Tuesday, November 27, 2001

MCRC Congregation Multiplication Policy

MCRC Congregation Multiplication Policy

Chairperson: CRCA Church Planting Task Force
Rev. Brian Vaatstra


12/06/08


RE: APPLICATION FOR CHURCH PLANTING ASSISTANCE


Dear Brothers,


In response to your answer to our initial application for church planting assistance, we hereby submit a second amended application for assistance. Thank you for being willing to reconsider our application.


On 17 June 2008, the Session of MCRC reaffirmed their decision made on 25/09/07, namely to intentionally work towards the numerical growth and multiplication of our cell groups, with the realistic possibility of the multiplication of our congregation as a whole. During this meeting, we also revised possible time frames and we reaffirmed our agreement to work for the realisation of the following goals (see Session member’s signatures below):


• To involve new Reformed Oriented Australian and Migrant Students, Young Working Adults and Families residing in South East Brisbane, in evangelism oriented Cell Groups.
• To facilitate need-oriented evangelism through which each member of these Cell Groups serves non-Christians with whom they have a personal relationship (focusing on their needs), to see to it that they hear the gospel, and to encourage contact with MCRC.
• To put the Growth Principle of Multiplication (reproduction through multiplication, which means that the true fruit of a disciple-maker is another disciple-maker, of a cell leader is another cell leader, of an evangelist is another evangelist, of a cell group is another cell group, and that of a congregation / church is another congregation / church), into practice.


Session also decided, after much prayer and discussion, to be even more intentional in our thinking, by adopting the following goal:
• To intentionally work towards the multiplication of the Mansfield congregation within 3 years (2011), establishing another congregation based on the same mission, values, growth principles and quality characteristics, within South East Brisbane.


As decided at a Session meeting, held on 30/10/07, Session moved into action by appointing two Home Missionaries (22.5 hours / week, each), with the sole responsibility to focus their efforts on the abovementioned goals. The positions were advertised in all CRCA churches. Rev. Gerhard Oberholzer and Br. KJ Tromp were successful applicants, and they were both appointed in these positions. They have resumed their tasks on 01/02/08. They have developed a list of potential Cell Group members and Leaders, residing within the target areas, since. They have started the process of reaching out to them (relationship building phase), and of training new Cell Leaders as an ongoing process.


We believe that these steps are bold and demonstrable steps in response to God’s calling to make disciples, baptize them and teach them (see our mission - Matthew 28:19).


The following financial arrangements were agreed upon, in order to implement the abovementioned goals, decisions and actions (detailed budget for at least three years):


• Home Missionary Team 1 (see addendum 1, pt. 2.3)
o Year 1: $ 26 878
o Year 2: $ 30 238
o Year 3: $ 33 597


• Home Missionary Team 2 (see pt. 2.3)
o Year 1: $ 28 404
o Year 2: $ 31 954
o Year 3: $ 35 504


We currently base our expenditures on a ‘bare bones’ budget. God has been true to His promise, namely to bless us with the necessary resources in order to faithfully respond to our risen Lord’s hearts desire (Matthew 28:19). The abovementioned outreach initiatives obviously place a heavy additional financial burden on MCRC. We believe that God will provide, and that financial assistance from the Church Planting Taskforce, will be a way in which God will provide. We therefore prayerfully ask you to consider assisting us as follows:


• Funding required for each year for at least three years
o Year 1: $ 55 282
o Year 2: $ 62 192
o Year 3: $ 69 101


We believe that it is worth mentioning that the work these two Home Missionaries will be doing in the South East Brisbane region, will benefit the CRCA in general, and not just MCRC. Many of the people they will be reaching out to, and of the cell groups they will establish, may (as experience taught us during the last 5 years), decide later on to join and worship with CRC congregations closer to their homes.


Yours in Christ


………………………..
(Chair Person: Session MCRC)



Addendum 1

PRELIMINARY CONGREGATION (CHURCH) PLANTING STRATEGIC PLAN & POLICY (14/06/08)

1. Background and Goals

On 17 June 2008, the Session of MCRC reaffirmed their decision made on 25/09/07, namely to intentionally work towards the numerical growth and multiplication of our cell groups, with the realistic possibility of the multiplication of our congregation as a whole. During this meeting, we also revised possible time frames and we reaffirmed our agreement to work for the realisation of the following goals (see documented statement attached as addendum 1):
• To involve new Reformed Oriented Australian and Migrant Students, Young Working Adults and Families residing in South East Brisbane, in evangelism oriented Cell Groups.
• To facilitate need-oriented evangelism through which each member of these Cell Groups serves non-Christians with whom they have a personal relationship (focusing on their needs), to see to it that they hear the gospel, and to encourage contact with MCRC.
• To put the Growth Principle of Multiplication (reproduction through multiplication, which means that the true fruit of a disciple-maker is another disciple-maker, of a cell leader is another cell leader, of an evangelist is another evangelist, of a cell group is another cell group, and that of a congregation / church is another congregation / church), into practice.

Session also decided, after much prayer and discussion, to be even more intentional in our thinking, by adopting the following goal:
• To intentionally work towards the multiplication of the Mansfield congregation within 3 years (2011), establishing another congregation based on the same mission, values, growth principles and quality characteristics, within South East Brisbane.

As decided at a Session meeting, held on 30/10/07, Session moved into action by appointing two Home Missionaries (22.5 hours / week, each), with the sole responsibility to focus their efforts on the abovementioned goals. The positions were advertised in all CRCA churches. Rev. Gerhard Oberholzer and Br. KJ Tromp were successful applicants, and they were both appointed in these positions. They have resumed their tasks on 01/02/08. They have developed a list of potential Cell Group members and Leaders, residing within the target areas, since. They have started the process of reaching out to them (relationship building phase), and of train new Cell Leaders as an ongoing process.

