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 2020 ERC Church Plants!


  • §  Pennsylvania:

Turning Point: Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Providence Lampeter: meeting at Lancaster Country Day School, Lampeter, Pa.

Visionpointe: Manchester, Pa. Harrisburg, Pa.

Solid Rock Church: Osceola Mills, Pa.

New Horizons: Manheim, Pa.

Treasures of Heaven: Denver, Pa.

Mosaic Ministries: Lancaster, Pa.

Reality Church: Robertsdale, Pa.

  • §  North Carolina

REC Church: Wake Forest, Nc.

Lumen Church: Chapel Hill, Nc.

Orchard Church movement: Asheville, Nc., Atlanta, Ga., and Greensboro, Nc.

Last Days World Harvest: Raleigh, Nc. and Hillsborough, Nc.

The Transformation Church: Zebulon, Nc.

  • §  South Carolina

Epic Church: Bluffton, Sc.

Aqua Viva Church: Bluffton, Sc.

  • §  Latino:

Columbia, Pa., Middletown, Pa., York, Pa.: Caleb and Christina Acosta

  • §  Liberian (affiliated):

New Beginning International Ministries: Oakland, Ca., Columbus, Oh.

Church of Christ: Bristol, Pa.


Book and Blog List
  • How to Multiply Your Church: The Most Effective Way to Grow God's Kingdom
    How to Multiply Your Church: The Most Effective Way to Grow God's Kingdom
    by Ralph Moore
  • Starting a New Church: The Church Planter's Guide to Success
    Starting a New Church: The Church Planter's Guide to Success
    by Ralph Moore
  • Launch: Starting a New Church from Scratch
    Launch: Starting a New Church from Scratch
    by Nelson Searcy; Kerrick Thomas
  • Starting New Churches on Purpose
    Starting New Churches on Purpose
    by Ron Sylvia
  • Planting Fast-Growing Churches
    Planting Fast-Growing Churches
    by Stephen Gray


  • Church Planting Landmines
    Church Planting Landmines
    by Tom Nebel & Gary Rohrmayer
  • Church Planting from the Ground Up
    Church Planting from the Ground Up
    College Press Publishing Company
  • In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day
    In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day
    by Mark Batterson
  • Sticky Church [STICKY CHURCH]
    Sticky Church [STICKY CHURCH]
  • Spin-Off Churches: How One Church Successfully Plants Another
    Spin-Off Churches: How One Church Successfully Plants Another
    by Rodney Harrison, Tom Cheyney, Don Overstreet
  • Full Disclosure
    Full Disclosure
    by Stephen Gray and Barry Smith
  • Parent Church Landmines
    Parent Church Landmines
    by Ben Ingebretson and Tom Nebel
  • Viral Churches: Helping Church Planters Become Movement Makers (Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series)
    Viral Churches: Helping Church Planters Become Movement Makers (Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series)
    by Ed Stetzer, Warren Bird
  • Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity
    Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity
    by Mark Batterson
  • The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears
    The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears
    by Mark Batterson
  • It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It
    It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It
    by Craig Groeschel
Entries by the Month

Turning Point Church Mechanicsburg Launches!

Another great "God day" in the ERC 2020 Initiative church multiplication movement, as God gave birth to Turning Point Church Mechanicsburg yesterday!  Planter George Spangler had 6 faith commitments indicated on Connection Cards too, as 218 people came to Turning Point's opening service!   

Using an attractional launch stragegy with multiple community event touches, 4 Preview services, and a large Direct mailing campaign, Turning Point became the 8th ERC 2020 planting project to launch in the last 3 years.  The great news is, there's 12 more in process.  Unbelievable!  God is doing amazing things!

For our latest facebook news:!/2020initiative

For our latest videos:



This is why we plant churches!

2010 ERC 2020 church plant - New Horizons Manheim - and Pastor/Planter John Yoder, baptizing and recognizing changed and transformed lives.  Way to go everybody!


Attending the Dallas Church Planting Boot Camp

My coach from 12 years ago - Jim Griffith - is holding a Boot Camp for church planters in Dallas.  More than 70 prospective planters, teams, and coaches are learning nuts and bolts skills on church planters.  Jim is also the author of "10 Most Common Mistakes Made of Church Starts." Boot camps are a great training tool for learning some practical planting skills.  Here's some key thoughts from this 2 1/2 day Bootcamp.


