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Community Matters

Community based fitness is the latest exercise craze to sweep the nation – whether its Crossfit, Iron Tribe or Stroller Strides (for Moms) – more and more people are pursuing community based fitness even though its usually more expensive than a standard gym membership.  Maybe you’re one of them?

So the question is…Why?  Part of the answer is that we grow most as part of a community. The encouragement, camaraderie and competition of our peers raises us to levels of growth we couldn’t achieve on our own.  The connection between community & growth isn’t a new idea. The author of Hebrews writes:

12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (3:12-13)

Join A Pack

Community is crucial for spiritual growth.  Put another way: discipleship happens in relationships.  Well that same principle holds true in church planting.  Statistically speaking, the healthiest & most effective church planters spend time in training and community with other planters. [1]  Which is why we’ve chosen a cohort model for our church planting residency.

Each of our church planting residents spends 8-months in intense training & mentorship with 4 to 5 other planters.  When a planter completes residency he’s learned a lot about how to plant a church but he’s also been challenged, encouraged and supported by other men called to do the same thing.  Past participants have told us that relationships with other residents were more valuable even then the excellent training.

Do you sense the ‘lone wolf’ approach is a bad one?  Does the idea of striving alongside other planters resonate with you? Are you ready to be challenged in community with other high capacity leaders?  If so I invite you to learn more about our church planting residency and consider applying, you can do that HERE.

[1] Stetzer, Bird. The State of Church Planting in the United States, 50.


Josh Miller (@joshmiller0604) serves as the Director of Assessment for Summit Network and as a Church Planting Pastor at The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC.