How do you know when a community needs a new church?
Webster defines protocol as “the established ceremonial forms in official dealings.” That’s not what I mean here in speaking of a protocol of planting a church. The word protocol is also used of the order of things. What begins and what comes next. It is in that sense that I use the word in connection with church planting. What follows is a brief account of how God saw fit to plant a church in Three Forks Montana, and how we accomplished that. In looking back there were five steps we followed. (1) Assessing the need, (2) Planning the birth, (3) Birthing the Church (4) Organizing the church, (5) Letting go. This was our protocol, and if it can be of help to you in your ministry then we are gratified.
Once these goals are met, you have done the job God has called you to. A church has been born! Now what will God do with it as the years go by? Hopefully it is a group of people God can use to His glory!
I thought this might be a good place to give you some book suggestions for books your congregation might enjoy reading. This was my 2019 reading list for my flock. We live in far northwest Washington State so reading during the “rainy” season is a great way to help our spiritual growth.
Saving My Assassin, Virginia Prodan. This is the true story of a woman coming to know the Lord and the persecution she endured for her faith. From her own words: “I should be dead. Buried in an unmarked grave in Romania. Obviously, I am not. God had other plans.”
Same Kind of Different Me & Working Our Way Home by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. These two books are an autobiography of the lives of a rich white guy and a black homeless guy, how their lives intersect and what God does with it. A fun read!
Paul Tripp is one of our favorite authors, so we have three new books by him for the coming year.
New Morning Mercies. This is a daily devotional book. It is rich! You will be blessed daily by his insights and challenges.
Suffering. This book is about the Gospel hope we have when life doesn’t make sense.
What Did You Expect? This is a book for married couples at any stage of life. With all the problems in marriages these days, this book will bring you back to the core issue and solution.
Unimaginable. This is a book by Jeremiah Johnston. This book examines what the word would be like without Christianity. I think we take for granted all that we have, but the author puts it all in a new perspective. Without Christianity, this world and certainly our culture would be far different.
Discipline: the Glad Surrender. This is a book I’ve read several times by Elizabeth Elliot. It’s an older but timeless book. My fellow elders and I will be reading through and working through this book this year. Maybe you would like to experience it as well!