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Case Study: The African Village Church PlantingTM Program


Case Study: The African Village Church PlantingTM Program Approach, Processes, Results, and Lessons Learned July 2009 VCP and Village Church Planting are ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Case Study: The African Village Church PlantingTM Program

Case Study The African Village Church
PlantingTM Program
  • Approach, Processes, Results, and Lessons
  • July 2009

VCP and Village Church Planting are trademarks
of OMS International
Some History
  • Evolved out of initiatives by OMS Intl to
    intensify church planting in Africa
  • Began work with African Diaspora in South African
    inner-cities in December 1999
  • Fruits were mixed
  • 50 of trainees never returned to home country
  • Costly to implement
  • But, resulted in good ministry networks
  • By March 2009, students had started 1,500 churches

  • By 2002, barely 60 churches established
  • Extensive training was not necessarily resulting
    in spontaneous church planting
  • Recognized the need to be far more strategic to
    have a meaningful impact
  • How to train and deploy church planters and
    pastors in unreached African villages?
  • How can this be achieved without taking trainees
    out of their village environments?

VCP Approach
  • Built upon a training-in-ministry philosophy
  • Work with partner denominations to relocate
    pastors with a passion for church planting
  • Each trainer targets a region that can sustain
    between 100 and 200 churches
  • Trainers locate training centers (or hub
    churches) in middle of selected area
  • Recruit 15 church planters (trainees) from 15
    surrounding villages within walking distance

VCP Training Structure
People of Peace
Students are recruited through the people of
peace strategy articulated by Jesus in Matt 10
Luke 10.
Training of Students
  • Students are required to pass on their learning
    according to 2 Timothy 22
  • Find at least other 2 students from 2 villages,
    whom they train concurrently with own learning
  • Learn and implement Biblical truths through
    planting reproducing churches
  • Monthly training cycle during 3-year period
  • 20 hours in a classroom setting
  • Trainers coach counsel in villages on other days

Training Scenes
Dr. Emmanuel Tshilenga Coaches Trainers
Supervisor with Trainer and Church Planters
Training Session for Church Planters
Key Elements
  • Unearthing Biblical principles embedding in
    them a clear church planting process
  • Church planting can be like baking a cake
  • Appropriate Biblical principles (right
  • Raising appropriate resources (right equipment)
  • Identifying a successful church planting process
    is indispensable to facilitating a CPM (right

Only a small number of those trained in church
planting move on to become successful church
The VCP model enumerates Biblical principles,
mobilizes appropriate resources, and focuses
training around the implementation of clear
Chronological BibleTeaching Program
Village Church
  • Casting and passing on planting vision and
  • Students need to articulate a clear call to this
  • Importance of sound plans
  • Use of bi-vocational church planter pastors
  • Praying for increased faith to discern Gods
  • Being faithful to our call and finishing the task
  • Using gift of exhortation
  • Primacy of philozenos (hospitality) in planting
    seeking people of peace
  • Finding synergy in healthy Kingdom partnerships
  • Confronting inappropriate extra-Biblical
  • Equipping, empowering releasing a new
  • Pauline model of missions itinerant missionaries
    and indigenous leaders

  • Manpower missionaries, coordinators,
  • Finances training materials, trainer grants,
    seminars, travel and Bibles
  • Systems website and online database to track and
    manage church planting and pastoral training
  • Training and discipleship programs, consisting
  • Evangelism methods Sowers, EE3, Jesus File, etc.
  • Discipleship training Chronological Bible
  • Theological training VCP Pastoral Training
  • Practical church planter training Omega materials

Some Important VCP Tools
Delivering Bicycles for VCP Trainers
VCP Manual
Bible inSwahili
Sources of Support
  • Conscious not to create dependency, rather
    responsibility growing number of volunteer
    trainers 97 paid and 89 volunteer trainers
  • Sponsorship of VCP activities, with 2 partners
    covering the full VCP program in Liberia, and
    foundations supporting various initiatives
  • God is providing resources through multiple
    partners, and the cost of planting churches
    training pastors is among the best in Africa

3-Year VCP Phase 2
3-Year VCP Phase 1
The VCP model has a structured implementation
process with two defined phases. Each phase has
clear sequential steps that can be placed within
a scheduled implementation plan.
VCP Phase 1
3-Year VCP Phase 2
3-Year VCP Phase 1
  • Trainers operate training centers close to
    100-200 unreached villages for three years
  • Trainers train first generation
    church-planter-pastors for three years.
  • The trainees, in turn, train daughter church
    planters as they continue their learning

