The Alliance



. . . thoughts from ASCP Executive Director Lee Behar

In the last few months since moving to Budapest I've had the rich opportunity to visit and interact with ASCP facilitators serving in Central Asia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Russia. Without question each of the men and women that make up these facilitation efforts is passionate about saturation church planting.

From more than one of these folks I've heard the convinced and intriguing exclamation . . . "Facilitation is changing!" That statement should cause all of us associated with the ASCP to sit up and take notice. Why? Because for all of our ten-year history the Alliance has been about the facilitation of SCP.

If I understand the concept of "facilitation" correctly, it relies fundamentally on the conviction that God has His men and women in place in every country in the world. These men and women are Spirit-motivated and Spirit-gifted to pursue the reaching of their countries for Christ through the planting of multiplying churches. John Knox's famous quote "Give me Scotland, or I die!" epitomizes the passion of these people. So our role as facilitators has been to identify, to befriend, to come alongside, to further envision and to "build platforms" for these Kingdom-minded national brothers and sisters.

Has that changed? I don't think so, but what may have changed is the way we go about our ministries of facilitation. I recently heard one ASCP missionary say something like . . . "I'm tired of sharing vision so broadly with people I know will never do anything with it. Instead I'm now simply trying to find church planters with passion for multiplication . . . the guys who are doing it. I want to find ways I can help them be successful."

That quote reminds me of a ministry motto that I heard many years ago. It goes . . . "Think big, start small, go deep." The problem with many ministries is that they "think big", but rarely start with enough of a quality foundation on which to build. They miss the starting small and going deep part. And other ministries are so concerned with depth and quality that their vision (with much honor paid to the Great Commission) never extends beyond a few so that it moves from the tactical to the strategic.

I think we facilitators of SCP are in a unique position to be true to the spirit of that motto. Saturation Church Planting is the biggest vision there is . . . a gospel believing and sharing church within reach of every person in the world! And yet we know that for churches to be multiplied people must be won to Christ. New believers must be discipled and be mobilized for leadership for emerging churches. So facilitation begins with broad vision but it practically comes back to investing and multiplying ourselves into the lives of others.

How do you believe that facilitation has changed in the last 10 years? Does the motto "Think big, start small, go deep"1 cause you to think differently about SCP facilitation? If you could begin again in SCP facilitation in your country what would you do differently?

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to expand, comment or disagree with the lessons I'm learning. I hope to share many of your ideas in a future edition of Alliance Interchanges.

Click here to email Lee


1 This motto is shared by at least two ministries . . . Church Resource Ministries (Anaheim, CA) and Campus Outreach (Birmingham, AL)




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