Church Planters

2017 European Church Planters Network

The European Church Planters Network will be divided into four groups. All participants will be in a group that fits their level of church planting experience, while at the same time we will have mixed groups to transfer learnings and experience across the different groups. 

Groups One, Two, and Three of the European Church Planters Network will meet together as a learning community. This particular learning community concept was developed by Tom McGehee, and seeks to facilitate the best conversations possible around key topics that will bring about significant and long-lasting impact into the activity of the churches and organisations to which participants belong.

Our time together will be divided between:

  • Presentation of key, relevant, concise and biblical content around three levels of experience
  • Processing, discussing, and learning from the diversity and richness of experience present in the room
  • Planning the way forward for each of the participants based on where they are at and where they would like themselves to be.

Group Four will be a topical group on Assessment that will not be part of the learning community approach as it relies more on content and an actual assessment of a church planting couple.

All first time participants in this Network are required to join us for the Pre-Forum Seminar "M4 Training for Church Planters" on Saturday, 20 May from 14:00-17:30.

It is required that all participants attend the network each all four days of the Forum (Sunday, 21 May to Wednesday, 24 May from 10:15 to 13:15 each day. Additionally, on Sunday, 21 May, we will have the evening together from 18:30 to 20:30.

In the months leading up to the Forum, you may be asked to read certain articles or books in preparation for group discussions.


Network Goals

  • To connect CP practitioners and leaders from Western and Eastern Europe.
  • To give the participants in the Network an overview of trends in the area of CP training in Europe as well as “best practices.”
  • To create a learning environment where people have the opportunity to mutually share their experiences through group discussion, reflection, coaching, and prayer.
  • To deepen understanding of the methods, models, resources, and developments in church planting in the European context.
  • To develop a better understanding of the mission context in Europe, highlighting both the opportunities and challenges.
  • To link various networks and church-planting ministries from across Europe with specialists in areas such as evangelism, apologetics, discipleship, and leadership.
  • To help all the participants develop an action plan in regards to what they have heard God calling them to do within the next 3-6 months.

Out of the 2017 Church Planters Network, we hope to build an ongoing European network, organised on three levels:

  1. M4 Europe Live:  You may be able to join the M4 church planting training that is being done in various nations in Europe (Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, and the Czech Republic). You can visit the training and see if M4 could help your nation or denomination.
  2. National Leaders: Once a year we gather key national church-planting leaders from across Europe at the ‘National Initiator Forum’. This group will meet once yearly, outside the European Leadership Forum event.
  3. Year-round mentoring: Year-round mentoring for church-planting movement leaders is organised by one of the seasoned church planting practitioners.


Qualifications for Church Planters Network Groups

Our goal is to offer specialised training which will increase the effectiveness and breadth of church planting in any country or denomination.  You can read about the various tracks and specific entrance criteria below. You must meet specific criteria, and the network leadership will make final decisions about track assignments.  Prior to the Forum you will receive confirmation of your assigned Church Planter group.

It is important to understand that three of the groups will be in the same room and there will be significant interaction between the three groups. Group Four will be separate.

1. Group One: Foundations of Church Planting

Led by: Theo Bunescu

Criteria:

  • I am a pastor or student that is interested in learning more about church planting.
  • I have not planted a church.
  • I am involved in my first church plant and want to learn more about church planting.
  • I have helped others to plant a church but have not been involved in church planting myself.

2. Group Two: Church Planting Leaders

Led by: Øivind Augland

Criteria:

  • I have planted a church with some success and am a pastor in the church today.
  • I have planted a church, and we are in the process of planting a new church.
  • I have helped to train church planters that have successfully planted 2-3 new churches.
  • I am to some extent involved in training church planters in my local church or denomination.

3. Group Three: Church Planting Movement Leaders

Led by: Dietrich Schindler

Criteria:

  • I have been involved in church planting for at least 10-15 years and have planted 2 or more churches with success and am working to multiply more new churches.
  • I am a leader for church planting in my denomination and organisation and am fully involved in training other church planters and leaders.
  • I am an overseer in my denomination and organisation and have for the last 5-10 years worked to see church planting happen in our denomination.
  • I am leading a church planting movement that has seen more than 25-30 new churches planted in the last 5 years.

3. Group Four: Church Planting Assessment

Led by: Jiří Unger

We see the need to train and develop more people in churches, denominations, and organisations that have the skill to successfully assess church planters. Therefore, at the 2017 Forum we will offer this group as an option for those who are interested in such training. There will be a maximum of ten people in this group.  It will not be part of the learning community, and all the participants will stay in this group throughout the Network.

