A few weeks ago, Dick Walton and I joined the SEND North Central Europe church planters and their Polish co-workers for a SEND-sponsored church planting workshop in Karlowice, Poland. Dick was a church planter and my former Area Director in the Philippines, and since then he has also served as area director and church planting trainer in Bulgaria. He was planting churches in the Philippines since soon after I was born! My experience in church planting is much more limited, and I was somewhat surprised that I was asked to be one of the facilitators. I was also very impressed with the quality of the instruction by Adam Małkiewicz, a Polish church planter from the Bible League as he talked about how to incorporate new people into church plants.
The workshop itself was short (only one evening and the next day until supper), but packed with great ideas and opportunities to make connections with other church planters. After the workshop, Ted Szymczak (our North Central Europe Training Coordinator) and Dick Walton spent several days, visiting each Baptist church plant in that region of Poland to give counsel and answer questions for each church planting team. These on-site visits probably were even more helpful than the actual training done during the workshop.
My presentation during the workshop was on church planting phases, and you can find the papers that SEND NCE have developed on this topic, as well as my PowerPoint presentation on the church planting page on the SEND U wiki. The materials rely heavily on Scoggins’ and Rockford’s work on church planting phases, but also incorporates some of SEND’s experience in church planting and in training with the Alliance for Saturation Church Planting.