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October 8, 2016

Rural Church Planting and Coaching Church Planters: November CPLF Gathering

By Ed Stetzer

If you’re a church planting leader in your denomination, you should join us for this gathering.

 – Ed Stetzer

For the past few years we have hosted a gathering of denomination and network church planting leaders from across North America to consider process and practices of church planting. We call this group the Church Planting Leadership Fellowship (Check out our new website here at newchurches.com/CPLF). This is a peer group, specifically focused on those who are leading church planting efforts in their denomination and/or network. This group is unique, in fact I’m pretty confident that it’s the only one of its kind. It regularly features leaders who represent around 75% of all North American Evangelical church planting in a given year.

In the past we have featured speakers like Tim Keller, Rick Warren, Linda Stanley, Neil Cole, Dhati Lewis, Leonce Crump, Derwin Gray, and many, many others. What makes this gathering so special, though, is not just the learning we get (though it’s pretty spectacular), but the opportunity for peers to sit down and learn from each other.

This November, we will host our next gathering focusing on Rural Church Planting and Coaching Planters. As you and I know, much of the focus on church planting these days is on the urban center and the cities. While this is definitely important, we cannot forget the fact that, for many of our denominations and networks, the majority of their churches are rural! So what’s unique about planting in rural settings? What’s the state of rural church planting? Also, how do we coach and care for church planters effectively? What are the best practices?

On November 14-15, 2016 in Nashville, TN, we will be learning and discussing both topics: rural church planting and the coaching and care of church planters. This year, we will work through the following topics with the following speakers :

  • The State of Rural Church Planting – Tena Stone
  • Becoming a Rural Church Planting Church – Bryan Jarrett
  • Bi-Vo Planting in Small Town USA – Joel Seymour and Michael Houle
  • Rural Church Planting Best Practices Panel – Chris Railey, Louie Halbgewachs, Aaron Morrow, and more…
  • Developing a Systematic Strategy for Coaching – Dino Senesi
  • Caring for Church Planters – Edgar Lapeciros
  • Best Practices for Coaching and Caring Planters – Sam and Vicki Farina

I want to invite you to join us there! If you help lead church planting at a denomination, network, judicatory, state convention or other level, this is a gathering for you.

I believe so strongly in what we are doing through CPLF that I am convinced that this is the foremost gathering of church planting leaders in the country—it’s not for planters and it’s not about how to plant a church. It’s about leading church planting.

If you are involved in church planting, on the level of leading a denomination or network’s church planting emphasis, we would love for you to consider becoming a part of the CPLF. Our team will gladly get an application to you so that you can become part of our learning community. If you are interested in joining, email Shirley Cross at shirley.cross@lifeway.com.


Ed Stetzer

Ed Stetzer (@edstetzer), Ph.D., holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair for Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College. Ed also serves as the Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton, and as chair of the Evangelism and Leadership Program in the Graduate School. Ed is a prolific author, and well-known conference speaker. He has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents, holds two masters degrees and two doctorates, and has written a dozen books and hundreds of articles. Stetzer is a contributing editor for Christianity Today, a columnist for Outreach Magazine, and is frequently cited or interviewed in news outlets such as USAToday and CNN. He is also the Executive Editor of The Gospel Project, which is used by over 1 million individuals each week. As of fall 2015, Stetzer co-hosts BreakPoint This Week, a radio broadcast that airs on over 400 media outlets. He also serves the teaching pastor at Christ Fellowship, a multi-cultural megachurch in Miami, Florida.


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