INNOVATIONS IN CHURCH PLANTING
CHURCH PLANTER APPRENTICESHIPS, 1982-2011
John and Diane Worcester have been apprenticing church planters as they planted churches. Typically an apprentice lived with or near the Worcester’s and were trained through relational, on the job training. Two examples: Ron Johnson, apprenticed in San Francisco during the Bay Marin plant and since then has planted a reproducing church in Denver which is now over 1000, and Ron is currently planting again in Denver. Bob Johnson (not related to Ron) apprenticed in one of the Huntington Beach plants and has now planted a church of 900 in San Diego.
MID-SIZED, MULTI-CAMPUS NEIGHBORHOOD CHURCHES, 2008-2011
This strategy was used in San Diego and yielded three churches and three student ministries in three years. It focuses on reaching spiritually ripe lost people in neighborhoods of about 20,000 homes through a series of launch services. After planting Mission Trails Church in 2008, John’s church planter apprentice was sent to plant the second church in 2009. Then in 2010, a second campus of first Mission Trails was launched. These three churches, along with the three student ministry starts have about 800 regular attendees worshipping. All three churches now have long-term pastors, and are making plans to reproduce. It is also worth noting that during the same time period the main sponsor church of these efforts (Pathways Church) grew by more than 400 regular attendees after being plateaued for five years. The net gain this orchard of churches was 1200+.
UNIVERSITY MINISTRY START-UPS, 2009-2011
John and Diane enjoy helping equip and coach their four sons start evangelistic campus ministries. Six have been started in three years, three in San Diego, one in Chico, Ca, and two in China.
SAN DIEGO CHURCH PLANTING ALLIANCE www.SDCPAlliance.com, 2011
John is catalyzing the network of area 60 evangelical planters, pastors and visionary leaders with the purpose of filling San Diego County with healthy churches. Several church has decided to become 3D Churches, churches the intentionally discover, develop and deploy church planters.
TURNING A DYING CHURCH INTO CHURCH PLANTING CENTER, 2007
John and Diane spent a year in Burbank restarting and rehabbing an old downtown church. This church now has six congregations meeting in the building and the original church is now growing.
TEAM CHUCH, 2002-2006
This new model of a church planting church in Fort Worth started ten churches in four years. John recruited, assessed, coached, and trained, and supervised the church planters who became part of the Team Church orchard of churches. Team Church met on Sunday PM and sent out teams on Sunday AM to serve their planters. They went on weekly “mini-mission trips” and helped with children’s ministry, evangelism, and worship in the community church plants. Now over 6000 people are attending these church plants or their offspring.
ACTS STRATEGY, 1996-2001.
While contracting with Tarrant Baptist Association, Fort Worth, and then while working on Saddleback Church staff, John pioneered a comprehensive church planting equipping strategy called the ACTS Strategy that Assesses, Coaches, Trains, and Serves church planters. Over 5000 planters have been better equipped to plant through various aspects of ACTS.
CONTEMPORARY CHURCH PLANTING STRATEGIES, 1978-2012
John and Diane started purpose driven type churches, with contemporary music and style, cell groups, and neutral church names since as far back as 1978. They were some of early pioneers of monthly preview services and approaches to starting with a small launch team and a strongly marketed launch.