Church planting is all about the #'s!  Your church planting apostolic call is to reach new people . . . then you turn them over to the disciplers.

we count people because people count!

"Start a church, redeem a community!"

don't call your launch team a CORE group!  It can lead them to have a sense of entitlement and privilege.

churched people are going to criticize and scold you anyway, so make sure they're doing it for the right reason (in answer to planters reaching non-Christians in secular (non-churchy) places).  Do mission and network!

Great ideas for meeting/networking with people:

  • funeral homes - do funerals of people who don't have a pastor
  • fitness clubs
  • golf clubs
  • community bands
  • All Pro Dads
  • little league teams: NOT as the coach, but as the Social Director
  • any hobby organization  is a great website to find the organizations in your community - for you to join and network

you need "elbow activities:" what's missing today is us having social activities with unchurched people

guys are not going to connect through small groups - they need a task

we've been measuring the wrong things: we're consumed with making attenders rather than disciples: it's more important to connect them through relationships and tasks, then getting bent out of shape if they're not there every week.   Many people consider themselves "regular attenders" if they attend once a month - which if they've not been attending church, is committed!

  Chuck, Stuart, Miriam, and George 

Where the 2020 Initiative church multiplication is now!

Here's the latest points of contact to keep track of how God is expanding and blessing the ERC's 2020 Initiative church multiplication movement! 


 For our latest facebook news:!/2020initiative

For our latest videos:

more to come . . .

Church Planters Leadership Forum - Day 2 (pt. 2)

Dr. Tom Wood from Church Multiplication Ministries talks about coaching.

Ed Stetzer: “Church planters who meet with a mentor/coach weekly led churches that were more than twice the size of churches whose planters did not have mentors. One reason for the effectiveness of coaching is the emphasis it places on relationship over programming.”

Wood: "Church planter coaching is an intentional Gospel conversation with focused discussions and the planter's (RPMS) - Relational, Personal, Missional & Spiritual life."

 "Church planter coaches need not be quintessential church planting experts, but are called, gifted and trained in coaching and/or are familiar with the dynamics of church planting through experience or education."

every church planter needs:

  • supervisor, mentor, counselor, friends, and a coach

other thoughts:

  • Stetzer: the amount of successful churches grew 178 % when they had an effective stewardship system
  • measure the success of the church by "sentness" rather than "butts in the seats"
  • The C.R.O.S.S. Model:
    • Connect: chemistry and relating is vitally important
    • Review: reflect back, celebrate, diagnostic SKM: skill, knowledge, or motivational issues?
    • Objectives: what needs to happen? (realistic) goals
    • Strategies & Tactics
    • Supplication & Spirit

Church Planters Leadership Forum - Day 2 (pt. 1)


Ron Sylvia (Planting Churches on Purpose) and formerly with Rick Warren, planted The Springs in Ocala, Florida back in the 1990's, and talks about "Leading Planters Through year 2-5"

"A growing church is led by a growing leader!"  As a planter pastor, you must be learning ahead of your church - ahead of the curve.  Find someone that's ahead of you, and spend time with them.


Ron talks about tools that planters and pastors need to lead better in years 2-5: 

"Have perspective before planning."  (high D's hate this)

"4 Helpful Lists"   (tool for leading meetings, strategizing, planning)

What is right? (optimize)

What's wrong? (change)

What is confusing? (clarify)

What is missing? (add)

Core Issues:

Always start with what's right - NOT what's wrong! Stay in order and then reverse - add/clarify/change/optimize


See the turning points:

Turning Points turn into story telling!

Opportunities are the fountain of youth for any organization

Problems shout at us - Opportunities whisper to us


"Opportunity Mapping:"

Sensing, Seizing, Building, Reaping

 -churches that are stuck have very little sensing - no dreams

for church planting meetings: you want people who own the vision to be involved in this process so they can speak into the strategic plan


"Build a culture of feedback" (into your culture)

feedback is a ladder, not a hammer

  • Attitude: come with the right attitude
  • Audience: start with it being one on one
  • Alternatives: bring alternatives

Toyota  Whys

Problem stated in a sentence

  • Why do we have a problem?
  • Why is this?
  • Why is this?
  • Why is this?
  • Why is this?

