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Starting and Shaping Churches
for our Modern World

Let's Start Churches Together

GIVING DAY WAS OCTOBER 20, 2022

$209,625 GIVEN! THANK YOU!

One day per year, our mission comes together for an all-out effort to help fund our mission around the world. THANK YOU for join us!

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT GIVING DAY

Transformed Lives

Transformed Neighborhoods

Transformed World

Do you dream of starting a community of faith that loves like Jesus?

There is a place for you here, and help to realize the calling in your life. You may be called to your current neighborhood, or a continent away. With Communitas you are among friends. All around the world we are starting and shaping faith communities doing just that.

We invite you to learn more about our incarnational approach.

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Stories from the Field

Incarnational

A Fresh Aroma of Christ

“We have worked in Holland for decades. We have worked in Latin America for over a decade. But we’ve never planted churches in the Caribbean. Is God inviting us into a new place? It’s full of the same post-Christendom we see across Europe and the Americas.” 

Last year, Eric Curtiss, COO of Communitas International, asked the question above. He joined a group of Communitas workers in the Dutch Antilles islands of Aruba and Curacao for six days to pray, hear from God, and meet with the locals to sense what God might be doing. The scouting group, led by our Chief Field Officer, Kevin Johnson, deeply enjoyed getting to know the people and culture. They also assessed the spiritual tone of the land. They returned convinced there was an enormous need for grace-based, Jesus-centered churches that would reach out as Christ’s hands and feet to the lost and lonely.

Yes, it may seem like paradise, but imagine a majority people who are devoid of God in everyday life yet desperate for authentic and life-transforming community in a post-Christian culture. Local Christians expressed a need to BE the Body of Christ in a fresh way on their islands.

Creative

Lifting Up Ukraine

Communitas International is seeing peoples' lives changed forever by helping churches engage in current events, and by sharing the gospel with people who don’t yet know Jesus. 

As we start and shape churches, our missionaries are on the front lines, both spiritually and physically. They are a part of how God is uniting churches globally to display His glory by being His hands and feet to a hurting and broken world.

William and Sheila Whittenberg serve with Communitas in Berlin, Germany. Last spring, in a random encounter at the airport, William and Sheila met a lost, 80-year-old, Ukrainian gentleman who didn’t speak any English or German. God had prepared them for such a time as this as Sheila knows Russian from her work in Siberia many years ago... 

Contextual

Five Steps to Engage with Your Community

Living a missionary life is not just for missionaries overseas. It is for all of us who follow Jesus!

Our lives should always be on mission—on mission for the Lord as His ambassadors and representatives in this world. But how do we do that practically? What does it look like to begin wondering about how we are to engage with our community in a relevant and grace-filled way? Brad Smith, one of our missionaries, describes the steps he used when he relocated from Europe to Richmond, VA to continue living on mission…

Step 1: Embed. What are you curious about? 

Embed just means to get acquainted with your neighborhood, your city, your environment, new or old. Start by finding out information about the people and the culture (or subculture, or sub-subculture) of the area. Curiosity is at the core of mission and sometimes you have to make your own opportunities to live intentionally ready for any spiritual conversation and discipleship opportunity that comes your way. 

Find Your Place

Director of Mobilization

The Director of Mobilization is primarily tasked with creating and stewarding the process and means to direct people into serving within our global mission. Working in close conjunction with the field ministry team and executive leadership, including the president, you will build a team that will “shepherd God’s people toward their calling” and will coach potential new missional staff considering Communitas. You will create numerous opportunities for engagement with Communitas and our mission, including speaking and other engagement events, short term experiences and internships, and more.

For full details, please download the Job Description on this page, and feel free to reach out to us with any questions at all at HR@gocommunitas.org.

Church Planter

Communitas International seeks a Planting Pastor to start and sustain a missionally-focused community of faith. Communitas has been planting churches worldwide for almost 50 years. The Planting Pastor will follow the proven methodology employed by the Communitas network of churches of embedding, initiating, practicing, maturing, hubbing, and extending to pattern the church and its community life, while also enjoying great flexibility to adapt to the specific cultural contexts of the area. The preferred candidate will have prior church-planting experience or extensive education in the areas of missional theology and practice. The efforts of the Planting Pastor will result in a thriving, self-sustaining, authentic, discipleship-oriented, outward-facing and reproducing community of faith in 3 to 5 years.   