We believe that these steps are bold and demonstrable steps in response to God’s calling to make disciples, baptize them and teach them (see our mission - Matthew 28:19).

2. Congregation ("church planting" strategic plan & policy - 14/06/08)

2.1 Plan of action

To take the Gospel to the people
• By spreading evangelism oriented Cell Groups, in which the DNA of the Body of Christ is evident, all over the city
• By teaching every Cell Group Leader how to share the Gospel with non-believers
• By encouraging every Cell Group Leader to teach his Cell Group members to learn from Christ independently

2.2 Description of congregation (church) planting neighbourhood / town / people / group demographics

2.2.1 Region 1: Reformed Oriented Australian and Migrant Students and Young Working Adults residing in South East Brisbane & Forest Lake area.
2.2.2 Region 2: Reformed Oriented Australian and Migrant Families residing in South East Brisbane & Forest Lake area.
2.2.3 Region 3: Reformed Oriented Australian and Migrant Families residing in Queensland, outside of Brisbane, with whom we have contact.

Currently about 1500 people move into Queensland per week (78,000 / year), most of them (in the region of 52,000) into the Brisbane Gold Coast area (according to the Premier of QLD). If 3% of them are Reformed oriented, then we refer to a target market of 2340 people per year (almost 12 viable congregations).

2.3 Describe the congregation (church) planting leadership team (names, roles, gifts)

2.3.1 Region 1: Home Missionary Team 1: KJ Tromp. Team members: Ettiene de Wilzem (Cell Group Leader); Minandi de Wilzem (Cell Group Leader); Zile Eloff (Cell Group Leader); Ettiene Roux (Cell Group Leader); Dirk Tromp (Cell Group Leader); Wilfred Mak (Praise & Worship Leader); Abigail van der Walt (Praise & Worship Leader).

2.3.2 Region 2 & 3: Home Missionary Team 2: Rev. Gerhard Oberholzer. Team members: Magdel Muller (Cell Group Leader); Nico Blignaut (Cell Group Leader); Gradi Tromp (Cell Group Leader); Piet van Zyl (Cell group Leader); Leon Slabbert (Cell Group Leader); Karen du Plessis (Cell Group Leader); Kobus van der Walt (Cell Group Leader); Corlia Roos (Cell Group Leader); Val Jones (Cell Group Leader); Maureen Rowland (Cell Group Leader).

2.4 Describe the basis, values, goals and plans for establishing the proposed congregation (church) plant.

2.4.1 Fundamental Growth Principles
We’ve accepted the following Fundamental Church Growth Principles on which the planting of a new congregation (church) has to be based

2.4.1.1 Interdependence (To facilitate a kind of interdependence that provides for the formation of subsystems with a potential for ongoing multiplication).
2.4.1.2 Multiplication (The Great Commission refers to reproduction through multiplication, which means that the true fruit of a disciple-maker is another disciple-maker, of a leader is another leader, of an evangelist is another evangelist, of a small group is another small group, and that of a church is another church. Any one of the above should be allowed to die after they have run their course).
2.4.1.3 Energy Transformation (Existing forces and energies are turned in the desired direction through minute steering energies. Thus destructive energy can become productive. The question to be asked in this regard is: “How can I best use this situation for the advance of God’ s kingdom?” With a need-oriented approach, for instance, the needs of non-Christians are taken seriously, and the energy behind them is made to serve God’s purposes for these people. To involve new converts in evangelism, is another example… contacts, language, thought patterns in common with their non-Christian friends).
2.4.1.4 Multi-usage (Energy once invested, can be put to many uses. The results of work are transformed into energy, which in turn sustains the ongoing work. Actual participation in leadership, eg. co-leadership or leader-in-training, provides higher quality, ‘on-the-job’ training for new leaders, with a smaller investment of energy. Another example is that those benefiting from a project, contribute to its financing. The same energy that is spent working on the project, provides its financial backing).
2.4.1.5 Symbiosis (The definition for ‘symbiosis’ is ‘the intimate living together of two dissimilar organisms in a mutually beneficial relationship. Best example in church life is the gift-oriented approach to ministry, where the church encourages the interplay of widely diverse gifts and personality types, all benefiting each other. The needs of individual Christians and of the congregation, complement rather that compete with one another. These are ‘win-win’ relationships. Decisions are made in such a way, that everybody wins).
2.4.1.6 Functionality (Every detail in God’s creation, including the church, has a specific function. Self-regulating functionality, refers to the ability of the organism, or church, to bear fruit. Where there is no fruit, life is condemned to death. Since fruit is visible, we are able to check on the quality of an organism by examining the quality and quantity of its fruit. The questions that need to be asked in this regard are: How high is the quality index of the 8 quality characteristics for the church? Is the church growing or multiplying? Does a specific decision agree with the fundamental church growth principles?

2.4.2 Quality Characteristics
We’ve accepted the following Quality Characteristics on which the planting of a new congregation (church) has to be based

2.4.2.1 To implement an empowering style of leadership through which leaders concentrate on empowering other members for ministry, by building strong relationships with them and then by means of equipping, supporting, motivating and mentoring them according to specific objectives.
2.4.2.2 To implement a gift-oriented style of ministry through which the leadership helps members to identify their special gifts received from the Holy Spirit and to integrate them into appropriate ministries.
2.4.2.3 To encourage passionate spirituality among members, enabling them to live committed lives and live their faith with joy and contagious enthusiasm.
2.4.2.4 To develop functional structures which promote an ongoing multiplication of the ministry.
2.4.2.5 To hold inspiring worship services which are enjoyable, inspiring and God honouring experiences for the participants.
2.4.2.6 To facilitate the planting of small (cell) groups which multiply continuously and where members learn to apply the Bible’s message to daily life, and service to others (both inside and outside) with their spiritual gifts.
2.4.2.7 To facilitate need-oriented evangelism through which each member serves non-Christians with whom they have a personal relationship (focusing on their needs), to see to it that they hear the gospel, and to encourage contact with the local church.
2.4.2.8 To encourage loving relationships through which each member shows unfeigned, practical love in a way people can really experience.