At Conferences: Thought leaders (15%), Thought followers (35%), Thought choosers (35%), Thoughtless (12%)

-the top 50% needed a coach: they need somebody to help them figure it out

50% of any group fights change

coaching pushes through change/pain/growth

always innovate with an exit strategy! - most innovations fail!


Ministry Lifecycle:

Booming                           Decelerating

Accelerating                      Tanking


***Booming and decelerating many times feel the same: Beware!  When you get to decelerating you have to innovate/rebrand/change!

To move a church forward, planter pastors need to be leading and equipping.  "The pastor needs to give up the ministry, and the people need to give up their pastor."

You need to be either a reaching place . . . or a keeping place.  You need to focus on the least and the lost.  You must keep on pushing to the "fringe" - where the lost are.

Sylvia: "The best time I ever had in ministry was when we were a church of 120." (they're pushing 3000 now)

 Some thoughts from Ron:

  • don't start a second service to create growth: in won't
  • don't start a saturday night service - you will have to sell your soul
  • teach planters how to fire: as your church grows, you will outgrow your staff abilities
  • create an exit strategy: leave them healthy and whole . . . and help them with their life plan
  • planters: always collect DATA: needed for evaluation, planning, strategizing, etc.
  • always accept a resignation - they have already accepted in their heart that it's time to go
  • there are system barriers: need a good financial system
  • Andy Stanley: 80% of our problems aren't people problems, but systems problems
  • there is a vision bubble
  • no planter should stand alone
  • planters will lose friends - and have less friends as time goes on

after 4 years, 2/3 of churches exist - 1/3 are doing well

Church Planters Leadership Forum in Nashville (pt.1)

It's that time of year again - as every August and November I have the privilege of participating in Lifeway's Church Planters Leadership Forum.  Today's session - Leading up and out: Influence without Authority - will feature George Wood (AG Superintendent), Steve Pike (AG Dir. of Church Planting), and others.  Here's some thoughts from our presentations:


 they now have 12,600 churches!    



 Dr. Wood's insights on his leading of transition to greater focus and emphasis on church planting:


he was determined to make this a priority from national office on down - national took the lead


  • Steve Pike designed a business plan that asked for a faith commitment of $30 million - when they were spending very little
  • started with organizational development - spent several millions to establish assessment process, build relationships with churches and church planters
  • created AG Trust (they don't "bank" money though) - it is an "in and out" fund for planting
    • they "match" up to $30,000
    • not a gift: must be returned for other plants: 5% per month until paid
    • also, they must give 1% for church planting
      • planted 368 churches last year
      • set a goal of 440 plants this year

 A couple of new approaches:    

  • having a college emphasis on church planting intern/apprenticeships
  • allow church parenting affiliates to be planted anywhere

"Placement (of church planting emphasis) in the organization must be the priority if you're going to be successful in church planting."


 "Don't ever let your vision become too big to love people."


 "Church planters many times don't make good denominational planting leaders."


 "They need to be mavericks without being rebellious." 


 Steve Pike (AG Planting Director):  




Influence:"Lead from wherever you are at."

Opportunities: pay attention and move when they come 


  • give your energy from the platform you're on - and prioritize (you can't do everything)
  • How? (from a national platform)
    • remove obstacles
    • we have the ability/power to convene leaders
    • provide standards that strengthens systems
    • look for the unexpected strategic opportunities to influence leaders

Manage passion:


Leverage setbacks:    

  • organization setbacks wil come

 Strategically communicate:    

  • learn how they communicate

 Surf all the currents skillfully:  

  • slow down
  • speak softly and let the actions speak for themselves
  • pick your battles strategically
  • add value to others around you
  • be vision-driven, not provision-driven
  • build His Kingdom, not your kingdom 

  "align organization behavior with values"  

Taking some present and (hopefully) future church planters to the Launch Planting Conference!

