The greatest church planter that ever lived wrote “I laid a foundation like a wise and master builder…”. Ever-ready to confess his inadequacy, Paul changes tact in the letter to the Corinthians and stated he had planted with competency. In other words, Paul tells them that when it came to church planting, he was good at it. Who could deny it?
False humility is of no value when you’re in a mentorship role to church planters who daily put their security, families and reputation on the line by risking it all for kingdom expansion. When you’re looking for a mentor, you want to know that he’s planted successfully and lived to tell the tale. Paul had his share of failures too, as evidenced by the mess Galatia was in after his first missionary journey. It’s at this very point that Paul’s genius truly shone through.
He learned from his mistakes.
Sometimes, competency is gained from the failures that we’ve endured as well as the successes. All golf coaches, boxing trainers and sensei’s know that competency is something that can be built in those that are willing to learn from the wisdom of those that have gone before them.
Everyone needs a Paul, and the Send Network church Planter training tracks (BLVD and Multiply) don’t merely teach methods, it provides mentorship.
Mentorship, not methods
The curriculum itself is laid out over several months that meet in cohorts with other planters. Whereas much training is rigidly set on teaching methods, the Send Network training is planter-centric, focusing on the competencies that all planters need developed within them across all cultural contexts, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds and models.
These competencies didn’t just come out of nowhere either. They’re rooted in reality. Grounded in the trenches of everyday church planting.
Because we have talked to planters in the trenches. We walked beside, and interviewed church planters who were successful at reaching their communities with the gospel and witnessing transformation through their church plants. As I heard story-after-story, I began to trace certain patterns. The training emerged out of those talks, from church planters on the ground, and the team was able to crystalize the core characteristics of successful church planting.
The focus of the Send Network training isn’t on your church. It’s on you. We train you to be the kind of planter who can assess the makeup of your community and develop a missional engagement strategy. We also train you to develop bold faith that take prayerful risk. We also train you how to cast a clear and compelling vision. Most leaders think they understand this last one, but they’re unaware of how deep that rabbit hole goes. Above all, we trace all of our training back to qualities that leaders in the Bible exhibited and had developed in themselves, so that they can be developed in you before you hit the field.
We can’t wait to see these traits developed in you, because like Paul developed Timothy, and Jesus developed the twelve, the Send Network doesn’t treat you like a tool. It treats you like a living, breathing, human being with a soul, a heart, a mind, a family, and yes, even a church plant. You’re so much more than just a number, or a means to plant more churches. You’re somebody for whom Christ died, and in whom he deposited Himself into when he indwelt you with his Holy Spirit. Send Network training seeks to continue to see you poured into through the lives of others. The entire time your train, you’ll be interacting with your trainer, cohort of fellow planters and a coach, or sending pastor. In the end, the Send Network training is relational, because church planting itself is relational, just as God himself is a relational being.
What to expect
We expect our training to be some of the best on the planet. Church planters deserve it. We are always improving and re-examining ourselves in order to deliver the best we possibly can, and to make sure we are always on the cutting edge. Our trainers make the training what it is, and we train them rigorously before allowing them to lead a cohort.
When you walk into a cohort, you know that you’ve kissed traditional planter training goodbye. Everything from start to finish is meant to communicate something, and in every session there is non-stop interaction, relational depth and gospel centrality. You will build lasting, and strategic relationships during these six to eight months, and most of all, you’ll develop the necessary competency to plant by learning from experienced church planters as they share their own failures, and successes.