Transitioning Bardstown Christian Fellowship, Bardstown, Kentucky into a Church Planting Network
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ABSTRACT TRANSITIONING BARDSTOWN CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, BARDSTOWN, KENTUCKY INTO A CHURCH PLANTING NETWORK Matthew Bjorn Spandler-Davison, D.Min. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2015 Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Jeff K. Walters This project is an examination of the process by which Bardstown Christian Fellowship, Bardstown, Kentucky, transitioned from being a single congregation into a network of churches. In addition to recording the events that took place to initiate that transition, this project also sets out the biblical and theological framework that underpinned it. Chapter 1 introduces the ministry project, stating the purpose and goals going forward. A brief history of Bardstown Christian Fellowship is presented along with a profile of the community in which the church is located. Definitions, limitations, and delimitations are presented. Chapter 2 offers an exploration of four biblical texts directly related to the issue of church multiplication and organization. The research and discussion related to these texts provides a biblical basis for an understanding of the nature of the church. Jesus sets out basic parameters for how the church is to be organized. The Apostle Paul likewise provides instructions on how to organize the gathering of God's people. Chapter 3 examines two alternative models for church multiplication and planting networks. The Multi-Site Movement and House Church Movements are presented and discussed. The goal for this chapter is to review and contrast these alternative models. Chapter 4 gives the details of the fifteen-week ministry project. The goal for this chapter is to present the project in such a way that any other church can see the steps that are necessary for transitioning a single congregation into a resource sharing network of multiple churches. Chapter 5 offers an evaluation of the goals, strengths and weaknesses of the ministry project, as well as personal reflections. This concluding chapter provides a review of the lessons learned from this process that would be prudent to follow were such a transition to be repeated.