Church Planter Birthday Celebration

Colorful candles lit on a birthday cake

As I took the call from a planter in training who is already working and leading a small urban congregation, I did not know what the need could be early on a Saturday. He shared that he needed a form from the training overview because he needed to work on things.

Our planters go through a three-month training cohort. Last week we tackled discipleship – the need for us to be disciples and make disciples in these new churches. The lesson was pushing for all planters to have a plan on next steps for all members in growing as disciples but especially for those who would come to Christ.

We looked at the basic core needs that every new follower of Christ would need to know, appropriate and be able to reproduce. Our basic list was:

  • God loves us, saves us, and will never leave us. – John 5:24, 1 John 5:13
  • Christ is Savior and Lord. – Col. 1:18
  • Following Jesus is a daily commitment. – Luke 9:23
  • Identifying with Christ means following him in public baptism. – Matt. 28:18-20
  • Prayer is a key part of our relationship with God. – Matt. 6:9-13
  • The Bible is God’s Word for our lives today. – John 17:17, Heb. 4:12
  • The Holy Spirit is with us. – Ephesians 1:13-14
  • Christ sends us to be light in the world. – Matthew 5:16

On the phone, the planter shared that it was his birthday. Wow! What a joy to celebrate this faithful brother’s life with him.

Then he shared what God had done early in the morning. He had gone out to the corner and had encountered some young men that he knew from other times. He asked them, “If you died today, would you go to heaven or hell?”

Their response was on the hell side probably, and he shared the Gospel with them and invited them to pray and receive Jesus. Right there on the corner, three young men gave their lives to Jesus with him.

As I committed to pray with him for these young men, I offered to send New Believer’s New Testaments his way for them. He is now following up with them this week as the Gospel grows in their lives.

Pray for planters throughout the state of Alabama as they work in the harvest. Pray that they would not grow weary in doing good and even being rejected at times, for in God’s time there will be a harvest for God’s glory  (Gal. 6:9).

State Missionary Brian Harper is lead church planting strategist. He may be reached at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 2332, or (334) 613-2332,

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