2.4.3 Values
We Value the DNA of the Body of Christ, and the planting of a new congregation (church) has to be based on these values

2.4.3.1 God's living and enduring Word (1 Peter 1:23)
2.4.3.2 Prayer & Intersession (Ephesians 6:18)
2.4.3.3 Faith in Christ Jesus, the risen Lord (John 6:40)
2.4.3.4 Inspiring Worship
2.4.3.5 Thankful Obedience
2.4.3.6 Testimony of God's Grace
2.4.3.7 Loyal Commitment to the Body of Christ
2.4.3.8 Discipleship
2.4.3.9 Personal Devotions
2.4.3.10 Our Spiritual Gifts and the Fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives
2.4.3.11 Loving relationships

2.5 Describe the character and activities of any small groups that have been established in the area of proposed church plant.

2.5.1 The MCRC ‘Cells’ are open, evangelism-focused small groups, aiming at multiplying itself, as the group grows through evangelism.

2.5.2 Because the Bible refers to the Church as an organism, named ‘the Body of Christ’, a cell is the smallest structural unit of the Body of Christ that is capable of ‘independent’ functioning.

2.5.3 Just like in nature, where the total genetic package received from the parent is re-established in each daughter cell, the presence of the ‘DNA’ of the Body of Christ, should be evident in healthy cells of the Body of Christ.

2.5.4 The heart of Cell-Based ministry is evangelism and that is the heart of the Congregation (Church) Planting Initiative of Mansfield Christian Reformed Church. We have a passion for the lost and therefore we accepted as our mission, the Great Commission of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19). Our Cell Groups function like an evangelism net spread out over the entire south eastern part of the City.

2.5.5 In order for members to experience healthy Cell-Based church life, their involvement in three relationships, is essential, namely Prayer, Discipleship and Evangelism.

2.5.5.1 Prayer refers to our relationship with God. If God doesn't show up, it's all over. The only way to know God is by spending time with Him, by having a daily appointment with Him doing your daily devotions.
2.5.5.2 Discipleship refers to our relationship with other believers, teaching them and being taught by them to learn from Christ independently.
2.5.5.3 Evangelism refers to our relationship with the unsaved. That is also one of the aims of Cell Groups… to reach the lost for Christ.

2.5.6 In a Cell-Based Church like ours, ministry is taken out of the hands of a ‘chosen few’... and placed in the lap of many. Everyone is therefore encouraged to participate in Cell Groups and use their spiritual gifts.

2.5.7 Cell Leaders mainly act as facilitators getting members involved in a process of inviting each other and new members to cell meetings, getting to know each other, caring for each other, visiting each other, praying for each other, feeding each other with God’s word, protecting, warning, guiding and keeping watch over each other, supporting and encouraging each other, and seeking those who stop attending.

2.5.8 All our Cell Leaders need a healthy sense of inadequacy. We all, at some stage, ask, ‘How could God ever use me?’ The good news is that God uses those who are dependent on Him (2 Corinthians 12:9). Our Cell Leaders don’t need to be superstars. God made each of them special. We believe they can be successful just as they are. God uses the bubbly, shy, relaxed, anxious and all of the other personality types! We encourage them to just be themselves.

2.5.9 Cell ministry is Team ministry. This kind of ministry therefore takes advantage of the variety of gifts within the Cell. It’s about ‘net fishing’ as a group... rather than ‘hook fishing’ as individuals.

2.6 Describe the plans for outreach that will be part of the proposed church planting activities

2.6.1 Our Plan of Action: To take the Gospel to the people by spreading evangelism oriented Cell Groups all over the city, by teaching every Cell Group Leader how to share the Gospel with non-believers, and by encouraging and empowering every Cell Group Leader to teach his Cell Group members to learn from Christ independently. For this reason Mansfield CRC chose to become a ‘Cell-Based Church’, placing evangelistic small groups (‘cells’¨) at the core of its ministry (‘Cells’ are open, evangelism-focused small groups, aiming at multiplying itself, as the group grows through evangelism). In our Church, a Cell consists of anything between 3 and 7 members, including a Cell Leader as facilitator of the activities of the Cell. For every 3 up to 7 Cell Group Leaders, the congregation selects an Elder to shepherd these Cell Leaders, and for every 3 up to 7 Elders, the congregation calls a Pastor to shepherd these Elders. As soon as a Pastor is called, that particular section of the congregation will have the choice to continue as an independent congregation (church plant).

2.7 Describe the size of the initial community (the core group) of the church plant (in number of adults and children)

2.7.1 The initial community (core group) congregation / church plant(s) emerging from this approach, will be one Elder, seven Cell Leaders, and up to 49 Cell Members (plus their children).

2.8 Our best growth estimate (by God’s grace) for the first three years of the church plant

2.8.1 We’ve already employed 2 Home Missionaries (22.5 hours per week each), to focus on the identification, recruitment, and training of Cell Leaders within the Regions mentioned in pt. 1.2. Humanly spoken, we believe that each of them may be able to facilitate the establishment of 5 viable Cell Groups each year. Our growth estimate, therefore, is 2 x 5 Cell groups per year = 10 Cells x 7 members = 70 members / year x 3 years = 210 members after 3 years. Some of the initial Cell Groups may multiply during the first 3 years. Because multiplication is one of the main aims of Cell groups, the numbers involved may more than double within the next 6 years.

