The Value of the SCP

It can be a little grueling, but if you are a pastor, missionary or church planter (or preparing for such ministry) the 2023 SCP opportunities could greatly enhance your service for the Lord. People come from across the country and around the world to attend. Over the years, pastors, missionaries, church planters, college professors, students and laymen have come from thirty-seven countries to attend Baptist Mid-Missions School of Church Planting.

The School of Church Planting was first launched to retool missionaries who wanted to plant churches in North America after transitioning back to the United States from their foreign fields of service. Sadly, too many would-be planters crashed and burned because they didn’t have the skills needed to plant churches state side. Today, the School of Church Planting serves a much wider clientele; it is geared toward overseas missionaries, U.S. church planters, and pastors strengthening and revitalizing existing churches.

Biblically faithful, healthy and growing churches are needed to produce mature Christians who possess a passion for God’s glory and the gospel’s advance. Significant cultural and spiritual changes in recent years, however, have hindered the gospel’s advance and left many faithful churches struggling or in serious decline. New churches need to be planted and faithful churches need to be strengthened. The 2023 School of Church Planting seminars will help godly men to advance the Lord’s work both in the U.S. and overseas.

Here are seven reasons why you should consider attending one or both of this summer’s School of Church Planting seminars.

The School of Church Planting is committed to biblical ministry. We can learn a great deal from pastors, teachers and writers; it is helpful to be exposed to the thinking of others. Our authority, however, is the Word of God. Therefore, our instructors draw their ministry philosophy and methodologies from Scripture. The Bible drives us. And, while current ministry ideas and trends may be considered in School of Church Planting workshops, they are always placed under the microscope of Scripture. The School of Church Planting is firmly established on the foundation of the Word.

The School of Church Planting places strong emphasis on biblical discipleship. Jesus’ command was to “make disciples of all nations.” Therefore, disciple-making should not simply be one of many programs in the local church. It should be at the heart of local church ministry. It should be part of the DNA of every local church. It is important for every church plant and every established church to possess a disciple-making culture. Both School of Church Planting tracks include hours of instruction relating to biblical disciple-making.

The School of Church Planting instructors understand the multicultural nature of local church ministry. People are products of their culture; they view life through the lens of their culture. It is absolutely essential, therefore, that overseas missionaries understand the peoples to whom they minister. If they don’t, they will not be able to communicate the gospel in a way that it is clear, meaningful and convicting. Because God is transplanting the peoples of the world to the United States, domestic pastors and church planters must also be prepared for multicultural ministry. Both School of Church Planting tracks seek to prepare our attendees to minister cross culturally.

The School of Church Planting will further equip you to lead your church in a God-pleasing way. We’ve each invested a great deal of time, energy and money into ministry preparation. We now serve as pastors of local churches. We labor in the Word and prayer as we seek to feed our people. We instruct, counsel, plan, lead, and evangelize. We invest our lives into others. And yet, in spite of all, our churches struggle. According to missiologists, one in three church plants do not survive till the fourth year. And we know from our own experience that many established churches are shrinking; some have closed. How can we strengthen and establish our churches? Both School of Church Planting tracks are designed to educate attendees in subjects not previously understood, remind attendees of biblical truths possibly neglected, and expose attendees to ministry deficiencies not before considered.

The School of Church Planting has knowledgeable and experienced teachers. Our instructors possess a wide range of ministry experience. They have faithfully served overseas and/or in the United States. Some have worked cross culturally and started churches that are multi-ethnic, multilingual and multicultural. Others were used by the Lord to reinvigorate and in some cases reestablish a struggling church. Together these men possess over 100 years of church planting/strengthening experience.

At the School of Church Planting you’ll rub shoulders with God’s servants from around the world. “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (Prov. 27:17). Tremendous interaction takes place between those attending the School of Church Planting. Instructors and students sit down and share ministry experiences—their successes and failures. Each has a great deal to offer and to learn. Talking, sharing, debating the pros and cons of a particular methodology helps one consider which approaches will work best in his community. Friendships are formed. Mentoring relationships are established. It is a great opportunity to grow and expand your ministry horizons.

The School of Church Planting is affordable. In today’s economy, a couple hundred dollars doesn’t go far. The School of Church Planting is a great bargain when compared with the cost of a seminary class or even a multi-day pastor’s conference. Not only do you receive over twenty hours of instruction, but the cost also includes meals, all class notes (on a thumb drive) and in some cases free housing with a church family.

So, what are you waiting for? If God has called you to plant or revitalize a church, then He has called you to get the best training possible so you can do the best job possible. We will see you in Iowa this summer!