25 Years Ago: My Vision of Training Church Planters

Twenty-five years ago in February of 1986, God was shaping my vision of training and coaching church planters:

  • I started my final semester at Biola University. This would begin the culmination of my three years of study toward a degree in Business Administration.
  • I had traveled to Israel, Egypt and Rome in January. God expanded my perspective of His purpose through His chosen people!
  • I was considering going on a missions trip to the Philippines with several friends from the college ministry at Grace Community Church.
  • I was dreaming of how I could some day train and develop church planters.
  • I started an internship in the Outreach Department at our church.
  • Deanne Keyes caught my attention in my choir class – and we began dating the next month. Obviously – that was the beginning of something amazing!

Here’s some thoughts from my journal on Feb 3, 1986:

25 Years Ago: My Vision of Training Church Planters | missionalchallenge.com[About Deanne] “She’s a really special girl also, and I can definitely see the love of God in her life. We were able to talk a little about missions and I appreciated her insight (especially in regard to pursuing goals, rather than waiting for the Lord to do everything). I hope I’ll be able to spend some time with her this semester.”

It’s obvious that God allowed us to spend quite a bit of time together – and I’m so grateful that now 25 years later we are able to serve God together as missionaries with OC International. It’s so great to be able to use our unique gifts to help facilitate the planting of churches across the U.S.

On Feb 6, 1986 I wrote:

[About Missions] “I wonder if the Lord could be calling me to be training up national pastors to do the ministry, while I serve as a support to them.”

It’s so amazing today to see that God is allowing me to do exactly what I was imagining 25 years ago. I have the incredible privilege of coming alongside national church planters (here in the US) to support them through training, coaching and strategic collaboration to do the ministry of disciplemaking and starting churches.

I’m grateful to God for allowing me to fulfill His calling in my life together with Deanne here in the northwest and across our nation. Please be praying that we will be a support to lots and lots and lots of church planters!

For more information about our new church planter training – The Church Multiplication Training Center. Focus: Starting churches by making disciples.

For more information about coaching for church platers – Coaching. Focus: Non-directive coaching for starting missional churches.

Author

Dave DeVries

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Dr. Dave DeVries is a coach, trainer, author and founder of Missional Challenge. He is passionate about coaching and training church planters and missional leaders. With 30+ years of church planting and leadership development experience, Dave brings his passion and encouragement to those he trains and coaches.
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