YWAM Europe's commitment to Church Planting

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Jeff Fountain writes about YWAM in Europe's position on Church planting:

At the first European Strategy Conference we had after I became regional leader we asked ourselves what our stance on church planting should be. The result was De Burght Commitment below. Below that is a note from a leaders memo in 2002 that I sent out.

Strategy Conference Notes (Excerpt)

f. Church Planting Stephe Mayers submitted an Email with questions on church planting. His questions were:

  1. Can we encourage church planting when it comes to planting churches where there are lots of other churches, but where they may be a traditional style or not reaching a particular group?
  2. Is there a general guideline that would suggest when you stop being a YWAMer and become a local church pastor, and when as YWAMer you can continue to be in a church planting ministry?

Jeff read the "De Burght Commitment" that was written 1990 during the YWAM Staff and Leaders conference in de Burght.:

The De Burght Commitment to Church Planting

The De Burght Commitment, European Strategy Conference, February 14, 1990

  • We commit ourselves anew to the evangelisation of Europe, recognising the biblical and demographic imperatives to help establish believers where there are presently none, and fellowships of renewed believers within traditional ecclesiastical structures
  • We choose to love, identify with and seek to work with the whole community of God's people.
  • While realising the practical and strategic need to prioritise our choice of working partners, we reject any expectations and pressures to work and fellowship with only segments of God's people.
  • We commit in each of our nations to promote collaborative movements of denominations, confessions, organisations and local churches towards a shared national goal of establishing witnessing fellowships within reach of every individual, geographically and culturally.

A decision was taken to reaffirm the beginning of new experimental church structures especially amongst young people

Leaders Memo From 2002

10 December 2002, Subject: memo to YWAM Europe leaders, Note 6.e.3

3. What concrete long-term goals can we deduce from (2) for the year 2010? (Goal = specific and measurable by a certain deadline)

a) Concerning church-planting movements:

YWAM can be involved in several ways.

  • One, spreading the vision among existing denominations to see the need and possibilities for the multiplication of fellowships;
  • Two, to help facilitate the cooperative structures needed for the Body of Christ to approach this task together (e.g. a national DAWN- type movement);
  • Three, to come alongside existing denominations to actually plant new fellowships (in Catholic situations, communities), on the understanding YWAM is open to work with all denominations; or to plant fellowships where there are not sufficient existing fellowships, and nurturing that fellowship to independence or relationship with existing denomination;
  • Four, to promote specific forms of this vision, e.g. cell churches, house churches, youth cells, youth congregations, seeking partners in the Body of Christ wherever possible.
  • Five, by initiating/facilitating high impact evangelism campaigns, such as Impact World Tour, creating numbers of new believers who need to be formed into new pastoral structures arise.