Church Planting Conference to Ask, ‘What Comes First?’

“In church planting, what comes first?” asks an announcement of a church planting conference sponsored by the New Church Development Committee of the Church of the Brethren General Board, offered through a cooperative effort with the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership.

“Which priorities take precedence? What skills are required? Just like the childhood game scissors, paper, rock, the answer is contextual and dynamic. Answers are never easy, and the calling to plant takes substantial courage, great persistence, and effective teamwork.”

From May 20-23, church leaders will gather at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., on the theme, “Scissors, Paper, Rock.” The conference will “develop tools, explore textures, and share testimonies” in church planting.

Guidance for the conference will come from Michael Cox, an American Baptist pastor and experienced church planter; Kathy Royer, a spiritual director; David Shumate, district executive minister for Virlina District, and a church planting catalyst; Chris Bunch, founding pastor of The Jar in Muncie, Ind.; and General Board staff and Bethany faculty. The event will include worship, workshops, keynote addresses, and small group conversations. It begins Saturday at 2 p.m. and concludes Tuesday at 12 noon.

“You are invited to join us!” said the announcement. Registration forms were included in the February Source packet mailed to all Church of the Brethren congregations. Registration also is available at For more information contact or 765-983-1807.


The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To receive Newsline by e-mail write to or call 800-323-8039 ext. 260. Submit news to For more news and features, subscribe to Messenger magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.