As an organization, one of our goals is to develop discipleship and church planting movements with those whom we are associated. We have been blessed with relationships across the United States, in Europe, and beyond, and our desire is to partner together with churches and other organizations to develop a “pipeline” of disciple-makers and church planters. To help describe this concept further, please watch this YouTube video:
What does this mean for me or my organization?
At this time, we are looking for churches and organizations with whom we will connect to create this pipeline. Our hope is to create discipleship movements in the US, in our “home hubs”, as well as in our field hubs wherever we may be working. The intent is to have a way to send new disciple-makers, initially by receiving short-term teams and interns, but also long-term disciple-makers that have learned how to do the work from their home hubs if and when God calls people to overseas work.
What are the advantages of being part of the Pipeline?
From our perspective, there are many advantages. The most important is that you will teach the people in your church or organization to become disciple-makers. You will teach them to be the “priests” that we are all called to be. In short, you will teach your people to make disciples, to follow the Great Commission that Jesus gave all of his disciples in Matthew 28.
You will also be part of an extended community of people, both in the US and overseas, who are committed to doing the same thing that you will be committing to do. This means that you will have access to people who will use the same tools and processes that you will use and you will be able to share your experiences with them and learn from others who are doing the same things in other parts of the country and in other parts of the world.
And finally, we believe that God calls us all to join in His mission. We are gifted in different ways, but we are all called to make disciples, to work with God to redeem the world back to Him. By joining the Pipeline, you are both engaging in joining God in His work at home and overseas, not only participating with God on mission through money but through your people. The work that the people in your church do at home will inform and guide their work as they go overseas on short-term trips or in longer-term work. And furthermore, the work that they do overseas will guide their work as they come back home.
What are the disadvantages?
This type of work isn’t easy. And while we believe all should make disciples, we aren’t trying to call everyone to do it this way with us as we want to start slowly and build with a few partners. You may start small with us through a one-off program in your church or organization, but if the people in your church start to do what we will ask them to do and persevere in the work, you will see the Kingdom of God begin to grow…and the Kingdom of God isn’t necessarily a neat and tidy place. As your people make disciples, it will be messy, both for the people in your organization as well as for those to whom they are reaching out. You will find this to be very difficult, but hopefully also worth it!
What is the process, and what are the expectations?
There will be additional details that we will discuss, but here is the general process that we would imagine happening for us to begin moving forward:
- Talk with the Search Party leadership to answer all of your questions and make a decision to get started.
- Assign a leader within your church – meaning, either a pastor or an elder – to both be directly involved as well as oversee the work that the initial group will undertake.
- Receive the Level 1, basic disciple-making training from the Search Party team.
- Create your first disciple-making team as outlined in the video and begin to practice the basic disciple-making processes.
- Assign someone from the team to be a trainer to teach others and reproduce what they have been doing in others.
If we can get to that point together, then we will have a good start. The Search Party team will continue to provide at least two additional trainings for the initial disciple-making team as leaders for the work that your church will be undertaking. From that point, we will identify “mile markers” where we can stop and evaluate how well the team has moved forward in their efforts and what changes, if any, we may need to make.
The Search Party team will also offer opportunities to bring short-term teams or interns overseas, practicing and using the same tools and processes that you are using at home. As you proceed forward, God may raise up new full-time overseas workers in your midst that you may send to work with the Search Party team, or you may even find that you want to support our Local Partners – people doing disciple-making work with the Search Party team who are not originally from the US – to be able to do the same type of work full-time.
How can I get started?
There are three steps:
- Get together with the leader that you believe will be the one to oversee the initial group and their work. Remember, this should be a pastor or an elder in your church. Introduce this idea to them and put a list of your questions and concerns together.
- Have a meeting with the Search Party leadership team to get answers to your questions.
- Identify your team to get started and schedule their first training.