Project Leader

As Lead Pastor, you give oversight to the staff and missionary team.  The Lead Pastor takes the initiating role in providing pastoral oversight and leadership to the health  of the community. With the aid of the elder board and missionary team, focus should  be shared among the areas of mission/evangelism, discipleship, leadership development and  establishing and sustaining essential functions of a growing and maturing church in the areas  of worship, community groups, children, operations, and other essential functions. As a natural process of living internationally, embedding in the culture and learning the language well should  be an ongoing work in progress. 

Intern

Communitas International seeks Interns who will assist Planting Pastors and Team Leaders to start and sustain a missionally – focused community of faith. Communitas has been planting churches worldwide for over 50 years. The Intern will assist the Planting Pastor in the proven methodology employed by the Communitas network of churches of embedding, initiating, practicing, maturing, hubbing, and extending to pattern the church and its community life, while also enjoying great flexibility to adapt to the specific cultural contexts of the area. The preferred candidate will be at least a college Junior or volunteer adult who has a great interest in church-planting as well as missional theology and practice. The efforts of the Intern will result in greater personal and mission effectiveness which will in turn leave the host project more healthy and thriving due to the efforts of the Intern.

 

What Intern Can Expect from local Communitas Team: 

The Intern can expect the following from the leader and local team:

  1. You will be welcomed into the place of ministry and given opportunities to embed in the culture.
  2. You will meet with your team leader at least weekly to discuss your progress and the ministry/personal work that needs to be done.
  3. You will be supported in the transition to the new culture – however, you will also be given the freedom to explore on your own. As an intern, you should expect that the local team will give guidance, but not seek to micromanage your stay there.
  4. Times of prayer and support as you meet the challenges of living in a new culture.

We sincerely hope that your internship will lead you to a greater understanding of God’s plan and purpose for your life.

Team Member – Sicily

We are looking for missionally-minded teammates who will join us in serving in Sicily, Italy. We desire to build authentic relationships and learn from and with one another as we welcome each other into our homes and lives and invite others to join us as we follow Jesus. If you feel God is leading you to build His kingdom in Italy, this may be for you!

We currently have two projects in Sicily. They are located in Syracuse and in the outskirts of Catania. Although we are open to however God may be calling you, we are specifically looking for help in an established Italian church in Syracuse, which is growing and in a phase of discernment for church planting endeavors. We also need team members outside of Catania who are willing to come with a discerning heart to minister creatively and embed in the lives of locals.

This position is flexible. It can be a part or full-time team member, as well as a short or long-term intern.

Children’s Ministry Worker – Proyecto Málaga

¿Amas a niños, Españoles y Jesús? ¡Pues mira esta oportunidad!

Do you love children, Spaniards, and Jesus? Then check out this opportunity!

The Role

We are looking for people who are mature in their faith and commitment to Jesus and identify with the mission and values of Communitas. This person would have a pastoral and teacher gifting, love kids (age 4-12), and like to use sports if possible. We are looking for someone with semi-fluent Spanish, who could do this program in Spanish or English, and be willing to start this from scratch.

About Proyecto Málaga (Missional Iniciative Málaga)

Málaga is a city where sport is flourishing. We believe that God wants to use sports to reach people who don’t know Him and wouldn’t get to know Him in a traditional church context. There is a lot of religiosity which opens doors to talk about spirituality. The good news is that the people live with spiritual hunger and thirst. We need to create bridges that will bring people to the feet of Jesus so they can be fully restored.

Sports Team Member – Proyecto Málaga

¿Amas a deportistas, Españoles y Jesús? ¡Pues mira esta oportunidad!

Do you love sports people, Spaniards, and Jesus? Then check out this opportunity!

