Summit Focuses on What Works in Church Planting

Post a Comment » Written on December 15th, 2003     
Filed under: News
OAK LAWN, IL (December 15) – “What’s working in church planting” was a  key topic of discussion last week as 10 pastors met with Don Davenport,  associate director of church planting and development for the  Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) as part of a peer mentoring summit for  African-American church planters.

The two-day event, held at the Oak Lawn Holiday Inn and facilitated in  cooperation with the Department of Church Growth and Evangelism,  included pastors from six conferences who are less than two years into  the church planting process. They are:Summit participants

  • Conway Boyce of Brooklyn Covenant Ministries in Brooklyn, New York
  • Harvey Carey of Citadel of Faith Covenant Church in Detroit, Michigan
  • Kevin Davenport of New Beginning Covenant Church in Lansing, Illinois
  • James Gibson of Destiny Covenant Church in Detroit, Michigan
  • Catherine Gilliard of Commissioned Disciples Covenant Church in  Tucker, Georgia
  • Phil Jackson of The House Covenant Church in Chicago, Illinois
  • Camille Russell-Wooden of Abundant Life Covenant Church in Pasadena,  California
  • Efrem Smith of Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • George Wilson of Friends4Life Covenant Church in Flossmoor, Illinois
  • Terry Woodson of Bethel Bible Fellowship Covenant Church in  Carollton, Texas
Gary Walter, executive minister of Church Growth and Evangelism, and  Dave Olsen, director of church planting, also represented the department  along with Davenport. Discussion group topics included “What has  surprised you about church planting?”, “What’s working?” and “What is  not working?”

The represented churches are in various stages of development – some  have already hosted grand opening services, some have been ministering  as a church for more than a year and others are in the Bible study/core  group development stage.

Carey, who was an associate pastor for a Chicago African-American  megachurch, has hosted Bible studies for more than 100 individuals  during his early months of ministry with his church in Detroit.  Russell-Wooden’s church began weekly services on October 5. Smith, a  noted speaker for a nationally known parachurch youth ministry before  becoming a church planter, has received help from both Covenant and  non-Covenant congregations in starting a multiethnic church that has  attracted more than 400 people in Sunday worship. Meanwhile, Wilson has  ministered in the suburbs using a building that once belonged to an  Anglo Covenant congregation on Chicago’s south side.

“It was exciting to hear about the wide span of ministry emphases of  these churches that will join the Covenant family over the next few  years,” said Gilliard, whose church is located near Atlanta. “The range  of emphases goes from providing hip-hop culture in worship to meeting  the challenges of planting multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-racial  ministries. Some are focused on drawing the emerging generation and are  developing intergenerational ministries and others are focused on  ministry to young adults on college campuses. Others shared about their  emphasis on identifying and mentoring young African American emerging  leaders.

“As varied as each call to ministry was, there was a unifying focus on  leadership training/development and discipleship,” Gilliard continued.  “Each pastor learned from each other as ideas were shared on how to  teach spiritual disciplines that produce disciples who are mature in  their faith.”

For more information on the peer summit, call Davenport at 773-907-3353  or 773-209-3735.

Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.

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