October 26, 2009 : By Brett Sauers
|Mark Batterson, who planted National Community Church in Washington, D.C., spoke at Wednesday’s convocation.|
Monday’s convocation kicked off Church Planting Emphasis Week sponsored by the Center for Church Planting at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. The week’s theme, "The Offensive Church," reinforces the ongoing curriculum at the CCP that teaches the principles of starting and growing New Testament churches.
Since the Center for Church Planting was created in July 2006, the number of churches planted through Liberty has doubled each year. Liberty’s Center for Ministry Training said its goal is to plant 500 churches within the next few years and to position Liberty as the primary site to resource church planters.
On Monday, Dean Fulks, who planted LifePoint church in Columbus, Ohio, in 2004, challenged students to get involved in church planting, as he said church attendance is at an all-time low in this country. Fulks said church planting allows students to join God in the advancement of His Church, reminding them that the Church is the bride of Christ and something He holds dear.
Wednesday’s convocation featured author and church planter Mark Batterson, who planted National Community Church in 1996 and wrote “In A Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day” and “Wild Goose Chase.”
“Monday and Wednesday [convocation services] provide students with a healthy awareness to the growing phenomenon of 21st century church planting,” said Ryan Jones, coordinator of church planting at Liberty’s CCP. “But those who are interested — even curious — about planting churches should plan on attending the hand-on events Thursday and Friday.”
Events include introductory and advanced seminars on church planting. Church planters will also be speaking in classes and exhibiting throughout the week.