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Thursday, December 22, 2005

What if Megachurches Trained Church Plant Techs?

Sound_board_1 Today's guest blogger is Anthony Coppedge. Anthony is a church media consultant, author, speaker and self-confessed technology geek.He writes...

I had been thinking out loud about the possibility of large churches with a lot of resources (staff, equipment and money) creating a partnership with church plants in sponsoring part-time techs for work and training.

As I explained this concept to my wife, she reminded me that Harvest Church in Watauga used to hire Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary grad students to work on staff with the full understanding that they'd only be there for 12-18 months and then would leave to go start their own churches. Whereas the hiring of Seminary students was more-or-less full time at Harvest, the idea was a catalyst for a modification of that practice for equipping Tech Arts people.

It could look something like this:

A Small Church Plant wants to add a Technical Arts ministry, but doesn't have the money to hire a full-time Tech Arts staff position. Large Church wants to add more projects and provide more help to their current Tech Arts staff, but only needs part-time help.

The Large Church would create an inter-church staffing resource and offer positions to help fulfill the needs of their Tech Arts ministry. The Small Church Plant would then submit their candidate for an interview process to see if there was a potential fit. The tech person would be hired part-time by the Large Church to work on projects for the Large Church (and be trained by experienced ministry staff) and hired part-time by the Small Church Plant to work on their projects. After a 12-18 month stint learning and working at the Large Church, the tech person would be much better equipped to help the church plant and, hopefully, the Small Church Plant would have the resources to bring this person on full-time.

In this way, large churches could hire additional part-time help on contractual basis (no benefits package) from someone they know will be reproducing themselves for the kingdom while helping out with their own projects. The Small Church Plant would benefit from being able to afford a part-time tech person and from the excellent training that person receives from the Large Church.

In the end, I see this as an excellent way of church leaders living out Luke 12:48 "...From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." Where some see churches as being in competition with each other, I see the better way as being in cooperation with each other.

So what do you have to say about this? What do you large church pastors think of this suggestion? For you small church plant pastors, what do you think of this arrangement?

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December 22, 2005 in Technology in the Church | Permalink

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This is a great idea. I have always felt like that the church needed to be doing this all along with everyone in the church.
Think about it. After all the church helps disciple these people and helps in becoming who God intended them to be.
Once the Church and the individual reach a certain point of growth they use these people by planting new churches elswhere. The mega church is able to support themselves as well as the new church plant. This would also help with cost of seminary training for those who cannot afford it.
Great idea... Thank you Todd for this post. This is the best one yet dude...

Posted by: Evangelist Jeff | Dec 22, 2005 10:15:50 AM

AWESOME!!! You know, we like to isolate our churches from one another, instead of partnering to help further the Kingdom. Even beyond tech stuff, this could and should occur. The Network Type churches out there (Seacoast for example) are sharing resources, ideas, support, etc... We need to get away from this idea of "Go, make disciples... and good luck, while we sit back and enjoy the fruits of our size"

Rather, this approach drives partnership, ownership, and sharing of resources. Any church less than 300 requires more work to be done that budgets allow to finance. But, for the larger churches, where sometimes productivity/efficiency are lacking due to size and a good number of staff... providing some of the "available resources" would be huge.

Great Blog.

Posted by: ScottV | Dec 22, 2005 10:34:15 AM

I like the idea! I would even expand it further. How can large churches look more at the whole kingdom picture and use their resources to help other smaller or struggling churches in all kinds of areas?

That is a GREAT idea!

Posted by: Peter Hamm | Dec 22, 2005 10:50:23 AM

I see this being a great blessing. This is about building HIS kingdom, not ours.

Posted by: M.A.P. | Dec 22, 2005 12:43:18 PM

This would be great as long as the training includes the constant reminder that church plants generally operate on a shoestring and a roll of duct tape.

It would be nice if this partnership included giving church plants access to equipment as well. I know from experience that many established churches have equipment collecting dust in closets that is better than what church plants use every Sunday.

Posted by: Billy Cox | Dec 22, 2005 2:01:24 PM

I agree with Billy - access to equipment is probably as important as the training to use it. But why stop with tech arts? I'd like to see large churches providing all kinds of resources to smaller churches, from training to manpower to facilities to...the list could go on and on.

Just think, for example, of the global potential that a small church or church plant could have if a large church with the resources and expertise would help train missionaries (long- or short-term).

Posted by: Randy Ehle | Dec 22, 2005 2:11:21 PM

Great comments. Thanks for the encouragement on a day when I truly needed it!


Anthony Coppedge

Posted by: Anthony D. Coppedge | Dec 22, 2005 2:43:54 PM

It is a great idea to partner training techs. I already am part of training chruch techs for their ministry and soon will be expanding this training to more churches. Please contact me to learn more. (gbspkg@netzero.net) I agree that our church should be helping smaller churches, and that is why I am already doing this on a small scale level.

Posted by: Gregg Boonstra | Jan 10, 2006 2:14:34 PM

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