Steve Bartlett | Renewing Church Planting and Leadership Development

Apr 18, 2018

Steve Bartlett and Graham Hill discuss renewing church planting and leadership development.

Steve Bartlett is the Director of Ministries for the Baptist Churches of New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Australia. This role is responsible for servant leadership and oversight of this movement of churches. This is a group of more than 340 congregations committed to serving together with a purpose of advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ in word, sign and deed. More than 50,000 people are involved in this family of churches. Steve has spent decades in church planting, in training and equipping church planters, and in pastoral leadership.

Steve Bartlett and Graham Hill discuss such themes as:
• Why the church must be passionate about, and committed to, church planting and leadership development.
• Steve Bartlett tells his story of church planting, and why he loved being a church planter.
• How church planting, leadership development, and church health are interrelated.
• How local churches and denominations can partner in church planting.
• How to identify those with the pioneering gift, and then develop them, partner with them, and support them in an ongoing way.
• Looking after family and personal life when you are involved in church planting and pioneering work.
• Being a couple in church planting and ministry (how a husband and wife can develop a creative partnership in ministry).
• Why a church planting movement needs a leadership development strategy and movement to happen.
• Three key things that work in churches that do leadership development well: (1) intentionality about building a leadership culture; (2) the essential place of disciple-making and spiritual formation, in relationship; and, (3) the use of coaching and apprenticeship models of leadership development and mobilisation.

Steve also shared the Baptist Churches of NSW and ACT (Australia) “Gen1k Vision” of planting 1,000 healthy churches.

This church planting vision has these features:

1. Diversity in the expressions of church

Small or large, network, neighbourhood or regional… the possibilities are endless. We anticipate that in this new wave of church planting there will be a mix of community churches, house churches, ethnic churches, student churches, and other sub-culturally focused churches as well as more “conventional” plants. We will be embracing a variety of models with the same mission-focused heart.

2. Missional planting

Church renewal is often a by-product of church planting and we affirm this. However this vision would see us genuinely penetrating new ‘tribes’ and ‘subcultures’ in our community – people far from God.

3. Exponential, decentralised growth

True church planting movements don’t emerge from a ‘top-down’ policy decision to start new churches. They gain momentum from the grassroots, fanned by the power of the Holy Spirit.

4. Kingdom leadership development

This will characterise our movement and our churches into the future, bringing sustained commitment and energy to the vision of healthy, mission-focused, reproducing churches. Planting many churches will also mean developing and releasing many more mission-focused leaders. This will happen as churches implement processes to intentionally grow potential leaders from their conversion onwards, with the aim of seeing them released into mission-focused ministry.

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