The Role

We are looking for people who are mature in their faith and commitment to Jesus and identify with the mission and values of Communitas and are available for a minimum of 4 years. This would be a person who loves sport and has experience serving the sports community (coach, trainer, bio mechanic, player, etc.) This person must have a high level of fluency in Spanish, being either Spanish or having adapted to the Spanish culture. Also, it is essential that this person has a passion for the need for new expressions of the church.

About Proyecto Málaga (Missional Iniciative Málaga)

Málaga is a city where sport is flourishing. We believe that God wants to use sports to reach people who don’t know Him and wouldn’t get to know Him in a traditional church context. There is a lot of religiosity which opens doors to talk about spirituality. The good news is that the people live with spiritual hunger and thirst. We need to create bridges that will bring people to the feet of Jesus so they can be fully restored.

Director of Pre-Deployment Ministries

The Director of Pre-Deployment Ministries is primarily responsible for creating and stewarding the process and guiding and inspiring new cross-cultural staff toward full funding and training. Ultimately, these new staff members will then deploy to their place of service and begin “starting and shaping communities of faith that love like Jesus in their neighborhoods.”

Working in close conjunction with the operations team and field leadership, the Director will “shepherd God’s people toward their calling” by inspiring and coaching our new cross-cultural missional staff through required training. You will supervise them as they engage with external training in fundraising and develop their full funding and prayer network of partners. You will regularly communicate with new staff members, including in-person visits when possible, encouraging and inspiring them to do the hard work of fundraising and preparation for the field. You will thrive in a context in which you are their champion and love to help people excel… even when they think they are stuck!

Children’s Worker

This role would involve overseeing the weekly staffing, oversight, and running of children’s ministry at Upper Room. Including nursery/creche and children’s classes. A longer-term hope would be that this person would be able to start a Vacation Bible Study program (VBS).

Communitas News

missionary biographies

10 Missionary Biographies to be Inspired

Being a missionary is hard work, and it can be encouraging to hear stories of faithful men and women of God in the mission field. These missionary biographies tell the stores of men and women in Christian missions. These biographies are great for people looking to enter the mission field, active missionaries, or parents and teachers looking to teach their kids about the lives of missionaries.

Through Gates of Splendor - Elisabeth Elliot

Through Gates of Splendor

Through Gates of Splendor is about missionary Elisabeth Elliot and the story of Operation Auca: an initiative by five missionaries to reach the Huaorani Tribe of Ecuador, including Elisabeth’s husband Jim Elliot. The people of the Huaorani Tribe famously killed these missionaries. This biography tells a beautiful story of redemption, restoration, and forgiveness after a terrible tragedy.

Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret - Hudson Taylor

Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret

Hudson Taylor was a famous missionary who reached people for Jesus in China and founded the China Inland Mission (now called OMF). This missionary biography, written by Hudson Taylor’s son, gives us insight into the spiritual life and practices of Hudson Taylor. This is a must read for anyone considering missions or those already involved in missions. And more than that, it is an encouragement to all believers.

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The Little Woman - Gladys Aylward

Gladys Aylward Little Women

The Little Woman is a missionary biography about the famous missionary, Gladys Aylward. She left her home in England to answer God's call for her to move to China. She left home with no support board and no money to be faithful to God’s call. With the Sino-Japanese War waging around her, she struggled to bring the basics of life and the fullness of God to orphaned children. Time after time, God triumphed over impossible situations, and drew people to himself.

Bruchko - Bruce Olsen

Bruchko

Bruchko is an autobiography that tells the story of Bruce Olsen's kidnapping by communist guerrillas and his nine month captivity. During his time in captivity, Olsen was able to share the love of Jesus with his captors. This amazing biography shows us that God can bring amazing things out of even the darkest situations.

Mary Slessor: A Life on the Altar for God - Bruce Mclannen

Mary Slessor a Life on the altar for God

This missionary biography tells us the story of Mary Slessor. Mary was a missionary whose life story is an amazing inspiration. She felt a call to missions and set sail for West Africa in 1876. Bruce McLennan shares this remarkable story of a woman who shared the gospel, stood up against inequality and impacted Calabar with the hope of Jesus.

