Church planting partnerships have already taken root in some areas of the United States.
Jim Pool, of the Renaissance Vineyard in Detroit, has seen the beginnings of partnerships both here and abroad; his church of about 150 people has been working with other domestic Vineyard churches to begin building an Ethiopian Vineyard church planting movement. And at the same time he has also recently begun dialogue with other Vineyard churches in southeast Michigan to see how they might partner together to see more churches planted in metro Detroit.
Mike Turrigiano is a member of a partnership working to provide resources to existing churches and new church plants in New York City. Even though the population of Brooklyn alone is bigger than all of Chicago, there are only two Vineyards in the entire New York Metro area. Mike adds, “There are hundreds of opportunities for hundreds of church plants in NYC. So, I truly believe if we have more churches partnering for church planting, that gives NYC more ‘voices in the villages’ than any other major city. I’m sold out for partnerships.”
We would be amiss if we thought that partnerships would only work in large cities, however. Reaching rural communities and minorities through partnerships has been the topic of discussion in regions of the Vineyard as well.
Last fall, Joel Seymour, the pastor of the Lancaster Vineyard church hosted a conference geared towards the planting of Vineyard churches in “Smalltown USA.” Sometimes, these small towns can be overlooked. But they are in need of the fresh new vision that healthy Vineyard churches have to offer as well. Michael Gatlin was recently asked about the vision for church planting in America and what kinds of cities or locations we will target. He responded by saying that “we will target anyplace where humans live.” Joel is working towards developing a group of churches that have a desire to see the kingdom spread to rural areas.
Recently, at a gathering of area pastors in the Midwest North Region, the topic of partnering to plant Spanish speaking La Vina’s in several of the larger cities in the region arose and was met with excitement by the pastors in the conversation. Area Pastor, Ross Nelson of the Tomahawk Vineyard in Wisconsin shared his desire to see Vineyard churches throughout the region partner together to begin to engage the spanish speaking population by planting La Viñas. Greg Perkinson, pastor of the South Metro Vineyard in Burnsville, Minnesota has recently partnered with Homero Garcia of Comunidad Cristiana La Viña in the Chicago area to sponsor a family to begin planting a La Viña in their building in Burnsville, Minnesota.
Think about the power of that for a moment. What if many of our existing churches opened up their facilities to host a La Viña church plant? The possibilities here are powerful!
If this is piqued your interest, or you are interested in building or joining a partnership, here are a few things we would encourage you to do:
- Pray for a city, people group, etc. Prayer is more powerful than almost anything else we do. Begin to pray for a specific area of town, a certain city or a particular people group. Ask God how you can be a part of expanding his kingdom through church planting. Ask him for direction and for like-minded leaders. Ask him to let you see what he’s already doing in that area or city or with that group of people. Ask him how he would like you to participate.
- Share your vision with like minded people. Begin to share the vision of partnering together to plant churches with other pastors and leaders in your area or region. Communicate this vision with your Pastor, your Area Pastor and your Regional Leader. Let the church planting team know of your interest in partnering with others to church plant.
- Determine your role. Each partnership needs a leader and several supporting churches. As you meet to pray and discuss the possibilities, you’ll need to determine if you will be the leader or a supporting member of the partnership.
- Attend a partnership training. If you are interested in leading a partnership, contact the church planting office about attending the upcoming Missional Leaders Meeting, September 30-October 4, 2013 in Colorado. At this meeting we will be gathering together with the Mission Team partnership leaders and learn about developing effective partnerships.
The Vineyard national church planting team has a number of resources to assist you and other Vineyard churches in your area to team up and build your own Partnership. Our team wants to be there with any assistance you need to get your own Partnership off the ground. Just contact Bob Ugland at [email protected] or 614-398-2122 to get started.