The Art of Church Planting

The art of church planting is like three intertwined rings, like Olympic circles, each related to the others. The first circle, disciple-making, is guiding people to become more like ringThe second is mission, summarized by Jesus’ statement: “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” The words “follow me” designate discipleship, and “I will make you fishers of men” is descriptive of mission.

two rings

The third, community formation, is the result–the outcome–of disciple-making and mission.

three rings


Community is inherent in disciple-making and mission. It becomes the arena of nurture, of spiritual maturation.Thus, the art of church planting is learning to make disciples on mission with God, which results in new communities of faith.Disciple-making, mission, community-all three are counter-intuitive to North American society. Our tendency is to emphasize champions over disciples, participation without mission, and attendance with little community.

Mission Training

The process of Mission Training integrates disciple-making, mission, and community through experiential learning processes for the sake of both church renewal and church planting.

Click here to download a Mission Training brochure.

Gailyn Van Rheenen

Mission Alive

2 thoughts on “The Art of Church Planting

  1. I resonate with the idea that disciple-making and mission lead to community. I believe we are often guilty of trying to begin with community (in its various forms) with the *hope* that mission and disciple-making will break out. We have put the cart before the horse and your simple, reproducible diagram reminds us to keep the focus where it belongs.

  2. What you are describing is how the North American church becomes a counter-cultural voice. The integration of discipleship, mission and community is foreign and will be uncomfortable to most of us. Yet integration is absolutely necessary if the 21st Century Church is to be a redemptive influence in our culture and not just a clanging gong.

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