2.9 When and how do we plan to launch the proposed church plant (starting date and initial ministries)?

2.9.1 As described, the initial (Home Mission) ministries will focus on the ongoing establishment and multiplication of new Cell Groups. We already started this process 2 years ago. We just aimed to streamline and intensify the process by the deployment of the 2 Home Missionaries.

3. Further questions/ comments

3.2 Further information on how much MCRC is on board with the church planting direction as suggested by the CRCA Church Planting Task Force

3.2.1 Has the congregation as a whole made a decision to be proactive in church planting? (ie has a decision been made at a congregational meeting?)

3.2.1.1 Our congregation as a whole made a very decisive stand on how to be proactive regarding extending the kingdom of God, when they decided the following at a congregational meeting, held on 29/11/05, as part of our Strategic Plan and Policy:
3.2.1.1.1 “Together using our gifts of grace received from Christ our Lord, we want to worship and glorify God by making everyone disciples of Jesus Christ, baptising them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything Jesus Christ has commanded us.”
3.2.1.1.2 To facilitate the planting of small (cell) groups, which multiply continuously and where members learn to apply the Bible’s message to daily life, and service to others (both inside and outside) with their spiritual gifts.
3.2.1.1.3 To facilitate need-oriented evangelism, through which each member serves non-Christians with whom they have a personal relationship (focusing on their needs), to see to it that they hear the gospel, and to encourage contact with the local church.
3.2.1.2 In our Church, a Cell consists of anything between 3 and 7 members, including a Cell Leader as facilitator of the activities of the Cell. For every 3 up to 7 Cell Group Leaders, the congregation selects an Elder to shepherd these Cell Leaders, and for every 3 up to 7 Elders, the congregation calls a Pastor to shepherd these Elders, thus forming a new congregation/church.

3.2.2 Has the Session approved the plan for church planting as presented and document and is this minuted?

3.2.2.1 Yes! Session approved this plan in written form at a Session meeting held on 25/09/07, after in depth discussions, both on committee and Session level.

3.2.3 Are the targeted cell group leaders & members (esp. those mentioned) on board with the church planting concept? Have they been involved in the discussions to date?

3.2.3.1 Yes, our Cell Group Leaders attend a Cell Leaders Workshop every 3 months (ongoing process). This vision, policy, plan of action and concepts are being worked through, amongst others, during these Workshops. Session already took a step in faith at its meeting held on 30/10/07, by calling the two mentioned Home Missionaries. We absolutely believe this is what God calls us to do at this very point in time, and that we’ll be disobedient not to take this step into the future of His kingdom.

3.2.4 Do Cell Groups get a choice whether to be part of a church plant or remain in the MCRC? Is it possible that no churches will be planted at all, but that MCRC will simply grow through the cell group growth? How will the intentional church planting work be guaranteed to happen?

3.2.4.1 Cell Groups as such do not get a choice to be part of a ‘church plant’ or remain in MCRC. For every 3 up to 7 Cell Group Leaders, the congregation selects an Elder to shepherd these Cell Leaders, and for every 3 up to 7 Elders, the congregation calls a Pastor to shepherd these Elders. As soon as a Pastor is called, that particular section of the congregation (Pastor, plus 3-7 Elders under his pastoral supervision, plus Cell Members involved) will have the choice to continue as an independent congregation (‘church plant’). We do not believe that we can or should prescribe (in advance) to these particular sections of the congregation, whether or not they should continue as an independent congregation (‘church plant’¦). We will certainly give them the best advice possible at that stage, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We do believe though, that we should work very hard in that direction!

3.3 More information about the missional aspect of the work

3.3.1 Does the fact that we are reaching out to people who are ‘Reformed oriented’, imply the people we are seeking to reach are mostly already Christians?

3.3.1.1 We believe that the ‘DNA’ of the Body of Christ should be evident in any Cell Group. Every Cell Group, therefore, has to be led by a Cell Leader plus at least 2 Core Members, of whom Galatians 3:26, 4:6 is true: "You are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus… Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, 'Abba, Father'"
3.3.1.2 Every Cell group (and 'cluster of Cells' that organize themselves in order to fulfil the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19, called congregation, assembly or local church), therefore forms a 'platform' of obedient believers (in our case Reformed oriented people) from where this missional task (see the concept 'reformission'), should be undertaken, and where the 'first fruits' of this outreach task can be accommodated, nourished and fed (discipleship).
3.3.1.3 We see the process, therefore, as
3.3.1.3.1 the identification, recruitment and training of potential Cell Leaders (among Reformed oriented people within the geographical target areas),
3.3.1.3.2 the establishment of Cell Groups
3.3.1.3.3 the organisation of evangelism oriented outreaches to non-Christians within the targeted geographical areas, launched from the smaller (Cell Group) or larger (cluster of cooperating Cell Groups) platforms.
3.3.1.4 Almost all of our existing Cell Groups are already busy with this task of reaching out to nominal and non-Christians.

3.3.2 Are we predominantly targeting South African immigrants, and if so, what percentage of them would be non-Christians or nominal Christians that need to be saved?

3.3.2.1 No, we are not predominantly targeting South Africans. This will depend on existing and new relationships formed by involved Christians. Based on the number of SA migrants who are being ministered to at this point in time, about 30% may be nominal Christians. Based on the number of all our Christian members, about 7% are new Christians (last 2 years), 10% are Australians and 2% Indonesian. Various Cell Groups are purposefully involved in the lives of a number of non-Christians of Asian and Australian descent. We believe these percentages may stay more or less the same for a while, but may, through purposeful effort, change drastically. One thing migrants have in common, is that they understand the hardships of migration and readjustment, and are all looking to establish new relationships. It is harder to build strong relationships with the more established members of society, for they have already established their friendships and support networks.