A Chance to Die : Amy Carmichael - Elisabeth Elliot

Amy Carmichael a chance to die

A Chance to Die is a vibrant portrayal of Amy Carmichael. She was an Irish missionary and writer who spent 53 years in South India without furlough. There she became known as "Amma", or "mother", as she founded the Dohnavur Fellowship, a refuge for underprivileged children. Amy's life of obedience and courage stands as a model for all who claim the name of Christ. 

Something Beautiful for God - Malcom Muggeridge

Mother Teresa something beautiful for God

This missionary biography is the work that introduced Mother Teresa of Calcutta to the Western world. Malcolm Muggeridge tells us the story of a lady whose love for Christ and the needy has deeply impacted many lives. Mother Teresa's life was filled with struggle and heartache, but she loved and served God faithfully nonetheless.

Christian Heros: Then and Now - Janet and Geoff Benge

Christian heros then and now

The Christian Heros: Then and Now series by YWAM are a series of biographies about some of the most famous and successful missionaries. Learn about Nate Saint, Corrie Ten Boom, George Muller, and more! These missionary biographies give us opportunities to see how God works through the lives of those who follow him. 

The Heavenly Man - Brother Yun

the heavenly man

The Heavenly Man is an autobiography of how God took a boy from a poor village in Henan, China and placed him on the front line for Jesus. Brother Yun is a house church leader in China, where Christianity is heavily monitored by the government. Because of this, he was imprisoned for many years because of his faith. This biography shows us how God can use people against the odds to share the gospel.

Eric Liddell : Pure Gold - David McCasland

Pure gold Eric Liddell

Pure Gold tells the story of the Scottish Olympian turned missionary to China. Eric Liddell risked becoming a national disgrace at the 1924 Paris Olympics when he refused to run on a Sunday because it was the Sabbath. With his faith on full display at the International Olympic Games, Liddell demonstrated great faith. That faith took him to China, where he became a missionary. 

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The call to missions is a mighty one. If you want to explore the ins and outs of missionary work, Communitas International wants to equip you to plant churches and make disciples.

At Communitas, many of our partners spend a year or two at an existing project or church plant to prepare and train to launch their own project in a new city. If this sounds like a good fit for you, contact one of our mission coaches for an inspiring conversation here.

A missionary’s ministry is incredibly important and cannot be categorized by just one thing. Every person has unique gifts and talents when it comes to missionary work and living out God’s special calling on their lives. But all partners love God, love people, and engage in deep and intentional relationships wherever they go!

The call of the Great Commission is that EVERYONE should hear the good news of Jesus! And that is God’s calling for YOU and for ME. Church planters and missionaries serve in churches and communities, and they are passionate about extending their reach and sharing the love of Jesus to people no matter where they are, whether that’s in America, Europe, South America, and beyond! 

Join us today on this dynamic adventure! Let's go!

Women missionaries changing the world

5 World-Changing Women Missionaries

Sharing the Gospel and joining the mission field is work for all believers, and there have been many strong and faithful Christian women who serve the Lord on the mission field. These 5 women missionaries have shared the good news of Jesus and made history by serving Him faithfully.

Gladys Aylward

Gladys Aylward left her home in England in 1930 to follow God's call to China, on the other side of the world. She left home with no support system and no money to be obedient to God’s call. With the Sino-Japanese War waging around her, she struggled to bring the basics of life and the fullness of God to orphaned children. Read more about the way she loved the people of China and Taiwan over a 40 year spread.

Amy Carmichael

Amy Carmichael was an Irish missionary who served in India for over 50 years. She founded orphanages, rescued young children from sex trafficking and forced prostitution, and shared the Gospel in a country that was hostile to Christ. She worked tirelessly for decades and wrote over 35 books about her time serving in India and South Asia. Read more about her life and missionary service.