11 of us are in Orlando, Florida for a one-day church planting conference.  We're attending Nelson Searcy's Launch Conference that focuses on an attractional/"crowd to core" planting model.  We have 6 possible planting projects represented included Raleigh, Hanover, Pa., York, Pa., Bluffton, SC, and Hilton Head Island.  Topics include launching a church with an aggressive strategy and goal of 200+, planter calling, fundraising, etc. 

In regards to the calling of church planting, there are 4 calls:

  • Planter calling
  • Planter's spouse's calling
  • Calling to a People
  • Calling to a Place

What will "brand" your church plant to the public: (at your first services)

  • sermon series
  • style of music
  • space that you meet in

 Nelson recommends 5-6 monthly ("Preview") services:

  • for "monthly" promotion budget spending:
    • 50% on launch
    • 25% on first Preview
    • remaining 25% on the others
  • how to promote?
    • first service:
      • servant evangelism
      • display flyers everywhere
      • any $ for mass advertising
    • other services:
      • use invite cards (they're affordable too)
    • Grand Opening: Risk it all on the Launch!
      • BIG door hangers
      • invite entire database
      • new series directed towards a felt need that relates to the unchurched culture

Odds and ends:

  • Don't give the launch team too much control
  • Don't merge with another church - even for another building
  • Suggests "Church Community Builder" database/systems software
  • Disband launch team 2 days after Grand Opening! 
  • hire part-time - $50-100 a week - before fulltime.

Here's some pics:



Latest 2020 Church planting in pictures!

Here we go!  During the last couple weeks, God has been up to amazing things in the ERC 2020 church multiplication movement!  Whether it's Turning Point Church in Mechanicsburg getting ready for their launch on September 23, or the REC church in Raleigh looking at a facility for their Fall launch, or our Resurrection Church in Hilton Head preparing for their first multi-site campus in December, or our possible future expansion in Virginia Beach, or Gettysburg, or Latinio planting in York, Lebanon, and beyond . . .God is moving.  Here's a few pics that show a glimpse of all the great things God is doing:

    Planter Kennard Weever in Raleigh and his possible launching building!  

Our first financial webcast for our Raleigh planters



Grand Affairs in Virginia Beach has been the church launching pad before!

Looking for the next planter - a Wedding Feast of course! 


Exploring church planting in Virginia Beach?Turning Point Church and their tent to help families at the Mechanicsburg Street Fair last week


  Turning Point's first Community Party on June 17. Three months to launch!

June 3, 2012: What a Great "God Sunday" in 2020 Initiative ERC Church Planting!

Capture the excitement of God moving in fantastic ways in 2020 church planting yesteray (June 3, 2012).  Here's the context: 18 people baptized at ECTV and 92 people attend TPC's first Preview Service! with more than 180 faith commitments to Jesus in its first 18 months, baptized 18 more people yesterday!  Way to go Pastors Gilbert and Chad, and ECTV: You are Kingdom builders:


And Turning Point Church Mechanicsburg, with Planters George and Rebecca Spangler, held their first of 4 Preview Services before launching on September 23, with 92 people coming (including 23 children!):


Odds and Ends 2020 Planting Pics from SENT and 2020! 

The last few weeks have been wonderfully crazy!  Thank you Lord for giving us a mission to reach the world for Jesus . . . and to see your vision become a life-transforming reality!


Turning Point Church is aunching their first Preview Service this Sunday and New Horizons Manheim celebrating their second birthday in May 2012.  




 New Providence Lampeter continuing to grow as New Providence's first multi-site campus:




A great CGGC SENT Launch planting conference . . . and a good CGGC time with Alan Hirsch and others!  



 Thanks to Mike and Sally Kamienski, who graciously hosted our Church Planting Commission retreat in Lake Norman, NC.  A great time of intense meetings - as you can tell - our Raleigh planter Victor catching a fish, and a spiritually inspiring time at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte! 








Launch Conference highlights from Findlay, Ohio!

Winebrenner Seminariy (Churches of God) holding a national church planting/development conference in Findlay, Ohio this weekend:

Great sessions - evening teaching sessions last night from Travis Davenport and Jonathan McIntosh were fantastic:  Travis: "Go plant a church!"  Jonathan: "Planters and pastors need to be asked: "How is your affection for Christ?"