3.3.3 If the 2 Home Missionaries we’ve employed will be doing training of cell leaders in the areas targeted, when and how does evangelism take place?

3.3.3.1 We see the task of our Home Missionaries as
3.3.3.1.1 the identification, recruitment and training of potential Cell Leaders (among Reformed oriented people within the geographical target areas),
3.3.3.1.2 the establishment of Cell Groups
3.3.3.1.3 the organisation of evangelism oriented outreaches to non-Christians within the targeted geographical areas, launched from the smaller (Cell Group) or larger (cluster of cooperating Cell Groups) platforms.
3.3.3.2 This has been the process for a number of years now, and we’re confident that the focussed efforts of the two Home Missionaries, who have been involved in the process themselves for some time now, will bear even more fruit.

3.3.4 Do we have any specific plans to reach Australians/other nationalities for Christ as part of the church planting effort?

3.3.4.1 Absolutely! We already find that our established Australian members are keen on starting evangelism oriented Cell Groups, and that many of our migrant members will have established strong relationships with Australians (after about four years in Australia), and then tend to pursue relationships with Australians and with new migrants. We also commissioned our pastors as a reserve Army Chaplain, a member as an Evangelist working with Campus Crusade for Christ, another member as school Chaplain at the Waterford West State School.

3.4 More information about what is currently being done by MCRC to reach people in the areas targeted?

3.4.1 How many cell group leaders have been trained already, specifically for the areas targeted and for the future church plants, and what specific progress has been made towards church planting?

3.4.1.1 One has to understand that only 35% of our members live 15 minutes drive and less from church. The rest live 20-45 minutes drive away. Mansfield is not a community church. The existing Cell Groups are already distributed over the whole South East of Brisbane. MCRC therefore consist, in practical terms, of people distributed over the whole of South East of Brisbane (from Mt’Ommaney in the South West to Victoria Point in the South East). All our Cell Groups are already trained, in place and functioning (20 Cell Groups).

3.4.2 Have elders been allocated to any groups of cell leaders in the areas targeted for Church plants?

3.4.2.1 Yes. All Cell Leaders are supervised by allocated Elders… also the Leaders of the Cell Groups in the areas targeted for Church plants.

3.4.3 Which demonstrable steps have been taken towards church planting in the two areas nominated?

3.4.3.1 At a Session meeting, held on 30/10/07, Session decided to appoint the two Home Missionaries (see 1.2). The positions were advertised in all CRCA churches. Rev. Gerhard Oberholzer and Br. KJ Tromp were successful applicants, and they were both appointed in these positions. They have resumed their tasks on 01/02/08. We have also developed a list of potential Cell Group members and Leaders, residing within the target areas. We have started the process of reaching out to them (relationship building phase). We train new Cell Leaders as an ongoing process (05/06/08 we train another 4, and on 11/06/08 we’ll be training 4 more). These steps are bold and demonstrable steps in response to God’s calling.


4. Prelimenary Church Planting Strategic Plan & Policy (01/02/08)

4.1 Details of the church-planting project

4.1.1 Describe church planting neighbourhood / town / people / group demographics

4.1.1.1 Region 1: Reformed Oriented Australian and Migrant Students and Young Working Adults residing in South East Brisbane & Forest Lake area.
4.1.1.2 Region 2: Reformed Oriented Australian and Migrant Families residing in South East Brisbane & Forest Lake area.
4.1.1.3 Region 3: Reformed Oriented Australian and Migrant Families residing in Queensland, outside of Brisbane, with whom we have contact.
4.1.1.4 Currently about 1500 people move into Queensland per week (78,000 / year), most of them (in the region of 52,000) into the Brisbane Gold Coast area (according to the Premier of QLD). If 3% of them are Reformed oriented, then we refer to a target market of 2340 people per year (almost 12 viable congregations).

4.1.2 Describe the church planting leadership team (names, roles, gifts)

4.1.2.1 Region 1: Home Missionary Team 1: KJ Tromp. Team members: Ettiene de Wilzem (Cell Group Leader); Minandi de Wilzem (Cell Group Leader); Zile Eloff (Cell Group Leader); Ettiene Roux (Cell Group Leader); Dirk Tromp (Cell Group Leader); Wilfred Mak (Praise & Worship Leader; Abigael van der Walt (Praise & Worship Leader).
4.1.2.2 Region 2 & 3: Home Missionary Team 2: Rev. Gerhard Oberholzer. Team members: Magdel Muller (Cell Group Leader); Nico Blignaut (Cell Group Leader); Gradi Tromp (Cell Group Leader); Piet van Zyl (Cell group Leader); Leon Slabbert (Cell Group Leader); Karen du Plessis (Cell Group Leader); Kobus van der Walt (Cell Group Leader); Corlia Roos (Cell Group Leader); Val Jones (Cell Group Leader); Maureen Rowland (Cell Group Leader).

