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Kent Hunter is the team leader for SEND North America, a new division of Church Doctor Ministries. SEND (Servants Equipping New Disciples) is a 21st Century approach for equipping the growing number of young adults being raised up by God for authentic Christianity as a missionary movement. SEND is now accepting applications from young adults to begin the 10-month adventure in September 2011. Those who continue in SEND Leader Training will be deployed to SEND units at churches throughout North America.
Healthy Churches Thrive! Spiritual Pilgrimage
Stage 2 Option: Add an ongoing SEND unit to your church.
Healthy Churches Thrive! is an 18-month pilgrimage that gently begins with a Vision Team - those who are already missionally-minded in your church. Through ever-expanding Learning Communities, this movement grows throughout the church through relationships. The Learning Community DVDs teach 26 Big/Biblically Different Ideas: major paradigm shifts on how to be and do New Testament Christianity.
"We've tried to program effective outreach in the church for decades - with minimal effectiveness. You get the few people who are always involved, but it doesn't make the church mission-oriented. Some have tried to transition the church from the top down: leaders pushing mission agendas on the rest. That works to a point, but often erupts in pushback, and can even divide a church. Jesus talked about salt and light. The Kingdom is like leaven in the loaf. Christianity is a soft, gentle movement where the Holy Spirit seeks people not conformed to this world, but transformed by a renewal of their minds. This is what the HCT! Pilgrimage does. It has been field tested. It measures spiritual growth in several dimensions. There are results. It works, by God's grace."
~ Pastor, whose church is involved in the Healthy Churches Thrive! Pilgrimage.
Once a church successfully completes the HCT! Pilgrimage, it may choose to receive a SEND leader. This will begin a second-stage advance for the church. Each year, the church will host 25 students, who will train using the SEND curriculum, and multiply the missional environment of the congregation. The tuition of the students pays for the leader and the expenses for the unit. This will provide each church with its own training school for missions!
Church Doctor Ministries. SEND Student Booklet. www.sendnorthamerica.com.
Cole, Neil. Organic Church. Hoboken, NJ: Jossey-Bass, 2005.
Church Doctor Ministries. Worship Consultation. www.churchdoctor.org
Gibbs, Eddie and Ryan Bolger. Emerging Churches. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005.
Hirsch, Alan and Debra Hirsch. Untamed. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2010.
Hunter, Kent R. Changing the Church Without Blowing it Up: Motivation, Process, Focus, and Vision. Corunna, IN: Church Doctor Ministries, 2008. (E-book.)
Hunter, Kent R. The J-Dog Journey: Where is Life? Corunna, IN: Church Doctor Ministries, 2011. (available in July from www.sendnorthamerica.com).
Hunter, Kent R. The Future is Now. Corunna, IN: Church Doctor Ministries, 2011. (download here)
Hunter, Kent R. Reengineering the Church: Seizing Opportunities to Reach Post-Moderns Among the Challenges of Globalization. Corunna, IN: Church Doctor Ministries, 2008. (E-book.)
Ma, Jaeson. The Blueprint. Ventura, CA: Regal, 2007.
Orr-Ewing, Amy and Frog. Millennials: Reaching and Releasing the Rising Generation.
2010 (Kindle Edition).
|June 2012 UK Immersion Experience
Touch, smell, explore, and let God move you! If you have never experienced a major move of God, this is your opportunity. You will never be the same.
Team Limit: 20
|SEND North America|
SEND North America young adult ten-month training experience empowering 21st Century disciples with missional DNA.
- The adventure begins September 2011
- Limit: 25
- Applications now being accepted
- Leader: Josh Humberger
|The Future is Now|
Read the latest writings on trends in the local church from Church Doctor Ministries Founder and Leader, Kent R. Hunter. This new publication will offer insights into how God is moving and working in the 21st century church.
Click Here to Download your FREE Copy
Greetings in Christ!
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- Where are all the young people who are not attending our church?
- Why is the median age of most churches growing older?
- Where can a young adult Christian get training for ministry in ten months, without involving a huge debt?
- What is God doing, using 20-somethings in several major movements of Christianity?
In 2004, I took my son, Jonathan, to England. We visited my friend, Mick, pastor of St. Thomas' Church in Sheffield, England. It's the center of a move of God impacting several continents. Fast forward four years. Jonathan was in his last year of college, deeply questioning his choice of study, wondering about God, and privately praying for God to give him direction. A few days passed when he received an e-mail from Mick, who invited him to apply for a young adult training program at St. Thomas' called "Form."
Training for Ministry
My own career of equipping for ministry was laid out by my pastor. It was all he knew: go to college, then seminary. So I did. My thirst for learning to reach unchurched people was never satisfied. I pursued a Ph.D. in theology and took every course remotely related to Great Commission work. I had two good internship experiences, serving churches in Australia and the southeast U.S. My first church out of grad school was in inner-city Detroit. I had learned a lot about doctrine in school, but not much about cross-cultural mission. I started attending Fuller Seminary, two weeks at a time, in the Doctor of Ministry Program. I learned how to do mission work in my own country. I gently taught members of my church to think like missionaries. God blessed us with a small movement toward Christ. That led to founding Church Doctor Ministries and a career that blessed me with ministry experiences on six continents. Along the way, I was exposed to other ways of training young adults for ministry. I became friends with Bill Bright, the visionary founder of Campus Crusade. I was also asked to teach for the Crossroads Discipleship Training School sponsored by Youth With a Mission at University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii. For a long time God was preparing me for what came next.
