Local pastors from across the California-Nevada connection gathered at Livermore UMC January 27-29 to begin training and engagement as new church planters.
The 2020 group of 10 is the second pastor cohort to receive training with the Church Planting Academy. The first cohort will be recognized and sent out at this year’s California-Nevada Annual Conference session.
Laity will also receive training through the Academy in spring and fall course sessions.
Congregational Development Executive Director Craig Brown developed the Academy curriculum in conjunction with Rev. Matt Smith, Co-Pastor at The Table UMC in Sacramento. He is excited about growing the conference’s capacity to reach new communities and underserved areas.
“The work of congregational development must begin with preparing people adequately for the unique challenges and opportunities they will face as a church planter," Brown stated. "Both the clergy and lay academies offer this kind of support. We focus the training on the practical skills needed to launch new ministries, new campuses, and new communities of faith. By the end of the next quadrennium we hope to have trained 75 pastors and 250 lay persons for this innovate and creative work.”
These exponential efforts investing in new church growth will help California-Nevada thrive for years to come.