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Lottie Moon

Lottie Moon was a female missionary who was raised in the United States and in the Southern Baptist tradition, but only came to know Jesus at the age of 18. After she became a Christian she felt called to join the mission field in China and become a teacher. She taught for years in China and also founded the Women’s Missionary Society. Lottie was a huge advocate for women in the mission field and spoke out on behalf of women who felt called to support the local church through mission work. Read more about how Lottie Moon spoke up for female missionaries.

Mary Slessor

Mary Slessor was a unique woman and missionary whose life story is an amazing inspiration for all believers and missionaries. She was called to mission and set sail for West Africa in 1876. There she worked to end infanticide in Nigeria and share the good news of Jesus. Slessor learned the language of the Nigerian people and gained their trust, which allowed her to fight for women’s rights, fight infanticide, and spread the name of Jesus. Read more about Mary Slessor’s amazing work in West Africa.

Elisabeth Elliot

Elisabeth Elliot was one of the most famous woman missionaries. She is known for sharing the Gospel with the tribe of people who killed her husband. After a tragedy where her husband, Jim Elliot, and his partners were killed by the people of the Huaorani Tribe, she learned the language, and returned to live with the tribe. Over time she befriended many of the Huaorani, even those who were involved in the killing of her husband. She has written many books including her own story, called Through Gates of Splendor. Read more about Elisabeth Elliot and her amazing forgiveness and faithfulness.

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The call to missions is a mighty one. If you want to explore the ins and outs of missionary work, Communitas International wants to equip you to plant churches and make disciples.

With Communitas, we affirm that women can serve in all aspects of ministry. We have many women who serve as pastors and missionaries with us. While there are many differing opinions on this issue, we don’t believe that Scripture precludes any women from becoming pastors or missionaries, but instead gifts and affirms them in these callings. Click here for our Statement on Gender Equality.

A missionary’s ministry is incredibly important and cannot be categorized by just one thing. Every person has unique gifts and talents when it comes to missionary work and living out God’s special calling on their lives. But all partners love God, love people, and engage in deep and intentional relationships wherever they go!

The call of the Great Commission is that EVERYONE should hear the good news of Jesus! And that is God’s calling for YOU and for ME. Church planters and missionaries serve in churches and communities, and they are passionate about extending their reach and sharing the love of Jesus to people no matter where they are, whether that’s in America, Europe, South America, and beyond! 

Join us today on this dynamic adventure! Let's go!

nonresident-JTW6AUbCLC4-unsplash (1) (1)

Why Should I Plant a Church?

We, as Christians, are called to carry out the Great Commission and carry the good news of Jesus to all the ends of the earth. But there are lots of ways to do that. 

One of the most important and historic methods of sharing the Gospel is through church planting. If you are passionate about joining the mission field, consider these reasons why you might be called to plant a church.

What is a Church Plant?

A church plant is a new christian community in its most early stage - usually supported by an existing organization or church.

You may be thinking to yourself “why do we need new churches?” or “don’t we have enough churches? Why not just encourage people to attend existing churches?”

But the act of church planting is vital to the spread of the gospel and integral to the growth of the Kingdom of God.

Further, we live in a time where people are seeking authentic expressions of faith where looking outward and serving a community are more important than entertainment or just another Sunday experience. So why should you consider planting a church?

Church Planting is Biblical

Church planting is incredibly Biblical. Throughout the Bible (Old and New Testament), the name of God was spread by God's people. Church planting is also a direct expression of the ways the early church was spread in the book of Acts by the Apostle Paul and other believers: new churches growing across the world and bringing many people into the life and love of Jesus. The original disciples and apostles planted churches all around the world in the name of Jesus.

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Church Planting Follows the Great Commission

Church planting is deeply rooted in Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations, tribes, and tongues, as found in Matthew 28. The Great Commission is the foundation of all mission work. In it, Jesus commands His followers to teach His commands, to baptize in His name, and to make disciples. This work (teaching, making disciples, and baptizing) is the essential work of the church.

In John 20:21, the resurrected Jesus offers his disciples an everlasting covenant of shalom and then says, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” So, every follower of Jesus is sent…where is He sending you?

