Redeemer Church Planting Center (RCPC) was founded by Redeemer Presbyterian Church eight years ago and exists to renew global cities through the planting of new, gospel-centered churches. Working in targeted cities in the United States and around the world, RCPC serves as a catalyst for new churches through the recruitment of local leaders, coaching and training of church leaders, and funding. In 2008, RCPC was instrumental in the planting of 10 new congregations within New York City and 15 new congregations in global cities such as Miami, Hamburg, and Johannesburg.
One of the most exciting events of 2008 was the Church Planting Fall Intensive—a six week residency program designed specifically for pastors of new churches in global cities. Last September, 19 church planters arrived in New York City for this program after being invited by the RCPC’s International Directors. This was the second year that RCPC conducted a Fall Intensive and the program grew significantly from 2007 when there were only five church planters involved.
The church planters came from Andalucia, Athens, Berlin, Hamburg, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Madrid, Manila, Monterrey, Mumbai, Munich, Seoul and Tokyo. The training consisted of both classroom sessions and off-site learning elements led by Tim Keller, the staffs of RCPC and of Redeemer, and various New York City church planters. Every aspect of the training was specially designed to train the participants in the skills needed for planting and sustaining urban churches.
This year’s Fall Intensive was particularly inspiring for the RCPC staff, both because of the number of participants and because of the feedback received at the end. One planter said it was the best six weeks of his life and many commented that not only had it taught them a great deal about church planting, but it had also taught them to apply the gospel to their personal lives in a new way.
After the program ended the planters returned to their home cities either to start public worship for the first time or to resume their ministries pastoring newly-launched churches.
RCPC underwrites most of the Fall Intensive costs. Because of the large number of attendees this year, the Intensive would not have been successful if several members of the greater Redeemer community had not come forward to house some of the planters. These hosts were: Seth & Kristen Whalen, David & Christy Chattleton, Tom & Valerie Skarna (of YWAM Manhattan) and Steve Hoppe. Several fellowship groups also opened their groups to the planters for the six weeks, as did various other church ministries. All of the church planters were grateful to form friendships within the Redeemer community while they were away from their cities and families.