Church planter training in South Africa


Dave Adams has been heading up the Advance Church Planter training course in South Africa for a number of years. The group is well into its fourth cycle of training. We caught up with Dave for an update on the South African cohorts progress.

Advance’s Church Planting Course (ACPC) is our best effort to create a contemporary and practical teaching series to equip current and future church planters. The course includes a collection of readings for self-study, as well as regular times together in a central location.

The prescribed readings ensure a good foundation for students. The three-day intensives then provide something of a masterclass context to learn from leaders and church planters as they share from their years of experience.

At the recent Intensive in Cape Town it was inspiring to hear church leaders share their stories of church planting in township, suburban and city centre contexts in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. Their willingness to share both successes and failures was particularly powerful.

These intensives also provide a wonderful opportunity for participants to get to know movement leaders and to build strong peer relationships among participants representing different Advance churches. These relationships always bear fruit for years to come.

Some of those participating in ACPC have a heart for multi-site planting, others to plant further afield into other towns or even other nations. Whatever their goal, ACPC continues to undergird church planting momentum in our partnership.

For many of the participants, ACPC has been formative in confirming their sense of call to plant churches and sites. For some it has brought clarity to the particular role the participant might play in a church planting team. For all there’s a heightened awareness of the significance of church planting in God’s purposes.

We’re just coming to the end of the seventh year of ACPC in South Africa. By this stage some 134 people have participated in at least one of the six ACPC modules since we began in 2013. By the end of 2019, 49 will have participated in all six modules.

In the year ahead ACPC will continue to serve Advance as a church-planting movement by equipping those in our midst who are sensing God’s call to church planting. We want to keep envisioning potential church planters, clarifying how they can best serve in a church planting venture and equipping them for this God-ordained task.