VCP Phase 1 Results
Graduation of Church-Planter-Pastors
A Young Church
VCP Phase 2
3-Year VCP Phase 2
3-Year VCP Phase 1
  • Trainers return to their denominations, and a
    strategy administrator supervises churches
  • Strategy administrators conduct continuing
    education oversee continuing planting
  • Admins ensure quality of training by planters
    help partners develop church organization

Implementation Considerations - 1
  • Project and annual plans with date-based to do
    lists for coordinators, trainers, pastors
  • Simple three month plans are updated every 3
    months for alignment with overall plans
  • Meetings occur every 3 months to flesh out the
    simple plans set detailed goals
  • Supervisors meet with project coordinators
  • Coordinators meet with trainers
  • Trainers meet with student pastors

Implementation Considerations - 2
  • Principles and resources are balanced and managed
    within the overall project plan
  • Sequenced use of Biblical principles and
    resources to achieve outcome of spiritually
    maturing churches in unreached villages
  • Project programming based upon research,
    gathering information, planning, reflection,
    redirecting plans answers questions such as
    What is the first step? or Who is available?

Scenes from the Field
VCP Classroom Training
Walking to a Baptism
Baptism in Rural Africa
VCP Ministry Results
  • VCP model, initiated in 2003, has a presence in
    19 African countries
  • 5,500 African pastors trained
  • More than 5,000 churches planted in formerly
    unreached villages, with over 300,000 members
  • Average daily growth of the VCP program
  • 5 new churches
  • 400 new members
  • Investment cost of 250 per church in 2008

African VCP CountriesAs of March 2009
African VCP Church MembershipYear-End Statistics
VCP Generational Profile
  • 249 First generation churches (hub churches)
  • 2,616 Second generation churches
  • 1,635 Third generation churches
  • 425 Fourth generation churches
  • 63 Fifth generation churches
  • 10 Sixth generation churches
  • 5 Seventh generation churches
  • 2 Eighth generation churches

Youth Are the Future Preparing for Baptism
African VCP ChurchesYear-End Statistics
Lessons for VCP Dynamics
  1. The Fringe Principle
  2. Without Faith It is Impossible
  3. Apostolic Leadership Expanding Kingdom
    Frontiers Through Self-Replicating,
    Harvest-Focused Churches
  4. Rapid Deployment of Leaders
  5. Growing Leaders
  6. VCP Structures Advance the Cause
  7. VCP Mobilization for World Evangelism
  8. VCP Approach and Long Term Sustainability
  9. VCP Multiplicative Potential

Walking to Church
1. The Fringe Principle
  • Initially, VCP program was pioneered through
    fringe groups of ecclesiastical structures
  • CPM movement was often seen as being out of sync
    with traditional mission strategy
  • Initial resistance can be attributed to lack of
    understanding and poor communication
  • With effective communication, the VCP program is
    being increasingly embraced by church leaders,
    accelerating church planting

2. Without Faith It Is Impossible
  • African church has passion, faith, and vision
  • Like 18th century US counterparts, African VCP
    leaders are willing to risk everything to win new
    generations to Christ
  • Zeal and passionate faith are paving the way in
    taking the Gospel to new frontiers

West African Mosque
3. Apostolic Leadership Expanding Kingdom
FrontiersThrough Self-Replicating,
Harvest-Focused Churches
  • Apostolic leaders have been crucial to large
    scale church planting in the past centuries
  • John Wesley, Methodism in Britain
  • Francis Asbury, American Methodism
  • In African VCP program, Dr. Emmanuel Tshilenga,
    Reverends Matthieu Kazadi, Thierry Bossenga,
    Theodore Burakeye, André van Blydenstein
  • Apostolic vision and determination in Africa are
    inspiring new generations of pioneers

African VCP Pioneers
4. Rapid Deployment of Leaders
  • VCP program based on rapid equipping, empowering
    and releasing of workers
  • Training-in-ministry philosophy based on 2 Tim
    22, investing in reliable people who are
    training others
  • The sooner disciples commence discipling
    others, the more effective they become