4.1.3 Describe the basis, values, goals and plans for establishing the proposed church plant.

4.1.3.1 Fundamental Church Growth Principles:

4.1.3.1.1 Interdependence (To facilitate a kind of interdependence that provides for the formation of subsystems with a potential for ongoing multiplication).
4.1.3.1.2 Multiplication (The Great Commission refers to reproduction through multiplication, which means that the true fruit of a disciple-maker is another disciple-maker, of a leader is another leader, of an evangelist is another evangelist, of a small group is another small group, and that of a church is another church¡K any one of the above should be allowed to ¡¥die¡¦ after they have run their course).
4.1.3.1.3 Energy Transformation (Existing forces and energies are turned in the desired direction through minute steering energies. Thus destructive energy can become productive. The question to be asked in this regard is: ¡§How can I best use this situation for the advance of God¡¦s kingdom?¡¨ With a need-oriented approach, for instance, the needs of non-Christians are taken seriously, and the energy behind them is made to serve God¡¦s purposes for these people. To involve new converts in evangelism, is another example¡K contacts, language, thought patterns in common with their non-Christian friends).
4.1.3.1.4 Multi-usage (Energy once invested, can be put to many uses. The results of work are transformed into energy, which in turn sustains the ongoing work. Actual participation in leadership, eg. co-leadership or leader-in-training, provides higher quality, ¡¥on-the-job¡¦ training for new leaders, with a smaller investment of energy. Another example is that those benefiting from a project, contribute to its financing. The same energy that is spent working on the project, provides its financial backing).
4.1.3.1.5 Symbiosis (The definition for ‘symbiosis’ is ‘the intimate living together of two dissimilar organisms in a mutually beneficial relationship. Best example in church life is the gift-oriented approach to ministry, where the church encourages the interplay of widely diverse gifts and personality types, all benefiting each other. The needs of individual Christians and of the congregation, complement rather that compete with one another. These are ‘win-win’ relationships. Decisions are made in such a way, that everybody wins).
4.1.3.1.6 Functionality (Every detail in God’s creation, including the church, has a specific function. Self-regulating functionality, refers to the ability of the organism, or church, to bear fruit. Where there is no fruit, life is condemned to death. Since fruit is visible, we are able to check on the quality of an organism by examining the quality and quantity of its fruit. The questions that need to be asked in this regard are: How high is the quality index of the 8 quality characteristics for the church? Is the church growing or multiplying? Does a specific decision agree with the fundamental church growth principles?

4.1.3.2 Quality Characteristics

4.1.3.2.1 To implement an empowering style of leadership through which leaders concentrate on empowering other members for ministry, by building strong relationships with them and then by means of equipping, supporting, motivating and mentoring them according to specific objectives.
4.1.3.2.2 To implement a gift-oriented style of ministry through which the leadership helps members to identify their special gifts received from the Holy Spirit and to integrate them into appropriate ministries.
4.1.3.2.3 To encourage passionate spirituality among members, enabling them to live committed lives and live their faith with joy and contagious enthusiasm.
4.1.3.2.4 To develop functional structures which promote an ongoing multiplication of the ministry.
4.1.3.2.5 To hold inspiring worship services which are enjoyable, inspiring and God honouring experiences for the participants.
4.1.3.2.6 To facilitate the planting of small (cell) groups which multiply continuously and where members learn to apply the Bible's message to daily life, and service to others (both inside and outside) with their spiritual gifts.
4.1.3.2.7 To facilitate need-oriented evangelism through which each member serves non-Christians with whom they have a personal relationship (focusing on their needs), to see to it that they hear the gospel, and to encourage contact with the local church.
4.1.3.2.8 To encourage loving relationships through which each member shows unfeigned, practical love in a way people can really experience.

4.1.4 Describe the character and activities of any small groups that have been established in the area of proposed church plant.

4.1.4.1 The MCRC ‘Cells’ are open, evangelism-focused small groups, aiming at multiplying itself, as the group grows through evangelism.
4.1.4.2 Because the Bible refers to the Church as an organism, named ‘the Body of Christ’, a cell is the smallest structural unit of the Body of Christ that is capable of ‘independent’ functioning.
4.1.4.3 Just like in nature, where the total genetic package received from the parent is re-established in each daughter cell, the presence of the ‘DNA’ of the Body of Christ, should be evident in healthy cells of the Body of Christ.
4.1.4.4 The heart of Cell-Based ministry is evangelism and that is the heart of the Church Planting Initiative of Mansfield Christian Reformed Church. We have a passion for the lost and therefore we accepted as our mission, the Great Commission of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19). Our Cell Groups function like an evangelism net spread out over the entire City.
4.1.4.5 In order for members to experience healthy Cell-Based church life, their involvement in three relationships, is essential, namely Prayer, Discipleship and Evangelism.
4.1.4.5.1 Prayer refers to our relationship with God. If God doesn't show up, it's all over. The only way to know God is by spending time with Him, by having a daily appointment with Him doing your daily devotions.
4.1.4.5.2 Discipleship refers to our relationship with other believers, teaching them and being taught by them to learn from Christ independently.
4.1.4.5.3 Evangelism refers to our relationship with the unsaved. That is also one of the aims of Cell Groups¡K to reach the lost for Christ.
4.1.4.6 In a Cell-Based Church like ours, ministry is taken out of the hands of a ‘chosen few’... and placed in the lap of many. Everyone is therefore encouraged to participate in Cell Groups and use their spiritual gifts.
4.1.4.7 Cell Leaders mainly act as facilitators getting members involved in a process of inviting each other and new members to cell meetings, getting to know each other, caring for each other, visiting each other, praying for each other, feeding each other with God’s word, protecting, warning, guiding and keeping watch over each other, supporting and encouraging each other, and seeking those who stop attending.
4.1.4.8 All our Cell Leaders need a healthy sense of inadequacy. We all, at some stage, ask, ‘How could God ever use me?’ The good news is that God uses those who are dependent on Him (2 Corinthians 12:9). Our Cell Leaders don’t need to be superstars. God made each of them special. We believe they can be successful just as they are. God uses the bubbly, shy, relaxed, anxious and all of the other personality types! We encourage them to just be themselves.
4.1.4.9 Cell ministry is Team ministry. This kind of ministry therefore takes advantage of the variety of gifts within the Cell. It’s about ‘net fishing’ as a group... rather than ‘hook fishing’ as individuals.

