the Gitumba site.
- Step #5 – Begin New Site in A Tent. They start new sites using temporary facilities like a tent. This seems both functional and cost effective.
- Step #6 – Construct A Permanent Church Facility. Using resources within the community and sometimes outside the community they will construct a permanent church facility. Having a permanent church facility is a matter of pride and ownership.
I think this meeting could be very important for the multi-site movement. It gives me a clear process for how they are reproducing sites in another part of the world. As CCC/NewThing wants to expand our influence into other continents we need to know for sure the Biblical principles that are reproducible no matter what the context or culture.