Alan Hirsch:  Only one reference to "pastor" in the NT, all the other APEST (Apostle, Evangelist, Shepherd, Teacher) roles much more biblically noted:  for example Apostle (with all of its derivatives) mentioned more than 90 times in NT . . . and yet historically the Pastors/Teachers have for the most part controlled mission and operation of the church - and many times led persecution and restraint of apostles and evangelists.

Philip Nation: church planting is the "hip" thing to do!

Philip Nation: Predict (Lifeway) Four Factors of being a planter:

  1. Takes Charge:
  2. Evangelistic action:  predictive of any growth over the last 5 years
  3. Evangelistic action and emotionally stable: predictive of new commitments to Christ per worship attendee over the last  months
  4. Takes charge, evangelistic action, emotionally stable, and service evangelism: predictive of increased numbers of new commitments to Christ over the past  12 months irrespective of church size

Concluding thought: Church planting is an intensely personal endeavor that requires vision and discipline.

Vince Antonucci: Why to go forward?

  1. Jesus demands radical followers!
  2. Jesus's radical plan demands it!
  3. Let's start a radical revolution!

Alan Hirsch: The "Bells" of discipleship: a church model of discipleship:

  • B: Bless:  people each day
  • E: Eat: with 3 other types of people: family, friend/neighbor, unchurched
  • L: Listen
  • L: Learn
  • S: Send (go out)

David Wesley Gould: "You can't love your neighbor correctly, if you don't love God completely."

A rare privilege: attending Randy Alcorn's "Heaven" 3-day intensive!

About 6 years ago, I read Randy Alcorn's book Heaven.  It changed my life.  Like most Christians I really had a minimal understanding of what Heaven would be like.  And yet, that's what I based my life and future on!  It's also what I base why we plant churches on!

Since that time, I've read most of Randy's Heaven's materials, as well as other Heaven resources.  Out of those studies, I crafted a 5-part Sermon series on Heaven, which quickly became the most popular sermon series I ever did.  I've repeated it several times to different audiences and have seen God give people incredible hope about many of the standard questions:

  • What is Heaven like?
  • Will we have bodies?
  • Where will it be?
  • Will we be married?
  • What about our kids?
  • What about the tragic deaths of loved ones?
  • What about infant premature deaths?
  • What about our pets?
  • What about our loved ones - who won't be there?

This week, I am attending Randy's class "3 Days in Heaven" in Salem, Oregon.  Sorry, but I am way too blessed!

Here's a link for the intensive.

And here's a couple pics from today's opening session:



Aaron keeps the videos coming!

With the help of our videographer - Aaron Schwindt - we keep telling more of the 2020 church planting stories:

Here's the latest one of our newest approved planting project in Boston with planter Nelson Ruiz:


Nelson Planter Story from Aaron Schwindt on Vimeo.


And here's most of the 2020 Initiative story of the last two years, caught in an 8 minute compilation video:

2020 Compilation - Long from Aaron Schwindt on Vimeo.

Getting ready for ERC Annual Conference: a vision casting time!

Our ERC Annual Conference is less than a week away, and we're feverishly working on the planting and evangelism side of things in preparation for the primary vision casting/networking/God celebrating event of the year!  Right now, I'm working on three presentations: "Designed to Go!;" "Just Go!;" and "Mission to Go!"  Get the idea?  It's all about Going!

It should be an amazing God-filled time as we welcome some of our Raleigh planters north for the first time.  So far, we've approved 6 planting projects - one just yesterday! - with a possible 5 or more still in process!  Amazing!

So what do we need to do?  Party!  That's right! Monday night will be a huge night of celebration as we rejoice in all that God is doing in our church plants and existing churches.  We'll be telling the "God stories" of the God-initiated 2020 Initiative!   We'll also be sharing some new videos that our 2020 videographer Aaron Schwindt has put together (below).  You can see them all here.

God is amazing!  Pray for us on Monday and Tuesday (4/16-17), for God to continue to do the impossible!

Exponential Church from Aaron Schwindt on Vimeo.

Latino Ministry from Aaron Schwindt on Vimeo.