Yes, I am the director of church planting and development for the RMD. And yes, my job description boils down to planting new churches. However, my vision for our district extends well beyond that. As a matter of fact, I have stated on many occasions (see broken record) that my passion is making disciples. Planting new churches is simply one of the natural results of effective disciple making. Consequently, if I can in any way, aid district churches and plants to be more effective disciple makers, we will plant more new churches!
Therefore, some of my more recent priorities can be seen in the following initiatives…
DISCIPLE MAKING PLANTERS.
In the past several months we have begun 3 separate Leadership Development Cohorts (fancy name for a group of guys in a learning environment but a whole lot more cool sounding). 14 guys are meeting in these group that gather in Rapid City, Denver, and Canon City. The emphasis is to help them be more effective in raising up new leaders. Since creating an environment of intentionality, reproduction, and empowerment is essential to make this happen, a simple by-product will be their entire disciple making process will be enhanced.
We are called to embrace the ministry of reconciliation and live as ambassadors, both as churches and individuals. This is the first step in making disciples of all nations. However, just as developing leaders is difficult, so is reaching lost people. Few plants (and established churches) in our district, EFCA nat’l, and across the entire U. S. church have been very effective in the last decade. Consequently, we invited Reggie NcNeal (author of many books including his most recent Missional Renaissance) to our annual conference to spend time with our planters and also challenge us as an entire district in our plenary sessions. (I highly recommend his book.) [If you are looking for a good definition of “missional” I would recommend reading the Missional Manifesto document framed by, among others, Trinity’s own Craig Ott at www.missionalmanifesto.net.]
A growing conviction of mine as I have studied the landscape of church planting in our district as well as nationally has been that we need to move from primarily being a district that plants churches to being a district primarily of church planting churches. Consequently, we need to encourage, resource, and partner with our plants and established churches to help them become church planting churches. Living Rock Church in Gillette, is the first church in our district to “sign on” with us as a partner in this vision. My prayer is that we would have three partners before the year is up.
The final initiative I would like to highlight is the Exponential Church Planting conference. Each April in Orlando, FL the largest church planting conference in the world convenes. This year we had a team of 12 representing five different churches and plants. Dr. Greg Fell attended this year with us and we both noted that God had blessed us with some great, wise, young leaders!
Greg Pugh firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Church Planting & Development 719-510-9131