After that initial visit to the U.K., I started taking groups each year to the conference they hold in June. It is one of the most exciting efforts I have seen around the world. Each year I would expose North Americans to what God is doing there. Each year I was impressed with the young adults who were in the ten-month training program called "Form." I never dreamed my son, Jonathan, would do it. Yet, after college, he did. My wife and I connected with him every few weeks via Skype. He was transformed during that year, just like the other young adults I had seen. At the end of the year, Jonathan was asked to serve on staff at that church, in the student ministry.
The Birth of SEND
For years I have been interested in a short-burst, boot-camp training for North American young adults. My experience with Campus Crusade and Youth With a Mission were so positive! But I wanted to see young adults trained in churches. Since Church Doctor Ministries is focused on churches, I had the vision for churches to provide a training mechanism where students would be equipped to be 21st century networking missionaries. My training and experience on mission fields around the world has led me to believe that if revival is to break out, an awakening must happen in the church. Beyond that, however, there must be a massive, rapid deployment of mission-minded young adults who are equipped quickly and inexpensively. They complement our trained pastors, and are equipped for outreach.
Jonathan was home from England one Christmas. I was sharing with him the development of the Healthy Churches Thrive! Spiritual Pilgrimage. I asked him, "What could a church do to perpetuate what is started with the great results we get from Healthy Churches Thrive!?"
Jonathan responded, "You need to start a young adult training program. However, add a second year - because everything God does is about multiplication. Train leaders and put units in churches."
My first response was, "Why didn't I think of that? Jonathan, that's brilliant" He smiled and said, "That's God!"
Boot Camp for Young Adults
SEND North America will start with 25 young adults from around North America in September 2011. The leader is Josh Humberger, a former DJ and Hollywood actor whose last effort is the lead role in an upcoming Christian film. Josh has had experience in this European movement through his church, Threshold Community, in Toledo, Ohio. His pastor, Tom Schaeffer, was in one of our first groups that went to Sheffield. Tom has discipled Josh.
SEND North America is designed to help young adults discover God's call on their lives. It will train them to go deeper in discipleship. They will experience hands-on ministry in a wide variety of churches in northeast Indiana. Mission excursions will take place each month to a wide variety of destinations: campus ministry at a university, outreach to Burmese immigrants in Fort Wayne, Indiana, a weekend with former Mulsims/now Christians in Detroit, Michigan, an experience with the Mennonite/Amish community in Shipshewana, Indiana, etc.
Hands-on ministry will include ministry to the homeless, nursing homes, hospitals, university students, high school students, children's ministry, drama and cinema, Christian radio, sports ministry, etc. These young adults will major in mission to North America.
The students will live in community, by gender. They will share housing, and learn Christian hospitality and teamwork. They will work part-time at secular jobs. The work opportunity will provide a platform for living their Christianity in the real world, as well as supply support for rent and other expenses. Each student will recruit ten support families, to whom they will report what they are learning each month. The 25 students will be communicating with 250 families! That's a movement!
As of this writing, students are coming from a variety of backgrounds and locations. Some are college graduates, others have never been to college. Some are taking a year out of college to "seek direction." One young couple is from Canada. They intend to train as leaders. They will start SEND Canada, connected with a Bible institute in Camrose, Alberta. Another student is applying for SEND from jail. She met Christ through a prison ministry. The judge connected to the juvenile detention center is considering an alternative probation program whereby she could train as a leader for SEND and then return and develop a SEND unit as a potential destination for young adults who have been incarcerated. One of the students is homeschooled and the son of a senator. Another is a young man who dropped out of college and is looking for direction. This wide variety of students will make up a dynamic group!
THE SEND Movement
Not all students will take the second year of training to be a leader. However, those who become SEND leaders will have the option of leading a SEND unit at a church of their choice. There are already seven churches throughout the United States that want a SEND unit and one in Canada. By the time the first leaders graduate, there will be dozens of churches asking for a leader. This is a paid position that is almost entirely supported by the tuition - which means churches that are "SEND-ready" will be able to take on a unit very easily. Each unit will be independent. Each will multiply leaders. Welcome to a revolutionary movement!
Think about what it would be like to have 25 students each year, from all over North America, training at your church. Young adults reaching young adults -- at no cost to your church! Think that would spark a mission mentality? Raise some excitement? Encourage the members? Here is what has happened at the church in England. There are now 300 university students attending worship. Approximately 70% were not Christians five years ago. No, it is not a campus church. Just a church with equipped young adults reaching others in their own generation.
Who do you know, in their twenties, excited about God and ready for a challenge, an opportunity? The adventure begins at www.sendnorthamerica.com.
Ten Characteristics of Post-modern Young Adults
- They are natural networkers who have the internet DNA platform for the Good News to explode across the world.
- Products of a high-tech world, Post-moderns balance by high touch: relationships.
- Post-moderns will not be attracted to institutions.
- Their view of the world is not hierarchical, but flat. They are team-oriented.
- Their relational bias and flat world orientation prepares Post-moderns for movement approaches, like New Testament Christianity, in its apostolic form.
- Post-moderns learn by conversation and discussion rather than lecture and teaching. They are interactive learners who grow by doing. They are excellent candidates for biblical discipling.
- Post-moderns are attracted to authentic Christianity, and are, therefore, a receptive generation for the restoration of accountability as a hallmark of biblical Christianity.
- They are distracted and repulsed by those who "play church" and are, therefore, somewhat inoculated from religon.
- For Post-moderns, story is very important, providing a generationally sensitive approach to witnessing and an aversion to rote evangelism as well as a neutral attitude toward apologetics.
- Post-moderns are more susceptible to catch Christianity (not like you catch a ball, but like you catch a cold). They are less receptive to be taught Christianity academically. They are the world's best carriers for a Jesus Epidemic since the 1st Century A.D. Mediterranean Christians.