Church Planting Sunday: A national call to action
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — With membership shrinking, churches closing and preachers…
Bruce Bates, Kairos Church Planting’s former coaching director, has succeeded Ron Clark as executive director as the Rhode Island-based organization looks for changes in fundraising and partnerships.
Clark had served in that role for four years before stepping down in November.
“Our long-term vision is to raise up a worldwide church planting movement out of the heart and fellowship of Churches of Christ,” Bates told The Christian Chronicle. “Going forward, kind of our three-year vision is that we see church planting happen through regional church planting hubs around the United States.”
Bates also serves on the board of directors for Love Lights the Way, a humanitarian ministry associated with Churches of Christ that works in Liberia, and shepherds The Feast Church in Providence, R.I., one of Kairos’ church plants.
He previously preached for the Blackstone Valley Church of Christ in Cumberland, R.I.
With Bates at the helm, Kairos hopes to develop 100 new “ministry partners” this year — which could be churches, nonprofits, camps and other local church affiliates — including five “flagship” churches, Bates said.
“This year is going to be a theme of radical partnership for us,” he added. “And for us it just comes out of that Philippians 1:5-6, when Paul talks about his joy in having partnerships in the Gospel.
“We all love the joy that comes from bringing in the harvest, but sometimes there’s that gap between harvest periods. And I think it’s the people that we do ministry with and serve with faithfully that can be our joy during those periods between harvest times.”
Bates believes those kinds of partnerships will help bring about another “great harvest.”
Kairos also hopes to do more with its National Church Planting Sunday in 2024, using it as another tool to develop ministry partners. Around 20 congregations participated in the day of awareness for church planting last year.
“We think that it’s really good for our fellowship to think about, to put church planting back on the map and just have a weekend, a year, to think about that and realize that’s something all churches should be doing,” Bates said. “No one’s going to plant the church but the church.”
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