In the wake of the 2016 Purpose Driven Church Conference held in June, the Purpose Driven Team is keeping the momentum going with PD events across the country. During the month of August, they kicked off PD First Look and the PDC Tour. These are both mighty steps that equip churches to implement the five purposes, and then train other churches to reach those that have no Bible, no believer, and no body of Christ.
In conjunction with Saddleback Church, a dozen Purpose Driven churches across the U.S. hosted one-day, First Look events to examine the foundations of a healthy church. Attendees were given an opportunity to connect with Purpose Driven coaches at partnering churches including Cornerstone Church in National City, Champion Life Church in Palm Desert, and Iglesia Vida Abundante in New York.
From August 2 to October 6, these interactive First Look events provide a clear pathway toward getting churches on track in a systematic way. One of our most recent First Look events took place on August 30 at Saddleback’s Rancho Capistrano campus. We had 32 pastors and leaders from nine churches who committed to building healthy churches based on the Great Commandment and Great Commission! In addition, the church leaders signed up to go through the eight module PD Essentials training to help their church successfully implement PD.
Those who attended any of our First Look events were presented with the PDC system that has helped build over 500,000 healthy churches. Based on church-to-church multiplying efforts, the full day sessions offered inspiration, training, coaching, and mentoring. The intent is to equip local churches close to those who need the Gospel in their own culture.
According to Tom Crick, Pastor of Global PD Development, “Feedback has been very engaging as senior pastors and their staff see the potential for their churches to get healthier. Especially encouraging have been the responses to the discipleship process as many see the need to move toward a healthier church.”
The goal of PD First Look is to offer a solid foundational system that focuses on the principles that Jesus gave his church, and to bring churches to a healthy state. From the start, God has opened doors to countless connections, not only to the presenters but to the participants who have gained insight from one another.
“Several churches that plateaued, and didn’t know what to do next, are engaging in the process and bringing their entire staff to follow-up trainings,” explains Tom. “There was even a church planter from the Ukraine—planting in Anaheim—who got connected and is now moving to the next step!”
That “next step” on the PDC journey is connecting with the PD network of coaches and mentors who help church leaders move through the eight-month training cycle. Beyond the eight months, they will receive continued coaching through implementation at their own church.
As an example of this process, six Hispanic churches from the San Diego area recently completed the eight-month PD Essentials Training process. In celebration, they hosted a PD Essentials Training Graduation at the Refinery on August 13, complete with breakfast, recognition certificates, and encouragement to move on to the implementation phase.
They were commissioned with the message that this is just the beginning of the implementation process, fueled by coaching relationships with Pastors Joel Cabrera and David Tamez. Following the recognition ceremony, senior pastors and core leaders toured the Lake Forest campus to see how Saddleback structurally builds on Purpose.
“Their excitement is beyond our expectations,” says Tom. “It’s amazing to see the look in their eyes, of anticipation and the realization that there is hope for their church moving forward, built on a time-tested proven process to get them there.”