Ed. During the Week of Prayer, CABA promoted “Churches Multiplying Churches.” We heard from several pastors for how they support church planters throughout the Cincinnati Area--and beyond.
Jerome Byrd, Good News Baptist, supports Gene Moore, who is planting Guiding Light Church. “We support him with prayer support,” Jerome said, “we also took up an offering for him recently to help with the work. He also has access to our baptistry and we also assist him in various outreach projects that he’s already held. Two families from our church are also with him each Sunday.”
Tom Pendergrass, pastor, explained how Urbancrest supports their church plants: “At Urbancrest and as a pastor we approach church planting from the same model we do with missions. Pray, Give, Go, and Send. Our goal is to support the church plant in a holistic approach that begins with the fundamental principle of prayer. We try and surround our church planters with a core group of intercessors who pray on a consistent basis for their needs. When we commit to give, our partnership is for a minimum of five years to give the new church plant a greater chance to become self supporting. Going is where we can send teams to help with various projects that need boots on the ground. This can be from one day to two week commitments. At times we can send our members to help for extended periods of time. Finally, the send aspect includes the planter as well as sending families to become a part of the core team of the new church. Over half of our current church planters came from Urbancrest. I want to encourage pastors to consider being involved in one of these four ways.”
Mark Jones, lead pastor for Living Church, tells of the ways they support planters: “We support Martin & Karen Jones in their church planting through having them participate in a ministry we provide called The Living Room. This is a monthly zoom call with other house church leaders from around the world. Martin actively participates in this call every month to learn from other like minded church planters. We also come alongside them by providing Martin with monthly coaching with our lead pastor, who mentors and coaches Martin through a monthly coaching meeting. One other way we support the Joneses is by serving on their church’s board providing feedback and guidance.”
Supporting Planters Can Lead Overseas, too! Overseas travel to South Asia was discouraged by the IMB during COVID. However, an IMB missionary, two pastors, a church leader, and I found a way to continue supporting a church planter. He is bivocational and lives in a bustling city. We have met regularly over the past 18 months via Zoom. We have a standing meeting time. It helps that he works a night shift, so we can meet with him during our day. We have used our meetings as a time for prayer, encouragement, problem-solving, and equipping. The missionary has pulled out of the conversation, but our CABA group continues to meet. Some of our wives have met, too, to offer encouragement.
--Mark Snowden serves as the AMS for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association