Iâ€™m on the plane flying home from my ministry trip to Quebec, Canada in a city called Granby, about 1.5 hours outside of Montreal. A few cultural experiences from my trip: first, itâ€™s cold in Quebec in January (an average of about 15f below while I was there). Second, I feel a new compassion and delight in the French people of Quebec. Theyâ€™ve had a tumultuous history, are a wonderful people (passionate, funny, artsy). I also believe they are ripe for the harvest because of all the incredible struggles theyâ€™ve gone through.
My seminar was directed to a group of five Evangelical Baptist Churches who were planted from the same mother church. The mother church, led by Richard Houle, became a cell church and then a cell church planting base. Now, Richard is one of the key coaches to the five churches, having identified another senior pastor for the mother church. Hereâ€™s some key things I learned from Richard and their church planting movement:
- Develop a missionary team for church planting purposes. Rather than putting all the responsibility on the mother church for the daughter churches, itâ€™s a good idea to develop a missionary church planting team to nurture and care for the new cell churches. In this way the coaching of the new church plants doesnâ€™t just fall upon the lead pastor of the mother churches (if you have more questions about how they are doing this, contact Richard at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fine tune the cell church vision. I loved the way this movement of churches connects to the worldwide cell church vision. Richard Houle and the team has read the cell church literature, held conferences in Quebec with some of the best cell church teachers (e.g., Ralph Neighbour, Bill Beckham, etc.), and are practicing cell church ministry (both having transitioned a traditional church to a cell church but also having planted five cell churches.
- Influence your denomination. This group of five Evangelical Baptist Churches have been a shining light to the rest of the French speaking Evangelical Baptist Church denomination in Quebec (80 churches all-together). Theyâ€™ve maintained their place in the denomination and even offered to help other churches in the cell vision. These churches are now held up as an example of church planting multiplication and other churches are hungry to learn more. For example, we had approximately 200 pastors, leaders, and lay people at the seminar (in a region where only .5% is evangelical. ).
When I do these seminars around the world, my goal is to pass on to you, the lessons I learned. I hope these principles will help you in your ministry,