Category Archives: Clarify Your Vision

Things I have Learned So Far…

Guest Bloggers Jason & Norah Skipper

My wife & I have been missionaries in Bolivia for 15 years, and have planted various churches there. After several unsuccessful tries, in 2003 we planted a church in Sucre that grew to over 700 people in just three years. We also had moderate success in a church that we planted in Santa Cruz in 2009.

This year we are moving back to the USA to plant in a small to mid-sized city, and I am taking the Cultivate course to prepare ourselves better generally as church planters and to understand how to reach this culture that is so much different than what we have worked with in Bolivia.

We’ve touched; understanding and reaching the “emerging generations”, creating a unique vision for your unique situation, and how to raise up the core team who will carry out that vision with you.

The “vision” part of the course has been especially helpful, because it helped us understand why some things did and didn’t work in Bolivia. Ex. After several years of intense growth in our Sucre church, we realized that we still had weak areas. We tried cutting and pasting ideas from other ministries, but instead of helping us, they actually caused the church to stagnate. This part of the course helped me understand why. Even cutting and pasting from our Sucre church to our Santa Cruz plant didn’t work.

We have much more to go, but I feel that God is truly doing a transformation in our hearts and understanding through this course, and we feel confident that He is setting us up for success in a great way.

Jason & Norah Skipper

Who Will Start

By: Craig Whitney

Last week John Burke and I had the opportunity to travel through Scandinavia visiting Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallin and Oslo. In each city we met church planters who were seeing the church raised up out of the culture as people came to faith. Each of them is living out some essential qualities I spoke about in Stockhom:

• The Risk Taking Faith of Abraham – God asked Abraham to go to a land He would show him. We’ve met leaders who have left their country, their jobs, and their family to say yes to leading others to faith not knowing what the result would be.

• The Passion for People of Paul – Church attendance in some of these cities is less than 2%. Growth takes time. Many of the planters we’ve met have given 10 years to see a vibrant church formed. A passion for people who are not following Jesus is absolutely needed to stay motivated.

• The Gifts of Equipping in Ephesians 4 – In these settings, it takes a team and we’ve met some great ones. Even more exciting is seeing how church planters are reproducing themselves in younger leaders, resulting in not only growth but multiplication.

It’s been a privilege to meet and encourage them.