Church Planting Works

Church planting is the most effective way to bring new men and women to Jesus. According to a Lifeway study, local church plants are more effective than established churches at reaching new people and unchurched people. Church plants are also a strategic way to spread the Gospel because church planters have the support and backing of their sending church or organization. Healthy church leaders come out of healthy organizations. And churches that can support them during the difficult yet rewarding work of church planting. 

And church plants, when done well, will result in thriving, self-sustaining, authentic, discipleship-oriented, outward-facing and reproducing communities of faith. 

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Church planting is vitally important to the Great Commission. When a healthy church is planted, new people come to know Jesus and are welcomed into a community where they can be nurtured and cared for. The Kingdom of God grows and people find life with Jesus when churches are planted.

Church Planting with Communitas

At Communitas, many of our partners spend a year or two at an existing project or church plant to prepare and train to launch their own project in a new city. Joining a church planting organization is one of the best ways to get involved. If this sounds like a good fit for you, contact one of our mission coaches for an inspiring conversation here.

The call of the Great Commission is that EVERYONE should hear the good news of Jesus! And that is God’s calling for YOU and for ME. Church planters serve in churches and communities, and they are passionate about extending their reach and sharing the love of Jesus to people no matter where they are, whether that’s in America, West Africa, East Asia, and beyond! 

A church planter’s job is incredibly important and can not be categorized by just one thing. Every church planter has unique gifts and talents when it comes to living out God’s special calling on their lives. But all planters love God, love people, and engage in deep and intentional relationships wherever they go! Join us today on this dynamic adventure!

pastors bible with tags

Am I Qualified to Be a Pastor?

Do you have a love for starting or being part of a church? Maybe the Holy Spirit has been working on you for a while, you had a gap year ministry experience and are wondering what's next, or you have an existing background in missions work.

If you’re asking yourself, “What kind of qualifications do I have to have to pursue this?” you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re considering pastoral ministry, here are some routes you can take.

The Bible does speak directly to a list of qualifications for someone who is going to lead a church and lead people spiritually. Modeled after Jesus, these qualifications outline the expectations of those in spiritual leadership.

The Character of Pastors
Jesus cares far more about our character than our demographics. Here are some of the biblical qualifications outlined for pastors and other spiritual leaders.

If married, a pastor must be loyal and devoted to their spouse, never engaging in adultery (Titus 1:6, 1 Tim 3:2). He or she is the husband of one wife or wife of one husband.
A pastor is a good steward (Titus 1:7). He cares to use God’s resources for advancement of the gospel, he is not wasteful or irresponsible.
A pastor is humble, willing to accept constructive feedback, and admit areas of growth. She cares to have accountability and admit her weaknesses (Titus 1:7)
A pastor is peaceful. He seeks to bring people to know Jesus through being a peacemaker in the community (Titus 1:7, 1 Tim 3:3)
A pastor is self-controlled in all areas of his life, including relationships, money, time, and more (Titus 1:8; 1 Tim 3:2).
A pastor must be respectable. While everyone may not like them, there should not be credible questions about their integrity or lifestyle (1 Tim 3:7). We talk about living a life above reproach. This person should, in general, be in good standing with the community and have a good reputation of loving people well.
A pastor is gentle - not angry or quick tempered. They model Jesus’ example of bringing people into community through gentleness and love (Titus 1:7; 1 Tim 3:3).

Communitas is an egalitarian organization, which means that we affirm that both men and women are called and equipped for pastoral ministry.

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The Responsibilities of a Pastor

The duties and responsibilities of a pastor are many, but the Bible clearly lays out certain roles that a pastor must fill when leading a church.

  • Preach the Word of God. Sharing the Gospel is core to being a pastor and is mandated in many places in Scripture. (Acts 10:42, 2 Tim 4:2)
  • Shepherd and care for your congregation. Caring for and loving people is core to being a pastor, since pastors are called to love people like Christ loves people. (1 Peter 5:2-4)
  • Correct and guide. Church leaders and pastors have a vested interest in protecting the reputation of the Gospel by guiding church members to live holy lives. (James 5:19-20, 1 Tim 5:1-2)

Can I Be a Female Pastor

With Communitas, yes. We have many women who serve as pastors with us. While there are many differing opinions on this issue, we don’t believe that Scripture precludes any women from becoming pastors, but instead gifts and affirms them in these callings.

