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Adoption Stages - Stage 5

STAGE FIVE
ENGAGING THE PEOPLE GROUP

This stage begins with the establishment of an effective ministry among the target people group, and continues on until they are reached, or until God leads the church to do otherwise. The challenge during this stage is maintaining focus and commitment over long periods of time when there may be very little to report in terms of tangible results. Church planting among unreached peoples is often a long and challenging process.

Five Potential Forms of Engagement:

The church can . . .

  • Send its own church planting team, facilitated through an organizational structure (apostolic), the church itself forms

  • Send a church planting team in partnership with a mission agency

  • Send some of its members as part of another church planting team, in partnership with another church or mission agency

  • Render practical support to a church planting initiative already underway among the target people

  • Provide assistance to the emerging national church among the target peoples as it seeks to reproduce

Three Post-engagement Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Additional personnel will probably be needed . . . Over time there is every likelihood that some original personnel will need to return home. And as the initiative matures, a different gift and skill set may be needed. The training process can be ongoing, with new team members continually in preparation.

  • New partnerships can be forged - Sometimes the most powerful partnerships are those begun through informally working together while actually "on the field."

  • Pastoral care for long-term field personnel is critical. Living and ministering among an unreached people for months and years is very demanding spiritually, emotionally, and physically. The strains on family life are intense. Healthy churches are filled with pastorally gifted and experienced people who can be employed in the long-term care of "those who go." Developing the capacity to deliver that care, and sustain it over the long haul, once again highlights the level of commitment required on the part of the whole church, both leaders and people.

 


 


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