church planting

8) Pocket Guide to Church Planting in English and Chinese —

All Nations has recently published a tiny, truly pocket-sized practical guidebook of the basics of church planting. The Pocket Guide is available in English and Chinese. Its principles are responsible for the planting of over 800+ house churches of new believers, half of which have been planted in closed access countries, and almost all by local leaders. It is available for $1 plus minimal postage. Call 816-216-1353 or email


8) Free Studies using Bible Storying for Church Plants —

Are you planting among those with a Western worldview, particularly Americans and Canadians? Several Bible Study options are now available at no cost for church planters. The Spiritual Transformation Series is a 35-session series for relational small groups that use Bible Storying. “Catching Fire” is a 12-session study for new believers based on an oral T4T. “Church Ministries” and “Multiplying Disciples” are 8-session studies that establish the new plant. Just email your name, church name, location, and launch date. The curriculum is offered free to plants one year or younger. They’ll email you the studies in PDF files. Not a new church plant? These same resources and many others are available for purchase. Ask for a Storying Resource Guide by emailing Mark Snowden at



Mark has been a Bible Storying trainer for 15 years and co-authored Truth That Sticks (NavPress) with the late Avery Willis.

1) Johnstone’s “Future of the Global Church” Can Be Yours! —

If you have a coffee table, Johnstone’s new book, The Future of the Global Church, should be on it. In his typical excellent way, that only Patrick can write, he deals with 20 centuries of church history in one chapter (worth the price of the book by itself). And the chapter on “Nine Global Challenges” could develop into an entire semester-long course, by the same title. But then, so could the chapter on major world religions, “The Unevangelized,” and “Church Missions and the Future.” You can get the book as a PDF, so it won’t take up any space on your shelves! But the printed version is one-of-a-kind. Use the website below, which will provide the printed version or a PDF at reduced prices:

9) Global Study Seeks Church-Planting Teams —

Here’s a global research project that is seeking church-planting teams as a special focus for study. To be included, your team needs to be:

* Experienced:  Teams that have been functioning for at least one year.

* Missionary: Teams that are working in a culture other than their own, with plans to develop national leadership for the church.

* Church Planting:  Teams actively working to establish a church capable of reproducing a culturally relevant ministry with its own leadership.

* Teams:  Teams with a designated leader.

* English speaking:  The research will be conducted in English.

* Internet access:  The research will require internet access and email capability.

10) Get Church Coaching for your Missions Team —

TRAIN International offers a workshop called ACCESS (Assisting and Coaching Churches to Effectively Send and Sustain). They have openings on Saturday, July 9 for Columbus, Ohio and on Saturday August 13 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. These workshops address…


*** Missions Strategy in the Local Church

*** Caring for Missionaries

*** Caring for Missionary Kids

*** Effective short term mission trips


Find more information at


or call Mark at 417-621-8962

9) What’s a church to do? —

OK, so you’ve taken Perspectives or been to some event and are all jazzed up for missions only to come home to a church that is less than excited. How do you get a church mobilized? Or perhaps your church already has an overseas mission outreach but it is in need of some cobweb clearing? ACMC specializes in getting churches mobilized and trained for missions and there are two conferences coming up that you’ll want to check out; one in Pittsburgh on March 25-26 and one in Maryland on April 8-9.  There are workshops on everything from Islam to teaching missions to children to churches adopting unreached people groups to missionary care.  Learn more at…


Get an online brochure and/or register.  Other questions, contact Joe at

jsteinitzatgfcdotorg or Dave at


6) Coaching Training For Church Multiplication —

Empowerment, transformation, and innovation require Spirit-led communication skills. Join more than 450 leaders who have taken the 60-hour Core Coaching Skills Certificate Program, a unique training for mission leaders integrating Biblical values, professional coaching skills, and cross-cultural ministry. Learn in-person and by telephone. Catch upcoming programs in London April 4-8, 2011 and Denver May 9-13, 2011. Save US$450 by registering early. Go to

for details. Or email

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6) Church Planting + Leadership Development + Mentoring —

That’s what you get from these sites:

We’ve mentioned them before in Brigada, but it’s been a while. Allan, one of the guys in our Equipping Dept. at Team Expansion, sent out a note to our staff about them this past week and it reminded me it had been too long since we mentioned them here. Last we heard, the Paul-timothy materials are free and available in English, Chinese, Spanish, and various languages of India. Train & Multiply comes with a fee and, in Allan’s words, “is also in a bazillion languages.” (That must be a scientific number/term because, if I recall, he has his Ph.D. in Chemistry or Physics. :-) Thanks Allan.)