Do I Need to Have a Seminary Degree to be a Church Planter?
While formal biblical training is a great place to be equipped and taught to lead, preach, and more, we do not require that all church planters with Communitas have seminary degrees. For all of history, God has used men and women with and without formal education to advance the gospel in local churches.

We don’t believe that seminary education is the only way to be people of sound doctrine and do fruitful mission’s work.

If you’re interested in planting a church or being part of an existing ministry project but don’t have a seminary education, don’t worry. We don’t want that to hold you back. 

If you’re ready to get a roadmap of what pursuing this dream could look like, download our guide below. You don’t have to commit to anything, but it will give you an idea of what the process could look like.

default-graphics-News-with-logo

What is Church Planting?

As followers of Jesus, we are called to carry out the Great Commission and to take the good news of Jesus to all the ends of the earth. And there are lots of ways to do that. 

If you are a Christian with an interest in church or missions work, the words “church plant” or “church planting” might be familiar to you. 

What is a Church Plant?

A church plant is a new Christian community in its most early stage - usually supported by an existing organization or church.

Church planting is deeply rooted in Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations, as found in Matthew 28. It is also a direct expression of the ways the early church was spread in the book of Acts by the Apostle Paul and other believers. It is new churches growing across the world and bringing many people into the life and love of Jesus.

Church planting looks different all over the world. Understanding the context of a neighborhood in which we’re starting a new church is critical to knowing what the church should look like, and how it can meet the needs of that neighborhood. And usually, church planting does not include a new building--at least, until much later in the process. So there are many unique expressions of church here at Communitas. 

Why Church Planting?

Church planting is vitally important to the Great Commission. When we start a healthy church, new people come to know Jesus and are welcomed into a community where they can be nurtured and cared for. As we plant churches the Kingdom of God grows and people find new life with Jesus.

Local church plants are also a strategic way to take the Gospel to the world because church planters have the support and backing of their sending church or organization. Healthy church leaders come out of healthy organizations and sending churches that can support them during the difficult yet rewarding work of church planting. 

Finally, church plants, when done well, will result in thriving, self-sustaining, authentic, discipleship-oriented, outward-facing and reproducing communities of faith.

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How to be a Church Planter

The responsibilities and qualifications of a church planter are founded in Scripture and are lived out by faithful men and women and people groups around the world. Ask yourself these questions to see if church planting is the right fit for you:

  • Do I have a passion for people who don't yet know Jesus?
  • Do I have a desire to share life with others in an incarnational way? Can I live and deeply embed in a new place?
  • How do I practice my faith and convictions with people? What does "sharing the Gospel" mean for me?
  • Am I committed to maturing and growing myself?
  • Do I understand the issues, needs, and worldviews of people living in the postmodern world?
  • How has God equipped me to fulfill the Great Commission?
  • What previous experiences might support church planting? (seminary, church work, pastoral counseling, spiritual direction, etc.)
  • What about church planting appeals to me?

The call to church planting is a mighty one. If you want to explore the ins and outs of church planting more, Communitas International wants to equip you to plant churches and make disciples.

Church Planting with Communitas

At Communitas, many of our partners spend a year or two at an existing project or church plant to prepare and train to launch their own project in a new city. If this sounds like a good fit for you, contact one of our mission coaches for an inspiring conversation here.

A church planter’s ministry is incredibly important and cannot be categorized by just one thing. Every church planter has unique gifts and talents when it comes to missionary work and living out God’s special calling on their lives. But all planters love God, love people, and engage in deep and intentional relationships wherever they go!

The call of the Great Commission is that EVERYONE should hear the good news of Jesus! And that is God’s calling for YOU and for ME. Church planters serve in churches and communities, and they are passionate about extending their reach and sharing the love of Jesus to people no matter where they are, whether that’s in America, Europe, South America, and beyond! 

