Diocesan Church Planting Strategies – 24 Oct 2023

On Tuesday 24 October 2023, hosted by Philip James and Bishop Ric Thorpe, this gathering focussed attention on Diocesan Church Planting Strategies and the role that you, in your position in dioceses, can play in leading those strategies.

Review from the day

The first session of the day included input from Philip James and Bishop Ric Thorpe around supporting church revitalisation and planting, with a focus on “intentional to strategic”. 

Bishop Ric shared thoughts from French theologian and church planter, Raphaël Anzenberger, around the Biblical picture of ‘multiplication’, anchored in the book of Acts, where we witness the consistent multiplication of the gospel, disciples, churches, and leaders. 

Three key implications were taken from this: 

  1. We must start by sharing the gospel. We are called to be fishers of men, not keepers of aquaria. 
  2. We need a healthy leadership pipeline. 
  3. We must recover the proper role of the Holy Spirit in our vision of multiplication, bringing our plans not just to each other but to God. 

Philip James framed his presentation on strategy with the question “How do we ensure that planning, the work of the Spirit, and prayer can be kept together?”. 

The following key elements were discussed, which can be found in more detail on the accompanying slides:

  1. You need to know what your strategy is in order to shift it (strategy can be identified by where time and money are being spent) 
  2. Shifting to a more intentional approach 
  3. Adapting policy and practice to be in alignment with this approach 
  4. Identifying and creating missional opportunities 
  5. Leveraging the existing missional energy that you have 

Bishop Moon Hing, former Bishop of West Malaysia and Archbishop of South-East Asia, shared his reflections on leading church planting in a diocese. 

Bishop Moon Hing, joining via Zoom, spoke of the centrality of prayer in church planting, highlighting the role of prayer in every part of the journey. ‘The Bible says “go and make disciples” – pray: where, when, how?’. 

Asked to identify a key learning, he shared, ‘in the last days God will not ask how many souls have you brought to heaven, he’ll ask were you faithful to him, did you do what he asked you to do?’ The full interview is available below. 

It was acknowledged that several of the problems Bishop Moon Hing spoke of were similar to those in the room, but in a different context. With recognition that much of the available learning in the room is from each other, the afternoon was spent discussing blockages, key enablers, and other areas of support needed to help churches develop their mission.

Interview with Bishop Moon Hing

Bishop Ric was joined in conversation by Bishop Moon Hing as part of the day

The role of Church Revitalisation and Planting in…
Developing Mission in Key Population Areas

Please view these slides on this page – on Philip’s request, they are not to be circulated or shared. As such, the slides are not downloadable.