8) New Book Explores Trends on Unreached peoples —

Some time ago, Ralph Winter brilliantly identified three eras of modern missions: Era 1: William Carey focused on the coastlands; Era 3: Hudson Taylor focused on the inlands; Era 3: Donald McGavran and Cameron Townsend focused on unreached peoples. With all the fast and furious changes swirling around us today in twenty-first century missions, have we entered a Fourth Era? If so, who are the people primarily involved? How are they selected? How are they trained? How long do they serve? Has the Third Era ministry focus – reaching the unreached – changed? If so, to what? Are there any successful case studies out there? Have McGavran and Townsend passed the baton to a new leader(s)? If so, to whom? This book by Tom Steffen seeks to answer these and related questions.

(That line will wrap. If you have trouble, just use the link below to navigate to the Brigada page, then click and find the book from there.)

3) Best Practices in CPMs for UPGs —

Become equipped to answer the question: “What actually needs to be done for ALL of this people group to have access to the Gospel and have multiple Church Planting Movements among them?” Harvest Multiplication Training is a learning environment where trainees interact with material and case studies presented, identify keys to facilitating church planting movements, and are coached to develop and implement plans unique to reaching their focus people.  The course runs February 5-15, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.  For more information, email

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or telephone/Skype-out: +1-407-852-3713 for an application. For more information, including other trainings scheduled throughout the world, see:

9) How to Mobilize Next-Generation Churches for Missions —

Just attend the “Interchange 2010” workshop! It’s scheduled for December 1-2, 2010, at Brandywine Valley Baptist Church, Wilmington, DE, easily accessible from the Philadelphia airport. It’s designed for anyone with a passion to see the church of Jesus Christ mobilized to reach the ends of the earth, with a goal of helping you maximize the missions role of next-generation church leaders, use business-as-mission to mobilize the whole church, leverage short-term missions, maximize your missions budget, and more. Learn more at…

9) Growing The Church In Unity Across Africa

Over 1000 members from African pastors/leaders and those involved with missionary efforts to Africa have now joined the Africa Network BFTF in a little over a year and established connect groups for building fellowship, ministry opportunity and national unity in several nations. The Africa Network BFTF, aims to bring together African Christian churches, preachers and missionaries co-operating for Africa. As a social network it provides opportunity for building a ministry profile, showing photos and videos, posting blogs and forum discussions, but its greatest value is in seeing pastors and leaders connect with others to provide a benefit to the body of Christ. Learn more at…

1) Coaching Training for Church Multiplication

creativeresultsEmpowerment, transformation, and innovation require Spirit-led communication skills. Join more than 300 leaders who have taken the 60-hour Core Coaching Skills Certificate Program, a unique training for mission leaders integrating Biblical values, professional coaching skills, and cross-cultural ministry. Learn in-person and by telephone. Programs in 2010: Seattle January 11-15; Singapore April 5-10; Kunming, China April 19-23; Colorado Springs May 17-22; and Burgundy, France in September 12-17. Save US$450 by registering early. Go to

for details. Or email

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12) The BackPage: Flipping a Hard Drive Nearly Flipped Me Out

[ Here’s an item that explains how to upgrade or replace an internal hard drive on a laptop, then draws a lesson & an observation about the determination that the process required.]

You know… I was thinking this past week… It really shouldn’t be this hard. I honestly think it’s easier to buy a *house* and flip it than it is to switch to a new roomier hard drive. (OK… maybe I’m exaggerating here… but I’ve never flipped a house, so how should I know.) First, Windows Vista no longer allows the user to create a “system” disk. So you can’t just hook up the hard drive as a “virtual” drive and use some cryptic command like “sys f:” or whatever. Why in the world did every Microsoft operating system allow you to create system disks… until Vista… and suddenly, it’s no longer possible… I’ll never know. Anyway, so how *do* you do this? The only way I could figure out how to make it happen was to make a real “hot” image of my current hard drive courtesy a free treasure-trove-of-a-utility I found called “Disk Copy,” by a company called “Easeus”.

