By Dr. Strother

In 2019, when the SCBI partnered with the North American Mission Board (NAMB) to become a SEND Network state (therefore creating the SEND Network Indiana team), SCBI churches were given the strongest church planting partner to impact every part of the state: urban, suburban, and rural settings. There are currently 29 church plants in Indiana receiving funding from the SEND Network!

 

This means SCBI churches are one step away from the resources, coaching, assessment process, and funding that the SEND Network provides to help churches start churches. I do not write here to explain all of the SEND Network processes, but I do want our churches to know how the SCBI and NAMB (through the SEND Network Indiana team) work together as two autonomous organizations to serve our churches for church planting.

 

Assisting with the Assessment Process

While NAMB provides funding and does the work of the incredibly strong assessment process, SCBI provides travel expenses for candidates to go to assessment. They are held in Detroit, MI, or Columbus, OH, for a couple days. If the sending church is unable to cover the travel expenses, SCBI will. The candidates are investing a lot of hard work and time leading up to the assessment, so investing in getting them there and caring for them while they are there is an easy choice.

 

Encouraging & Caring for Planters

The SEND Network makes planters feel loved. SCBI partners at times with the SEND Network Indiana to provide encouraging gatherings and networking opportunities. Maybe time at Top Golf or an overnight retreat—SCBI churches provide opportunities for encouragement and caring.

 

Scott McDowell, SEND City Missionary- Indianapolis shared this recent testimony, “One element of church planting that is easy to overlook is … having fun! This is one reason, among many, that our partnerships are so vital. Recently a group of Send Network planters were blessed through our partnership with our state convention. Our planters were given an opportunity to spend time together with our state staff and one another at Top Golf in Fishers. During this time together, relationships were deepened, challenges were shared, connections were made, and lots of laughter was heard … particularly when certain planters stepped up to the tee.

 

This event is only one example of the intentionality of SCBI in cultivating relationships and deepening partnerships with planters across our state. In Luke 10:2 Jesus encourages us to ask the Lord to send laborers into the harvest. In his kindness, the Lord is answering this prayer as we continue to see an ever-growing number of planters answer this call. What a gift to have partners in the work like SCBI who are welcoming, encouraging, and supporting the work!”

 

 

Communicating about Cooperative Program (CP)

Church plants who receive SEND Network funding are required to give 6% through CP and 4% to other mission giving of the church’s choice. They are taught this in assessment, but state conventions must be the ones to connect with planters and ensure understanding. Contrary to some belief, NAMB nor the SBC Executive Committee knows if a church plant gives through CP. Only state conventions know because we handle those dollars.

 

We’ve not ensured strong relationships and understanding well in the past. I’m leading us in a new commitment to ensure our church planters know about the larger SCBI and SBC family they are part of and how we fuel our cooperation through the CP. Two main ways:

 

  1. Last quarter, we emailed the first of the new Quarterly Church Planters Update. It contains an update from me, a chart showing the year-to-date CP giving of each church plant, and a testimony from one of our planters or SCBI pastors about the impact the Cooperative Program has on their church.
  2. We are also committing to taking new planters to lunch and letting them ask all the questions they want. Kyle Brennan can answer every one.

 

The SCBI amplifies every church’s ministry beyond their community through our cooperative efforts—established churches and church plants alike.

 

Planters benefit from all of the ways we are connecting for Kingdom advancement.

 

Planters benefit from your generosity. Your church’s giving through CP and the SCBI’s State Mission Offering provide all of these opportunities.

 

Planters benefit from strong partnerships. They’ll find it in Indiana.