The aim for this group is to certify you as an assessor for your context to do a 3-4 hour interview with a church planter and their spouse so that you will be able to identify the right people to lead a new church plant. You will also get access to an online platform for assessment that has been developed into nine European languages. If it is not in your own language, we can help you in the process of getting it translated into your language and make the online platform available for you. 

Criteria:

  • I am identified in my denomination and organisation as one to work with assessment.
  • I have some church planting experience through planting 1 or more churches myself.
  • I have some church planting experience through helping others plant new churches.
  • I have been involved in training and coaching church planters for more than 5 years already.
  • I have been working with mentoring and training of pastors and other leaders in the last 5-10 years.
     

Network Leaders

Theo Bunescu is a church planter as well as a consultant and coach both in the church world and in the corporate world. He is the founder and CEO of Advance OÜ, a coaching and consulting company, and he is also a consultant with Strametz & Associates LLC an HR-consulting and leadership-development company from Germany. He is part of the leadership board of the M4 church planting organization assisting leaders in implementing M4 in new nations. Theo is the husband of the most wonderful Merle, the son of Petre - the second most influential person in his life, and a follower of Jesus Christ.

 

Øivind Augland has been a pastor and church planter within the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Norway for twenty-three years. He is currently leading his denomination’s church planting efforts. Øivind has led the national network for church planting in Norway for ten years (DAWN Norway) and is the founder of M4 Church Planting network in Europe. M4 is currently working in ten European nations. Øivind has also initiated the NCPP (National Church Planting Process). Øivind is the founder and co-owner of Xpand Norway and Persolog Norway. He is also a part of the international board of Xpand and the board of Youth With A Mission in Norway. Øivind’s call in life is to bring unity and multiplication. Unity: To bring people from all nations, generations and denominations and ministry to work side-by-side in expanding the Kingdom (Nehemiah 3:1f). Multiplication: Train others that can train others in a life of Grace and Truth. (2 Timothy 2:2). Øivind is married to Linda, with whom he has four children.
 

Dietrich Schindler is a German-American church planting leader in Germany and beyond. In twenty-three years of ministry, he and his wife Jan have planted five churches in Germany. They have three adult children and one wonderful grandson, Max – born to his church planting parents in Taiwan. The past six years Dietrich was the executive director of church planting for the German Evangelical Free Church denomination, pursuing the goal of planting 100 churches in ten years. As of 2006 63 churches have been started. Dietrich is currently a church planting consultant and speaker with the German Evangelical Free Church. He is the author of the book The Jesus Model: Planting Churches the Jesus Way.  He has also generated a new life-based course for secular post-modern Europeans entitled “MyLife-Workshop” (www.mylifeworkshop.org)

 

Jiří Unger is the General Secretary of the Czech Evangeli­cal Alliance. Jiri leads M4 church planting training initiative in the Czech Republic, which in 2012-14 trained 18 church planting teams, and in 2014-17 another 11 teams.  He also leads the Evangelical Forum in the Czech Republic and until 2015 he served as the president of the European Evangelical Alliance.  

 

Network Speakers

Martin Robinson is principal and chief executive of ForMission College.  Martin was born in India of missionary parents and then brought up in Scotland where his father was a church planter.  When Martin was in his early twenties he trained for the ministry, and his first church was in the inner city of Birmingham.  This multi-ethnic congregation was engaged in church planting, and Martin, together with his wife, Lynda led one of the new church plants.  After thirteen years in local ministry, Martin went to work for the Bible Society in the UK in a variety of roles. In that period he was the director of mission and theology. Martin has written many books on the broad theme of mission, including Faith of the Unbeliever and Invading Secular Space. In 2002 Martin became the national director of Together in Mission. In 2008 he became the principal of Springdale College. These two organisations are now known as ForMission. The goal of ForMission is to prepare workers for the harvest. 

 

Liva Fokrote is leading the Pastoral Ministry Program at the Baltic Pastoral Institute, which trains pastors and church planters by supporting and providing them with resources. Liva has been involved in assessing potential students since 2008. In 2014 she participated in Church Planter Assessment (CPA) training at the European Leadership Forum. She is leading the implementation of CPA in the Latvian context as well as helping to develop assessors in other European countries.  Liva is a ThD candidate at the University of Latvia, with her research focusing on the concept of world in contemporary theology.  Liva's vision is maturing Christian leaders loving God and serving Him with their mind, heart, soul and strength in Latvia and beyond.

 

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