Join us today on this dynamic adventure! Let's go!

top half of globe for missionary sending organization page

What does a Missionary Do?

What comes to mind when you think of a missionary? 

Maybe it’s: 

Someone who starts a church in another country

Someone who is translating the Bible into a new language

Someone who shares the gospel across cultural borders

Someone who is caring for sick people in very poor parts of the world

So maybe you’ve wondered: what’s their job description? What does a missionary actually do? 

The basic definition of a Christian missionary is a disciple of Jesus who has taken up the Great Commission to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and make disciples for Him across unreached people groups and to all tribes, nations, and tongues.

“But wait,” you are hopefully asking, “shouldn’t all Christians be doing that?” 

If that is your thought, you’re right. In fact, that's a main reason we don’t like to use the word missionary at all. We prefer to talk about the people we partner with as people who are living missionally in a culture that isn’t their own. Missionaries can be doctors, teachers, lawyers, builders, pastors, church planters, or more. YOU can be a missionary, right in your context!

But no matter the occupation, language, or culture a missionary has, there are some common elements of the job and life of a missionary. 

Here’s what it means to be a “missionary” here at Communitas: 

Job Description #1: Get Plugged Into the Local Culture

When a missional worker is sent to a foreign country or culture, it is vital that they get connected to the culture they will be living in. These believers living on mission tune into the work that the Holy Spirit is already doing around them. 

They effectively share the Gospel when they are connected to, trusted by, and listening to the cultures where they live. This might look like enrolling in a school to take language classes, or opening a business, or starting a Bible study in a local coffee shop. It may look like being integrated in an existing local church to see how God is moving, with the plan to launch a new church plant in a new neighborhood.

This posture allows missional workers to build genuine relationships with people, building trust and opening space for questions about their lifestyles, as well as the ability to share the good news of Jesus Christ in their neighborhoods.

Job Description #2: Build on Local Context and Life

Communitas missional workers believe God is already at work in the communities in which they live, and they’re on the lookout to find and encourage Kingdom practices that are already happening.

There’s no “one size fits all” way of being a missionary--or to starting churches. For our teams in Brazil, church looks very different than for our teams in Poland because the “style” of a new church plant follows the look and needs of its neighborhood. 

We don’t evaluate our team members by conversions or church size, but we do care that they are creating relationships with people who do not yet know Jesus and inviting them to belong in community. As these relationships deepen and opportunities for faith arise, missional workers develop discipleship patterns and help people mature and grow in their faith. 

Communitas staff always practice going deep in their discipling relationships by praying, studying Scripture, and having intentional conversations with those around them. Mature and intentional missionaries go deep with the people they serve and practice their faith in real, tangible ways, right in their own neighborhoods.

Job Description #3: Multiply

The call to missions comes from Matthew 28, the Great Commission. Jesus tells His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, tribes, and tongues, “teaching them to obey” everything Jesus has taught them. Missionaries do this in the communities, neighborhoods, and churches God has called them to.

But because the call to mission is so grand, it pushes missionaries to spread out and take the gospel outside the walls of churches they (and most of us) feel comfortable in. Maybe a missionary is called to start another church plant, or maybe they start an initiative in their city to reach out to homeless or incarcerated people. Creativity and context are critical to understanding where God is calling us next. 

At Communitas, many of our partners spend a year or two at an existing project to prepare and train to launch their own project in a new city. If this sounds like a good fit for you, contact one of our mission coaches for an inspiring conversation here.

The call of the Great Commission is that EVERYONE should hear the good news of Jesus! And that is God’s calling for YOU and for ME. Missionaries serve in churches and communities, and they are passionate about extending their reach and sharing the love of Jesus to people no matter where they are, whether that’s in America, West Africa, East Asia, and beyond! 

A missionary’s job is incredibly important and can not be categorized by just one thing. Every missionary has unique gifts and talents when it comes to missionary work and living out God’s special calling on their lives. But all missionaries love God, love people, and engage in deep and intentional relationships wherever they go!

32
Churches
73
Church Plants
200
Team Members
27
Countries