New People in New Places: Training Laity to Work with Clergy to Start Something New
By Doug Ruffle
Path 1 has put together a comprehensive training curriculum to equip laity to start new faith communities. The training will help laity discern their call to plant something new (a fresh expression of church, a missional community, a satellite campus of an existing church, etc.) and equip them to lead a new faith community. A key component of the training underscores the importance of clergy—laity partnership in forming new faith communities.
Staff of Path 1 have worked closely with the Director of Laity and Spiritual Leadership, David Teel, so that the training aligns with the Certified Lay Ministry program (CLM). The training fulfills requirements for CLM continuing education and can also serve as a specialization tract for CLM in Lay Planting.
The training uses a combination of in-person and online interactive learning. Recently, Path 1 partnered with the California-Nevada Annual Conference to pilot the program. Craig Brown, Executive Director of Congregational Development for Cal-Nevada, recruited twenty-six laity to participate in the pilot program, including eleven certified lay ministers (CLM). In a day-long in-person training, Bener Agtarap, Executive Director of Path1, and Doug Ruffle, Director of Church Planting Resources for Path 1, led participants in an interactive learning process to address the “why” of planting new faith communities. They covered the topics of “Why Jesus?” (Christology); “Why New Disciples?” (Missiology); and “Why New Places?” (Ecclesiology).
Participants in the pilot training will continue with “how and what” topics that follow the seven seasons of church planting: discerning, visioning, gathering, discipling, worshiping, maturing, and multiplying. The seven seasons training will occur on an interactive online platform.
The course will conclude with an in-person celebration and an opportunity for participants to make a ten-minute presentation on their plan of action for starting a new faith community.