1.2 GEN1K VISION
The vision as affirmed by our movement is for every NSW & ACT Baptist church to be linked to a church planting project in some way, either directly or indirectly. Church planting is exciting, risky, challenging and rewarding as we see God work in new ways in the lives of people. As we give ourselves to the mission of Jesus in the world, our own lives and those of our churches are enriched.
We acknowledge that this is a long-term commitment and that it is impossible outside of God’s intervention and the mobilisation of our movement to this end. Trusting God with a vision so much larger than our human capacity forces us to rely firstly on Him (rather than our own strength) and on each other (fostering an interdependent spirit).
We see the exponential growth of new, missional, healthy communities of faith that:
- Are diverse in model and context
- Are led by gifted and empowering leaders
- Commence where possible through local churches, but also may be initiated by the denominational movement
- From Day 1, have in their DNA the expectation of multiplication.
<Why 1000?> (link to relevant section) <Healthy Churches> (link to relevant section)
The Vision and You
1.2a Support the Vision
1.2b Join a Team
What will 1000 healthy churches look like?
1. Diversity in the expressions of church
2. Missional planting
Church renewal is often a by-product of church planting and we affirm this. However this vision would see us genuinely penetrating new ‘tribes’ and ‘subcultures’ in our community – people far from God.
3. Exponential, decentralised growth
True church planting movements don’t emerge from a ‘top-down’ policy decision to start new churches. They gain momentum from the grassroots, fanned by the power of the Holy Spirit.
4. Kingdom leadership development
This will characterise our movement and our churches into the future, bringing sustained commitment and energy to the vision of healthy, mission-focused, reproducing churches. Planting many churches will also mean developing and releasing many more mission-focused leaders. This will happen as churches implement processes to intentionally grow potential leaders from their conversion onwards, with the aim of seeing them released into mission-focused ministry.
We acknowledge that for this to become a reality God will have chosen to pour out his blessing. “Planting many churches will also mean developing and releasing many more mission-focused leaders.”
Pioneering new redeemed communities of faith in different communities and sub-cultures
So, how do we know that what we are planting is a church? While models may vary, the tell-tale signs of the emergence of a Christian faith community will each be present in some form:
Committed to the worship of Jesus Christ as Lord and centring life around Him.
Existing to witness to Jesus’ Lordship by proclamation and demonstration. There is no such thing as a non-missional church!
Encouraging spiritual growth – God’s Word is opened and taught and His Spirit brings power for ongoing growth into Christlikeness.
A genuine community of friends drawn together across barriers by the grace of Christ, committed to doing life together and encouraging one another in the faith.
Why 1000 healthy churches?
We’ve done it before
Between the First and Second World Wars the number of Baptist Churches grew by three times under the leadership of such people as Waldock and Tinsley.
Considerable population growth is projected for NSW/ ACT over the next generation and an ambitious church planting strategy is needed to stay ahead of that growth.
We could have set a goal like “many new churches in the next generation” but it might have had little motivational force. Setting a high target communicates a focus on faith and commitment.
A key gathering of our Mission & Church Planting Taskforces in April 2010 reviewed the progress made on revisioning church planting and spent time seeking God’s leading for the next step. Those present also sensed God was asking us to aim high, and through a prayer filled discernment process came to a united conviction that God was placing the goal of 1000 churches in a generation before us. This became the recommendation that was then affirmed by our whole gathering of churches in 2011.
Priority is given to supporting the commencement of new congregations which are assessed by the Gen1K Church Planting Advisory Group as being the most strategic, either in terms of geographic location, target group or in the development of new and creative planting models.
Key planting opportunities include:-
- Planting in communities where there is no evangelical presence.
- Planting in communities experiencing significant population growth or shifts.
- Planting in communities where there is a growing ethnic presence.
- Planting in communities where existing Baptist work is in decline and there is the possibility of developing a new vital Baptist presence. The goal here is to always work in co-operation with the existing church and to target groups of people not being reached by the existing work.
- Planting in communities considered strategic in the development of new church planting models (eg new urban and rural ministry models).
- Planting in communities where a healthy Baptist Church is wanting to establish a new congregation.
In seeking to develop new congregations, the Advisory Group will give consideration to existing healthy, growing evangelical churches or church plants in the proposed location.
It’s Biblical Church planting follows the example of Jesus. When we reach into new communities and sub-cultures seeking to penetrate them with the gospel and establish new faith communities within them, we follow the example of Jesus who came to our world and met us...
GEN1K TEAMJamie Freeman - Gen1K Missions Team Leader Alongside his role as Gen1K Mission Team Leader, Jamie is also responsible for the implementation of the Gen1k vision for church planting. Your initial discussions, debriefs along the way and support will all come...
AssessmentThe Discernment Process is designed to assess the planter and proposed planting model considering giftedness, support, team, and context. We know there are limitations making this assessment through referees, interviews, a planting proposal and the final...