4.1.5 Describe the plans for outreach that will be part of the proposed church planting activities

4.1.5.1 Our Plan of Action: To take the Gospel to the people by spreading evangelism oriented Cell Groups all over the city, by teaching every Cell Group Leader how to share the Gospel with non-believers, and by encouraging and empowering every Cell Group Leader to teach his Cell Group members to learn from Christ independently. For this reason Mansfield CRC chose to become a ‘Cell-Based Church’, placing evangelistic small groups (‘cells’¨) at the core of its ministry (‘Cells’ are open, evangelism-focused small groups, aiming at multiplying itself, as the group grows through evangelism). In our Church, a Cell consists of anything between 3 and 7 members, including a Cell Leader as facilitator of the activities of the Cell. For every 3 up to 7 Cell Group Leaders, the congregation selects an Elder to shepherd these Cell Leaders, and for every 3 up to 7 Elders, the congregation calls a Pastor to shepherd these Elders. As soon as a Pastor is called, that particular section of the congregation will have the choice to continue as an independent congregation (church plant).

4.1.6 Describe the size of the initial community (the core group) of the church plant (in number of adults and children)

4.1.6.1 The initial community (core group) church plant(s) emerging from this approach, will be one Elder, seven Cell Leaders, and up to 49 Cell Members (plus their children).

4.1.7 Our best growth estimate (by God¡¦s grace) for the first three years of the church plant

4.1.7.1 Our approach with this application, is to deploy 2 Home Missionaries (22.5 hours per week each), to focus on the identification, recruitment, and training of Cell Leaders within the Regions mentioned in pt. 1.2. Humanly spoken, we believe that each of them may be able to facilitate the establishment of 5 viable Cell Groups each year. Our growth estimate, therefore, is 5 x 2 Cell groups per year = 10 Cells x 7 members = 70 members / year x 3 years = 210 members after 3 years. Some of the initial Cell Groups may multiply during the first 3 years. Because multiplication is one of the main aims of Cell groups, the numbers involved may more than double within the next 6 years.

4.1.8 When and how do we plan to launch the proposed church plant (starting date and initial ministries)?

4.1.8.1 As described, the initial (Home Mission) ministries will focus on the ongoing establishment and multiplication of new Cell Groups. We already started this process 2 years ago. We just aim to streamline and intensify the process by the deployment of the 2 Home Missionaries.

4.2 Details of the financial arrangements and needs

4.2.2 Attach a detailed budget for at least three years

4.2.2.1 Home Missionary Team 1 (see pt. 1.2)
4.2.2.1.1 Year 1: $ 26 878
4.2.2.1.2 Year 2: $ 30 238
4.2.2.1.3 Year 3: $ 33 597

4.2.2.2 Home Missionary Team 2 (see pt. 1.2)
4.2.2.2.1 Year 1: $ 28 404
4.2.2.2.2 Year 2: $ 31 954
4.2.2.2.3 Year 3: $ 35 504

4.2.2.3 Funding required for each year for at least three years
4.2.2.3.1 Year 1: $ 55 282
4.2.2.3.2 Year 2: $ 62 192
4.2.2.3.3 Year 3: $ 69 101

4.3 Further questions/ comments

4.3.2 Further information on how much MCRC is on board with the church planting direction as suggested by the CRCA Church Planting Task Force

4.3.2.1 Has the congregation as a whole made a decision to be proactive in church planting? (ie has a decision been made at a congregational meeting?)

4.3.2.1.1 Our congregation as a whole made a very decisive stand on how to be proactive regarding extending the kingdom of God, when they decided the following at a congregational meeting, held on 29/11/05, as part of our Strategic Plan and Policy:
4.3.2.1.1.1 “Together using our gifts of grace received from Christ our Lord, we want to worship and glorify God by making everyone disciples of Jesus Christ, baptising them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything Jesus Christ has commanded us.”
4.3.2.1.1.2 To facilitate the planting of small (cell) groups, which multiply continuously and where members learn to apply the Bible’s message to daily life, and service to others (both inside and outside) with their spiritual gifts.
4.3.2.1.1.3 To facilitate need-oriented evangelism, through which each member serves non-Christians with whom they have a personal relationship (focusing on their needs), to see to it that they hear the gospel, and to encourage contact with the local church.
4.3.2.1.2 In our Church, a Cell consists of anything between 3 and 7 members, including a Cell Leader as facilitator of the activities of the Cell. For every 3 up to 7 Cell Group Leaders, the congregation selects an Elder to shepherd these Cell Leaders, and for every 3 up to 7 Elders, the congregation calls a Pastor to shepherd these Elders. As soon as a Pastor is called, that particular section of the congregation will have the choice to continue as an independent congregation (church plant). We do not believe that we can or should prescribe (in advance) to these particular sections of the congregation, as and when they’ve developed to the point of calling a Pastor, whether or not they should continue as an independent congregation (‘church plant’). We will certainly give them the best advice possible at that stage, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We do believe though, that we should work very hard in that direction!

4.3.2.2 Has the Session approved the plan for church planting as presented and document and is this minuted?

4.3.2.2.1 Yes! Session approved this plan in written form at a Session meeting held on 25/09/07, after in depth discussions, both on committee and Session level.

4.3.2.3 Are the targeted cell group leaders & members (esp. those mentioned) on board with the church planting concept? Have they been involved in the discussions to date?

4.3.2.3.1 Yes, our Cell Group Leaders attend a Cell Leaders Workshop every 3 months (ongoing process). This vision, policy, plan of action and concepts are being worked through, amongst others, during these Workshops. Session already took a step in faith at its meeting held on 30/10/07, by calling the two mentioned Home Missionaries. We absolutely believe this is what God calls us to do at this very point in time, and that we’ll be disobedient not to take this step into the future of His kingdom.

4.3.2.4 Do Cell Groups get a choice whether to be part of a church plant or remain in the MCRC? Is it possible that no churches will be planted at all, but that MCRC will simply grow through the cell group growth? How will the intentional church planting work be guaranteed to happen?

