Church Planting Ministry
In 2010, the Church Planting Committee set a 10-year goal to plant 5 churches locally in the USA and 5 churches overseas. By God’s grace the goal was actually reached in the early part of 2016. A new goal was set in early 2017. This new goal seeks to plant 10 churches in the US, 50 churches in Taiwan and 100 churches in China from 2017 to 2025.
A major streamlining of how FECA funds church planting was decided in 2017 and implemented in 2018. The decision was to fund the overseas church planting activities from the Missions fund rather than from the church planting fund. The church planting fund derives its budget from a percentage of the membership dues collected from member churches within the United States. An effective church planting within the Unites States will eventually result in an increase of membership dues and thus more resources to sustain the church planting process. On the other hand, there is no such sustainability mechanism for overseas church planting. Any increase of overseas church planting resources has to come from improved donor awareness and giving. Promotion of donor relations is key to a vibrant Missions program and so it makes sense to place the overseas church planting under the Missions fund.
Administratively, Association Mission Committee (AMC) needs time to adjust to the role of supervising overseas church planting. 2018 is a transition year where the church planting committee continues to be responsible for overseas church planting while many of the key AMC members are also in the church planting committee meetings. We hope that by 2019 the transition will be complete.
In the USA, FECA started to co-fund Anchor Community Church (ACC) in 2018. ACC represents a new approach to church planting. It is a church focusing on the next generation English people-group. It was launched on Sept 10, 2017 from FEC DB and the church has been growing in numbers from average attendance of 30 to 70 with an increase of financial resources. Another multi-site campus of FECC unofficially started in 2018. Currently more than 30 local worshippers are attending. It will become official when the number reaches 50.
Overseas, there are ups and downs in Chinese church planting efforts. There are more Sunday worship sites as we started to implement a small group approach. One of our previously planted churches ceased operation in June, 2018. The goal of 100 churches may look a lot different from what we envisioned in early 2017. They would be small groups of believers and disciples rather than churches that can worship openly. A China task force is in place to work out our strategy utilizing various resources such as returnee ministry, business as missions and discipleship and training groups.
We are still finding our way in Taiwan West Coast church planting. Our goal is to partner with the local churches to plant 50 churches. So far our effort is focused on planting churches through the community centers. Our strategy is through collaboration with churches in Taiwan to build the community centers in reaching out to the schools and local communities. Together, we have established 6 community centers. Each community center has a designated pastor or minister supported by the local church. Each community center has bible study groups and fellowship and outreach activities. Each community center is functioning like a house church in China. Church planting is very hard work and sometimes seems nearly impossible. Nevertheless, this is God’s mandate for us who belong to His Kingdom. We must be faithful as He is faithful!
一個「聯會」如何資助植堂的主要流程已於2017年訂定，並於2018年實施。這決定是用宣教基金 (Missions fund) 來資助海外植堂活動，而不是動用教會植堂基金 (Church Planting fund) 。教會植堂基金源自會員教會繳交應繳金中，相當的比例而得。一個有成效的教會植堂，實際上會帶來應繳金的增加，因此能有更多的資源支持教會植堂事工。另一方面，海外教會的植堂卻沒有這樣的支持機制。任何海外教會植堂資源的增加，必須來自激發捐獻者的覺醒和奉獻。提昇與捐獻者的關係，是一個生氣蓬勃的宣教計劃的關鍵，因此將海外植堂放在宣教基金之下有其道理。
就行政管理而言，「聯會」宣教委員會 (AMC) 需要時間來調適監督海外植堂的角色。2018年是一個轉換期，教會植堂委員會仍將繼續負責監督海外植堂，「聯會」宣教委員會許多主要同工，也參與植堂委員會的會議來學習。我們希望能夠在2019年完成轉換。
2018年「聯會」開始部分資助 Anchor Community Church (ACC) 。ACC 代表一個新的植堂方式，這是一個專注下一代英語群體的教會，它於2017年9月10日從鑽石崗羅省基督教會分植出來。參加教會之平均人數不斷地增長，已從30人增至70人，財政資源也隨之增加。2018年蒙愛羅省基督教多方位校園的另一個教會非正式成立。 目前有超過30位當地信徒參加敬拜。當人數增加到50位時，教會將正式成立。