Now the great part about Disk Copy is that it works on any operating system. The weird thing is — Disk Copy isn’t an executable. Instead, it comes as a zipped file… and when you extract that zipped file to “real” size, all you have is an “image file” — an “ISO.” It’s basically an image file used to create a DVD or CD. They just kind of *assume* that you know how to do that. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t.

So I had to learn how to create DVDs using image files… and it turned out I had no tool for doing that either. So after an hour of educational research, I found a little utility called Isorecorder.

Now this is a weird program too. After you install ISO Recorder, no program group is created and there is no application to run. Instead, it’s a Shell extension, which means it provides additional options in a file right-click menu. To create a CD with ISO Recorder right-click on a file with an .iso extension and select “Copy Image to CD.” After you make this CD, then next critical piece is to make sure your computer checks your CD drive *first* in the boot-up process. The easiest way to check that is to simply reboot your computer with the newly created CD in the CD drive. If your computer starts like normal, you’ll have to figure out how to get into your computer’s bios settings and change the boot order so your computer tries to boot from a CD first, *then* to your hard drive. Once you’ve changed and saved that new bios setting, then rebooted with the CD in the drive, your computer now boots into a special operating system native to your new boot CD.

Now you’re ready to create an exact “hot image” of your old drive. To do that, you’ll need to hook up your new hard drive using a USB external drive caddy. I borrowed one from our I.T. guy at Team Expansion (Thanks Greg). But you could also purchase one at your local computer store, or, if you live in the bush, pick one up in town the next time you fly to the capital. (Sorry about that.) If you live near a computer/electronics store like BestBuy, you’re spoiled. Just ask for a hard drive caddy… like the one pictured at….

or get a mobile version at…

Make sure you choose an enclosure that is compatible with the kind of hard drive that fits your computer. If you need help, ask the salesperson, then hope that he/she knows something about hard drives.

Now you just follow instructions in Disk Copy, making a ‘real image’ of your old hard drive. Unfortunately, when you’re done, the new hard drive won’t *seem* any bigger — even if your old drive was a 60-gig drive and your new one is a 300-gig. Why? Because Disk Copy will have even copied the *partition*. So you need one more free utility. I used the one at…

Once again, thankfully, it’s a free utility. (I hope all these companies make some money off someone else; because they sure didn’t get much from me.) Using this tool, you get a new capability that’s pretty cool: You can “grow” the partition on your hard drive. Now you might not be able to grow the one that’s live — the system drive. But you *can* grow the one hooked to your external USB holder. It’s kind of like expanding the bookshelf — by pushing out the sides of the bookcase. Expand your partition, remove the new hard drive from the enclosure, install it in your laptop permanently, and — bam — you’re in business. Easy, eh? Riiiiiiiiiight. :-)

So what does all this have to do with a BackPage editorial? Well, among other things, it occurred to me during all this … who *does* this? It probably requires a bit of stubbornness, combined with some willingness to think outside the box. I guess it requires the ability and willingness to read and learn. And a bit of history doesn’t hurt. (For example, I knew that somewhere on the hard drive, there’s a special set of “grooves”, so to speak, dedicated to system functions.) At the same time, I’ve never taken a computer class… nor have I ever really been taught or mentored by anyone. So I’m left to wonder… are these some of the same tendencies one needs to do missions? Do we need to somehow intentionally find people who won’t give up? … people who are self-starters? …individuals and families willing to keep pushing through obstacles even when they don’t make sense at first? And… can these characteristics be learned? … modeled? …mentored? In short — can a person improve his/her ability to forge on, in the face of obstacles like this? I’m beginning to think that it takes a bit of practice, a bit of desire, and, yes, maybe there’s a personality trait or two that helps. What’s your opinion? How do we create folks willing to assemble these pieces? And — do you agree that sometimes, these traits would help new workers on the field? … not necessarily to install hard drives, but to overcome any of the thousand-other disparate challenges faced by new workers in the field? What’s your take?

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