4.3.2.4.1 Cell Groups as such do not get a choice to be part of a ‘church plant’ or remain in MCRC. For every 3 up to 7 Cell Group Leaders, the congregation selects an Elder to shepherd these Cell Leaders, and for every 3 up to 7 Elders, the congregation calls a Pastor to shepherd these Elders. As soon as a Pastor is called, that particular section of the congregation (Pastor, plus 3-7 Elders under his pastoral supervision, plus Cell Members involved) will have the choice to continue as an independent congregation (‘church plant’). We do not believe that we can or should prescribe (in advance) to these particular sections of the congregation, whether or not they should continue as an independent congregation (‘church plant’¦). We will certainly give them the best advice possible at that stage, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We do believe though, that we should work very hard in that direction!

4.3.3 More information about the missional aspect of the work

4.3.3.1 Does the fact that we are reaching out to people who are ‘Reformed oriented’, imply the people we are seeking to reach are mostly already Christians?

4.3.3.1.1 We believe that the ‘DNA’ of the Body of Christ should be evident in any Cell Group. Every Cell Group, therefore, has to be led by a Cell Leader plus at least 2 Core Members, of whom Galatians 3:26, 4:6 is true: "You are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus… Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, 'Abba, Father'"
4.3.3.1.2 Every Cell group (and 'cluster of Cells' that organize themselves in order to fulfil the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19, called congregation, assembly or local church), therefore forms a 'platform' of obedient believers (in our case Reformed oriented people) from where this missional task (see the concept 'reformission'), should be undertaken, and where the 'first fruits' of this outreach task can be accommodated, nourished and fed (discipleship).
4.3.3.1.3 We see the process, therefore, as
4.3.3.1.3.1 the identification, recruitment and training of potential Cell Leaders (among Reformed oriented people within the geographical target areas),
4.3.3.1.3.2 the establishment of Cell Groups
4.3.3.1.3.3 the organisation of evangelism oriented outreaches to non-Christians within the targeted geographical areas, launched from the smaller (Cell Group) or larger (cluster of cooperating Cell Groups) platforms.
4.3.3.1.4 Almost all of our existing Cell Groups are already busy with this task of reaching out to nominal and non-Christians.

4.3.3.2 Are we predominantly targeting South African immigrants, and if so, what percentage of them would be non-Christians or nominal Christians that need to be saved?

4.3.3.2.1 No, we are not predominantly targeting South Africans. This will depend on existing and new relationships formed by involved Christians. Based on the number of SA migrants who are being ministered to at this point in time, about 30% may be nominal Christians. Based on the number of all our Christian members, about 7% are new Christians (last 2 years), 10% are Australians and 2% Indonesian. Various Cell Groups are purposefully involved in the lives of a number of non-Christians of Asian and Australian descent. We believe these percentages may stay more or less the same for a while, but may, through purposeful effort, change drastically. One thing migrants have in common, is that they understand the hardships of migration and readjustment, and are all looking to establish new relationships. It is harder to build strong relationships with the more established members of society, for they have already established their friendships and support networks.

4.3.3.3 If the 2 Home Missionaries we’ve employed will be doing training of cell leaders in the areas targeted, when and how does evangelism take place?

4.3.3.3.1 We see the task of our Home Missionaries as
4.3.3.3.1.1 the identification, recruitment and training of potential Cell Leaders (among Reformed oriented people within the geographical target areas),
4.3.3.3.1.2 the establishment of Cell Groups
4.3.3.3.1.3 the organisation of evangelism oriented outreaches to non-Christians within the targeted geographical areas, launched from the smaller (Cell Group) or larger (cluster of cooperating Cell Groups) platforms.
4.3.3.3.2 This has been the process for a number of years now, and we’re confident that the focussed efforts of the two Home Missionaries, who have been involved in the process themselves for some time now, will bear even more fruit.

4.3.3.4 Do we have any specific plans to reach Australians/other nationalities for Christ as part of the church planting effort?

4.3.3.4.1 Absolutely! We already find that our established Australian members are keen on starting evangelism oriented Cell Groups, and that many of our migrant members will have established strong relationships with Australians (after about four years in Australia), and then tend to pursue relationships with Australians and with new migrants.

4.3.4 More information about what is currently being done by MCRC to reach people in the areas targeted?

4.3.4.1 How many cell group leaders have been trained already, specifically for the areas targeted and for the future church plants, and what specific progress has been made towards church planting?

4.3.4.1.1 One has to understand that only 35% of our members live 15 minutes drive and less from church. The rest live 20-45 minutes drive away. Mansfield is not a community church. The existing Cell Groups are already distributed over the whole South East of Brisbane. MCRC therefore consist, in practical terms, of people distributed over the whole of South East of Brisbane (from Mt’Ommaney in the South West to Victoria Point in the South East).

4.3.4.2 Have elders been allocated to any groups of cell leaders in the areas targeted for Church plants?

4.3.4.2.1 Yes. All Cell Leaders are supervised by allocated Elders… also the Leaders of the Cell Groups in the areas targeted for Church plants.

4.3.4.3 Which demonstrable steps have been taken towards church planting in the two areas nominated?

4.3.4.3.1 At a Session meeting, held on 30/10/07, Session decided to appoint the two Home Missionaries (see 1.2). The positions were advertised in all CRCA churches. Rev. Gerhard Oberholzer and Br. KJ Tromp were successful applicants, and they were both appointed in these positions. They have resumed their tasks on 01/02/08. We have also developed a list of potential Cell Group members and Leaders, residing within the target areas. We have started the process of reaching out to them (relationship building phase). These steps are bold and demonstrable steps in response to God’s calling
 
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