Every YWAMer can plant a church

From YWAMKnowledgeBase


Every YWAMer has the skills needed to plant a Church!

Every YWAMer should use their skills to plant churches!

Church planting is the most effective form of Evangelism; something that YWAM exists to do.

Floyd McClung gives Ten Reasons Why YWAM Plants Churches (From International Journal of Frontier Missions).

It is part of our strategy to reach the world.

What is a Church?

"If 'church' is what happens when people encounter the Risen Jesus and commit themselves to sustaining and deepening that encounter in their encounter with each other, there is plenty of theological room for diversity of rhythm and style, so long as we have ways of identifying the same living Christ at the heart of every expression of Christian life in common." --Archbishop Rowan Williams

A church is as simple as a small group of believers meeting regularly to worship, strengthen each other, care for each other, share the Good News about God in love and by deed to all around. The Simple church model aims to keep the concept of church so simple that anyone can reproduce it. That way it can be speedily multiplied.

Wikipedia on church planting

What Skills Are Needed?

  • Ability to lead a small group of people.
  • Being good at hospitality: sharing your life with others
  • A great big passion for people.
  • A clear grip on God's word.
  • An ear ready to listen to God.
  • A readiness to pray your socks off.
  • Ready to invest years of time.
  • Some idea of Evangelism.
  • Some idea of how to help people grow as Christians.
  • Some idea of who you are trying to reach.

This is a deliberately short list - all the other skills you will need can be learnt on the job, or with further theological training.

A DTS graduate should be able to do all this. A junior DTS leader definitely will have these skills. The BLS programme will teach most of them.

How do I Start?

  1. Get a good and healthy team around you. Or join another team that is getting ready to start a church.
  2. Get the permissions you need - the permissions from an overseeing church or YWAM body are important as it is not just the YES you need but long term commitment to the cause of church planting. You need long term support to thrive in church planting (5 years or more!)
  3. Start as soon as you can!
  4. Find a place to meet regularly where you can be found by others (a house, a room, a bar, a church hall) and let people know where you can be found!
  5. Meet and live as open and honest lives as you can.
  6. Pray a lot.
  7. Plan some ways to meet and reach people. Perhaps some clear social action, perhaps debates. There are lots of ideas for doing evangelism and evangelism strategy here on the Knowledge Base.
  8. Keep a track on how things are going... Are you growing? Keep finding problems and solving them.
  9. When the church gets big enough multiply. You will need to have leaders ready to take over. See a helpful list of skills above that they need!
  10. Find mentors and people who can encourage and help you and show you the best way to do things: learn on the job.
  11. As the church grows it may be important to formalise it, perhaps find a covering denominational structure or set up a structure for it. This is unimportant at the beginning and will be easy to solve when you need to solve it.

Who Will Help Me Along the Way?

and lots more!

What is Stopping You?

  1. "I'm Too busy" - if you are stuck in a YWAM kitchen and too busy to plant churches you probably should re-negotiate your job so you can cook less and get out more.
  2. "I Don't believe in church planting" - read the Bible more.
  3. "I Don't believe YWAM is called to plant churches" - read this: YWAM Europe's commitment to Church Planting. Honestly, how can you do evangelism without planting churches?
  4. "Church Planting is only for Frontier Missions" - It is for Frontier missions but the frontiers are right in front of you. Europe is an post-Christian continent - there is plenty of room for relevant new churches.
  5. "I'm not ready" - you already have the skills! You may need a good team around you though for those areas you don't feel confident in. Church is a team activity so feeling unready yourself doesn't mean you should plant churches in a team setting.

Some Examples

Two interviews of what has been happening at YWAM Malaga in Spain.

Rite Mayers talks about how she and Stephe and friends have 'accidentally' planted a church in Malaga. Eugene talks about the church he is planting with Stephe and Rite.