Teaching from a Boat
5. Growing Leaders
  • Church planter pastors may initially be
    undereducated and under-funded
  • Structures are in place to upgrade their
    education constantly 600 hours over 3 years
  • Division between well educated seminary clergy in
    early Methodism and upstarts generally not seen
    in new VCP pastors
  • Seek to work with groups that embrace VCP
    ministries in existing ecclesiastical structures

6. VCP Structures Advance the Cause
  • VCP model structured for rapid multiplication
    with trainers equipping, empowering and releasing
    pastors into increasing authority
  • Pastors, in turn, release members from their
    congregations into the ministry
  • VCP leaders are constantly encouraged to seek
    opportunities for new VCP projects
  • Local autonomy supported by ecclesiastical
    structure supportive of shared authority

7. VCP Mobilization for World Evangelism
  • VCP partners are encouraged to be bold and
    courageous responding to Great Commission
  • VCP coordinators are encouraged to
  • Seek new volunteer trainers
  • Start new movements in unreached areas
  • Intentionally allow projects to cross intl
  • Encourage denominations to band together in
    sponsoring initiatives in other lands

8. VCP Approach andLong Term Sustainability
  • Church planting is a process not an event
  • Church planting growth are integrated
  • Constant need to evangelize, disciple train for
    churches to mature and multiply
  • Goal of embedding church planting DNA in partners
    through intense 3-year relationship followed by
    3-year decreased relationship
  • Trust denomination as guardian of VCP DNA

9. Multiplicative Potential
  • Generational profile shows potential for more
    churches to be planted through
  • Increased faith goals
  • Increased reproduction rates
  • Deliberate planning
  • Consider impact potential for new church
    planting streams through volunteer trainers
  • Pursue Gods purposes to facilitate new churches
    in unreached areas vigorously

Where to from Here?
  1. Villages, Rural Communities, Informal
    Communities, and Cities
  2. From Into Africa to Out of Africa
  3. VCP Pastoral Training Course

VCP Program Started in Villages Like This
1. Villages, Rural Communities, Informal
Communities, and Cities
  • Indication that VCP principles and processes
    could be transferable to larger towns cities
  • Not surprising, since urbanization is result of
    rural populations migrating to cities
  • Many African city churches slow to respond to
    spiritual needs of relocated rural groups
  • Future of Village Church Planting model?
  • Create new model, or rework and rename

2. From Into Africa to Out of Africa
  • VCP program gaining attention outside Africa
  • Embryonic VCP ministry in Ecuador
  • Partnership in India for launch in four states
  • Training and project launch in S.E. Asian country
  • Potential to internationalize VCP model is
    encouraging, and could lead accelerated church
    planting in other regions of the world

VCP Vision Casting Outside Africa
3. VCP Pastoral Training Course
  • Current rewrite of VCP Pastoral Training Course
    will add significant value to the VCP program,
    with the following new modules
  • Mending Broken Lives, cross cultural ministry,
    Islamic studies, train the trainer, childrens
    ministries, and youth ministries
  • Translations into key international languages
  • Contemplating online church planting study
  • VCP methodology, VCP Pastoral Training Course,
    Omega, Chronological Bible study materials

Reflective Questions 1
  • What are the major similarities between the VCP
    ministry and the Methodists and Baptists on the
    American frontier?
  • What are the major differences between the VCP
    ministry and the Methodists and Baptists on the
    American frontier?
  • What do you consider are the three most important
    factors that have contributed to the spread of
    the VCP approach around Africa?
  • As you consider the VCP case study, are there any
    obvious unbiblical principles or practices
    espoused within the model? Can these be remedied
    without destroying the essential ministry
    philosophy and church planting DNA of the VCP

Reflective Questions 2
  • What are the three most significant obstacles for
    implementing the VCP model in your ministry
    region? Can you think of ways to overcome these
  • Can you think of improvements to the VCP model
    that would enhance its effectiveness? Prior to
    embarking on this exercise we recommend that you
    read the VCP manual. To download the document,
    please visit the Into Africa website at and click on Resources
    at the bottom of any page.
  • Compare your ministry philosophy with that of the
    VCP approach. What fundamental changes would you
    need to make to align your ministry to that of
    the VCP model?

The End
Please be in prayer about being a part of what
God is doing in Africa (or elsewhere).
Sun Setting over the Congo River